Almost 10 months ago as of writing Susan’s mum passed away at 92. Fortunately she was very well organised and had her affairs in order and had a written will.
It’s why we would say it’s very important that you write a will as it’s enough of a job with one let alone without one!
As much as we don’t want to think about it, we all must plan for the inevitable – a time when we will no longer physically be with our loved ones. And yet despite the inevitability of passing on, only 4 in 10 adults in the UK have a legal will made. This could have big ramifications for those we live behind.
Read on to find out more about why you need a will and how to go about preparing one for yourself.
Why do you need a will?
Preparing a legal will is integral to preventing confusion and errors when it comes to dividing your estate. There are lots of reasons why having a will makes a big difference to those you leave behind:
- Without a will, the government has the right to distribute your estate as they see fit, rather than allowing you to decide to whom you want your assets to be distributed
- It also allows you to leave clear instructions about who you want to take care of your children and other dependents
- If you don’t have a will, any friends, charities, or other beneficiaries won’t be able to inherit, only your family
- Having a will protects your loved ones from the stress of lengthy administrative delays while grieving, as everything will be clearly laid out for them
- It could also save a headache when organising your end-of-life ceremony, as your wishes will be made clear
Ultimately, a will ensures peace of mind for those who matter most, while also protecting them financially.
How to prepare a will
There are a few different options for preparing a will, with a range of costs. You may be able to write one yourself, but there are risks of leaving out something important – there’s certain elements that need to be included. Alternatively, there are online services that offer packages to help you create a will, using a template. Perhaps the most traditional way to get a Will done is to visit a solicitor, who will ask you questions about what you want and then draw up the paperwork for you.
You’ll also need to decide on the kind of will you need. There are four main types, including:
- Simple (the most common, and the one we will focus on)
- Joint (these are typically made by couples and mirror each other)
- Testamentary trust (places your assets in a trust, typically when your beneficiaries are still minors)
- Living wills (this outlines how your assets and you yourself should be taken care of leading up to your death, should you become incapacitated).
In order to prepare a simple will, you’ll need to follow these steps:
- Name a trustee or executor who will handle the dispensing of your assets, pay off debts, and any additional administrative tasks.
- Select your beneficiaries, those members of your family and friends to whom you wish to leave selected assets from your estate to. Should you have any dependents you will also need to designate a guardian for them.
- Include details of your final wishes so that they can be executed by your trustee or family.
Once the will is printed, signed, and notarized, it becomes legal. Alterations can be made but will require additional notarization for changes made.
Preparing a will allows you to protect your family in a meaningful way and gives you peace of mind that your wishes will be carried out after you are gone. And while your loved ones will miss you forever, this final gift to them will be greatly appreciated.
We hope that you found this article Why It’s Important To Write A Will helpful.
Our thanks to Clare Barks for this article. Clare is a firm believer in having a Will made. She aims to demystify the process and help other people see a Will as a positive step, rather than one that focuses on the loss of a loved one
Given our personal experience we couldn’t agree more.
Have your written a will yet? If not then now you know why it’s important and no excuse not to get on with it!
Thanks for reading and if you have any topics like this you would like us to share do let us know