Making a will is something that understandably none of us really want to think about. It’s not the kind of thing you want to be thinking about on a normal day and it can be a little bit depressing. However. Writing you will early has so many benefits for you and your family, and just because you’ve written it doesn’t mean you can’t amend it throughout your life as your circumstances change.
The main reason many people will write a will early is to give themselves and family peace of mind that if anything does happen, their wishes will be granted. Also, it means that the family don’t have to face the huge task of sorting out your estate and belongings when you are gone. It is a hard-enough time losing a family member without having to worry about other expenses too.
If you don’t write a will for yourself and your family- you could find that your possessions are given out to your family in the standard way- and the way it happens and who your things go to may not be what you want at all. Writing a will is incredibly important if you have children or family members who depend on your support- because it means that you can make sure they are looked after by your inheritance once you are gone. An added benefit is that it will also reduce the inheritance tax which must be paid on the value of your estate.
You can use your will to tell the authorities and your family the following things:
- Who has your money, your property and possessions in the event of your death
- Who will organise your estate- who will be the executor of your will, making sure everything runs smoothly.
- How you want to be buried or cremated and instructions for your funeral.
Your executor will do their best to make sure that all of your wishes are fulfilled as you have specified in your will. You can talk to a solicitor such as Bannister Preston if you need any advice on how to write it and what kind of things you are able to include. Remember that if what you are asking is illegal, your executor will not be able to carry out your wish. Or maybe circumstances will change during the time you have your will written and the person you leave your property to may die before you. In this case the executor will not be able to carry out this wish, but may use the next person you have named.
How To Make Your Will Valid
Contrary to what you may believe, your will does not have to be on a specific piece of paper or a form, it can be in any form you like, as long as you can verify it with a legal representative once it is completed. Some of the things you will need to do to make your will valid are the following:
- It outlines exactly how you want your estate and possession divided when you die.
- It was made at a time when you were sound of mind and able to make these decisions for yourself. It will not be influenced by anyone else.
- It is signed and dated in the presence of two independent witnesses who will also sign the document to ensure its validity.
How To Make A Will
If you have a small family, then the way you make your will, will be simple because you will likely just leave everything to them. Of course, if you have a large family then it can become more complicated.
The first step to making an effective plan of what you want to leave to each person in your family, as well as a comprehensive list of the items you own. If you like you can talk to your family about your will and what you are thinking of leaving to who. Just make sure no one can force you into a decision you don’t want to make.
Write Your Will
If you want to get a specialist writing service for your will, you will have that peace of mind that you won’t leave anything important off the list- however if you are on a tight budget you can download a template online and fill it in at home. You will then need to visit a lawyer to get the will verified and stored in a safe place ready in case you ever need to make changes to the will.
What Happens if you don’t leave a will
Imagine that you had an estranged parent who abandoned you as a child, and you really wanted to give your estate to one of your siblings. If you don’t write a will and make sure that your wish is honoured, your estate will go directly to your parent because they are your most direct kin. It means that your money goes to someone who never cared about you as you grew up instead of the people you love. You never want this to happen- which is why you need to make sure you write a will.
Dying without a will is called intestacy. The law which covers those who don’t leave a will when they die varies depending on where you live, but in general you will see the same sort of rules. First of all, if you have a partner but are unmarried- they are not legally entitled to anything when you die. If you are married, then your partner will likely inherit everything before your children. This is even the case if you are no longer together but haven’t signer your divorce papers. If you die without a will and you have no relatives to give to, the money will go straight to the government. So if you have friends who you treat like family or would like to donate money to charity- make a will to specify your wishes to make sure that your money goes to the right place.