No one likes to think about what life will be like without them, but our reluctance to face the future, even if that future is – hopefully – a long, long way off, often means we don’t leave things in order when we’re gone.
The problem is, without a formal will our families often don’t know how you wanted things to be divided or how you wanted your body to be treated once you passed on. Of course, while you may say “it’s up to them,” it’s important to remember that your family will be grieving when they have to make these decisions.
Writing a will is incredibly important and if you’ve been putting it off because you haven’t felt ready, aren’t “old” enough, or feel like you haven’t got enough to give away, here are 3 key reasons why you should change your mind and get something in place as soon as possible.
1. Make Things Easier for the People You Leave Behind
Our friends, family, and pets are the most important factor in our lives, and having a professionally written Will makes it easier for the people you love to get everything in order when you pass. If you haven’t made a Will, and already distressing time can be drawn out and it becomes a lot more stressful for your family and friends to deal with.
A professionally written Will means all eventualities are covered – you can allow a partner to live in the home you want your children to receive when your partner passes, divide up your assets so there aren’t any arguments, or set money aside for a cause you believe in.
2. Determine How Your Estate is Shared
The main reason a person creates a will is to bequeath their estate to their children or other family members.
If you don’t have a Will, your estate will be shared out in a way that is stated by law, and it rarely mirrors the way you would have desired. Having a Will also helps to minimise any disagreements that could arise between family members about specific assets in your estate, especially as unmarried partners aren’t entitled to anything unless it is specifically stated in your will. It’s unfortunately uncommon for long-term unmarried partners to be treated unfairly by other family members in these circumstances, so it’s important you protect them.
A Will is also where you can state who will inherit your pets after you’re gone, which is often something we have strong opinions on.
Writing a Will is particularly necessary if you have members of your family who are financially dependent on you (such as young adults or children) as you will want to ensure they are provided for once you’re not there to take care of them.
Many people also like to use their will to gift a sum of money to a charity or charities that are particularly important to them.
3. Decide Who Will Be the Executor
Executors make sure all of your affairs are in order, including paying any of your unpaid bills, cancelling credit cards, and notifying banks or any other businesses you may have accounts with. This person (or people) plays the biggest part in the management of your estate, so you want to ensure that you appoint someone who you will be in the right place emotionally, is organised, and you who you trust implicitly.
Often, this is not your partner but a trusted friend, an in-law, or even a profesional executor. You want to choose someone who can stay calm and tie up all the loose ends for the other people you’ve left behind, who may need more time to grieve. You’ll know the people closest to you, so if you have someone you know who will cope best with your passing by being your executor, they may be the right choice.
Putting a legally-binding Will in place requires more than simply writing out who gets what. If you want your Will to be found and respected, you should take the extra steps now to ensure your will is in good shape, so you can get on with living.
Setting up your Will isn’t complicated and with us, you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your own home. Click here to find out more about how we can help.