You can’t ask me that: Why 'Who's getting the house?' doesn't have to be painful

Continuing her series tackling socially unacceptable questions, Christine Manby challenges the belief that writing a will has to be a gloomy experience

Wednesday 02 January 2019 11:02 GMT
Illustrations by Tom Ford
Illustrations by Tom Ford

The past few years have been all about the joy of streamlining your life. In 2015, Marie Kondo topped bestseller charts all over the world with her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, in which she urged us to declutter by ridding our homes of anything that didn’t “spark joy”. More recently, Margareta Magnusson’s The Gentle Art of Death Cleaning urged us to go one step further and clean our homes as though preparing for death, considering what might spark horror in the children when they have to empty out the attic. Best get rid of those photos of their dad at the furring convention now.

Getting shot of old rubbish is always a good idea, but simplifying your life should go way beyond throwing out CDs and making sure the kids never find Grandma’s bondage kit. Writing a will is the ultimate act of tidying up. However, it seems we’re more likely to spend time working out how to make our pants balance vertically in a drawer than thinking about how our joy-sparking stuff will be split when we’re gone.

As of last year, it’s estimated that 60 per cent of British adults do not have a will, which means more than 30 million Brits are in danger of dying intestate. It’s fair to say it won’t matter much to them. But for the people left behind, it can be a serious headache.

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