You’re not alone if you haven’t thought much about life after death. A 2020 survey by Canada Life found that 59% of UK adults don’t have a will. 

Perhaps that’s not surprising when, generally, we don’t like to think about death. But your money and assets will probably outlive you, so it’s important to make clear how you want them to be managed when you’re no longer around. A will can do that for you in the most efficient way.

When planning for the future, your will is just part of the picture. There are other things worth thinking about too. Here are three pointers to get you underway… 

Consider going bespoke

There are plenty of standard, off-the-shelf wills, but you might need one that’s tailored to you, written specifically with you and your family in mind.

Key things to consider: 

  • Flexibility: The day before you retire, five years later and 20 years later look very different. You should be able to easily update your will as your circumstances change. A will, after all, reflects a moment in time.
  • Tax reliefs: They’re there to help. Make sure you can use any tax benefits you’re entitled to, as well as understanding how they might change over time. 
  • Protection: You should consider a structure that protects those you want to benefit financially when you die, whether that’s your partner, children or grandchildren. 
  • Privacy: It’s worth remembering your will becomes a public document on your death, but there are ways to keep the details private which our experts could help you with.


Be trust-worthy

Once you’ve considered where you want your money to go after your death, it might be worth taking a look at how your money’s managed while you’re alive.

One thing you could consider is a trust. Trusts aren’t just for the super-rich with super-sophisticated financial set-ups. They could give anyone the control they need over who gets what and when. 

Trusts are really about flexibility. Lifetime discretionary trusts, for example, are increasingly common and typically have a pool of named beneficiaries who can only access the money when the trustees decide they can. They could also be a good way to efficiently manage potential tax liabilities. 

There are other ways to manage your money during your lifetime, and trusts may not be right for everyone. It could be worth speaking to your Premier manager to assess your options.

Don't get court out

It’s also worth putting measures in place should you become incapacitated. Entrusting someone with a lasting power of attorney (LPA) is an important insurance policy should you become unable to look after your own affairs.

Without a Property and Affairs LPA, for example, no one can manage your money and it could end up in the hands of a court. This could mean that if you have a joint account, it may be frozen. Or if you co-own a business, you might not be able to sell it. 

Understand your options

We could help you understand your options through a Financial Health Check, and create a structure based on what best suits you and your family.

Speak to your Premier manager to find out more.

We also provide a professional will-writing service, which helps write wills from scratch or revise one you already have.


Tax reliefs referred to are those applying under current legislation which may change. The availability and value of any tax reliefs will depend on your individual circumstances.  Eligibility criteria apply. Advice and product fees may apply.

This material is published by NatWest Group plc (“NatWest Group”), for information purposes only and should not be regarded as providing any specific advice. Recipients should make their own independent evaluation of this information and no action should be taken, solely relying on it. This material should not be reproduced or disclosed without our consent. It is not intended for distribution in any jurisdiction in which this would be prohibited. Whilst this information is believed to be reliable, it has not been independently verified by NatWest Group and NatWest Group makes no representation or warranty (express or implied) of any kind, as regards the accuracy or completeness of this information, nor does it accept any responsibility or liability for any loss or damage arising in any way from any use made of or reliance placed on, this information. Unless otherwise stated, any views, forecasts, or estimates are solely those of the NatWest Group Economics Department, as of this date and are subject to change without notice.

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