Money Insider: A will's the way to benefit your loved ones


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If you don't make a will your assets could end up in a black hole.

Making a will is one of those tasks UK consumers put off the most and that's one of the main reasons why every year around £175m worth of assets left by loved ones end up not being passed on.

According to a report out last week from around a third of people who have lost a family member in the past 10 years have struggled to locate their financial assets. That's why in the UK there is currently more than £600m sitting in unclaimed bank accounts, £44m in unclaimed premium bonds and more than £3bn in stocks and shares.

Stephen Foden of Willsandassets said: "No one wants to think about what will happen when they die, but failing to do so can leave those behind with significant problems and stress at what is already a tough time."

The problem is if people don't know what savings, investments, life insurance and valuables you own, they have little chance of tracking them all down and if they turn to a solicitor to help them with their search, they can easily run up a bill of £2,000-plus, even in a fairly straightforward case.

Mr Foden says the extra stress and expense can be avoided as long as you follow three simple steps: firstly make a will (and keep it updated every few years); tell your family that you've made a will and where it's located; and last but most importantly, draw up a list of your assets and keep it with your will, that way the wealth you've worked so hard for all your life will be passed on to the people that you want to receive it.

During November you can get a will prepared by participating solicitors in return for a donation to charity – you can find who is offering the service in your area, by entering your post code on

Buy-to-let without the landlord hassle

Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending is one of the fastest-growing sectors in financial services and offers a wide range of investment opportunities for long-suffering savers seeking a better return from their savings.

One of the latest entrants in the P2P market is buy-to-let mortgage specialist Landbay.

It uses lenders' monies as five-year, buy-to-let mortgages to vetted, experienced landlords, so it's an indirect way of investing in property but without the hassle and red tape.

Last week Landbay launched two products – a fixed-rate paying 4.2 per cent for three years and the first P2P tracker paying 3 per cent above base rate.

The most it will lend is 72 per cent of the value of the property over which it takes a first legal charge, plus rental income from the property must exceed 125 per cent of the monthly loan repayments.

You can invest from a minimum of £100 and your money is spread between different borrowers to further lessen the level of risk.

As with all P2P investments your capital is at risk, so don't plough your money in unless you are comfortable with how the scheme operates and after taking professional financial advice.

Unlike traditional savings accounts, money saved or lent via P2P is not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

However, with interest returns at rock bottom on the standard savings market, it's not surprising that P2P is becoming more popular with people looking to secure a better level of income.

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