People are however still reluctant to get a will, usually making the excuse that they 'don't care who gets it', or that 'of course my family will get it, with or without a will'. This is fair enough. But it is usually not fair on the people left behind. The people who usually rush to get a will are those who have just experienced loved ones dying without a will.
A client of mine lost their brother, who it seems, died without a will. Nobody could remember talking about it, and after a few weeks searching, realised that it would never be found even if there was one. This meant that nobody knew what the brother wanted, despite of course having a family. It also transpired that the dead brother had no life insurance, and despite having buy to lets, these were doing badly in terms of capital losses and bad rents, and so had to be sold quickly. Out of the blue, a woman turned up with the brother's (and husband's) child. This new party then had the right to place themselves at the middle of proceedings, in sorting out the estate of the dead man.
I remember very clearly the sister saying that each relative swore that they would get a will as soon as they could. They would not want anyone to go through what they had to, which included making arrangements for the funeral, sorting out some complex affairs, having to use the intestacy process to distribute what was left, ensuring a guardian was available for the children and nominating who should organise their affairs after they die.
Wills are there to protect your family. One increasingly common clause for a will, is where a share in a property is given to the surviving spouse/partner for their life, to revert back to their children when the survivor dies. This can be a great way of ensuring your children inherit the original estate. An example of what can happen (and does happen regularly) is when the surviving spouse/partner re-marries and then dies before the new spouse/partner. If the whole estate has passed to the survivor, the new spouse/partner can take the whole estate and leave it to their own family, cutting out the original children. This is often devastating for the children, not necessarily just because of the financial loss, but because they know this is not what their parents would have wanted to happen.
These then, are just a few reasons why you should be thinking of getting a will. It is also important to check your will periodically, to see if it should be amended or improved.