Fringe Box



Will You Be One Of The Millions Who Don’t Make A Will?

Published on: 2 Apr, 2014
Updated on: 3 Apr, 2014

By Dani Maimone

A special free end of life planning seminar at Clandon Wood Surrey Hills Natural Burial Reserve on Wednesday, April 9, has been organised to help people through the stages of planning for their future.

More than a dozen experts with the skills to guide you through the potential minefield of making a will, equity release, inheritance tax, powers of attorney, support through terminal illness, and so on, will be on hand.

Life planning in the office at Clandon Wood. Picture by Dani Maimone.

Life planning in the office at Clandon Wood. Picture by Dani Maimone.

According to, the financial advisers’ website, around 30 million people in the UK have not made a will and each year approximately 70% of the population die intestate, i.e. without a valid will.

It means that their assets will be distributed according to whatever the current law may be at the time and with in some cases, the Treasury as the main beneficiary. Unless you write it down and make it legal your wishes will be ignored.

It’s surprising how many people think that they are automatically protected just because they are married and die intestate. Don’t be fooled. In England and Wales, even if you’re married with a family but don’t have a will stating your wishes; it won’t be your spouse who inherits your entire estate.

If the assets are worth more than £250,000 your spouse will inherit that, anything over this sum is divided in two. The spouse has a life interest in the one half of the estate, the other half is held on trust for the children. This excludes them from selling a property involved or spending any money from it. If your assets are worth less than £250,000 your children won’t inherit anything.

It gets worse. If you are unmarried and your partner dies without leaving a valid will, you would have to make a claim against their estate.

Helen Eynon, an expert in the field of will making and powers of attorney and a speaker at the Clandon Wood event said: “Never presume your estate will go where you think it will without a valid will in place. Just because you’re married doesn’t mean it will go to your spouse.”

Fran Hall, Clandon Wood’s new operations manager said: “People are often afraid to confront their own mortality and therefore issues such as writing a will or planning ahead for their own funeral when they are in good health can focus their attentions on something they don’t really want to confront.

“It can also feel like too much of a complicated task to put their house in order. This seminar aims to demystify some of the issues surrounding end of life planning and enable people to take control of their futures.”

Morning registration starts at 9.30am and the afternoon session begins at 2pm. A buffet lunch will be provided. There is also parking available and comfortable facilities with full disabled access. The reserve is located just outside Guildford near West Clandon on the A246 Epsom Road.

If you would like to attend the seminar you can book tickets online at or find out more on the Clandon Wood blog at or call the office on 01483 479614. Spaces are limited therefore an early booking is recommended.

Butterfly at Clandon Wood.

Butterfly at Clandon Wood. Picture by Dani Maimone.

The seminar will use the hashtag #YODO in all social media in support of Dying Matters Awareness Week which takes place from the May 12 to 18. Dying Matters is a coalition set up by the National Council for Palliative Care to promote public awareness of dying, death and bereavement. You can find out more about them at

Clandon Wood has been designed as a nature reserve for natural burial. It is comprised of 31 acres of wildflower meadow with over forty species of wild flowers including, birdsfoot trefoil and sainfoin. It has many yards of hedgerows and a programmed planting of hundreds of native trees including oak. ailver birch, hornbeam and beech.

Clandon Wood is a member of the Association of Natural Burial Grounds, Surrey Hills Enterprises, Best of Guildford and a corporate member of Surrey Wildlife Trust.

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