Why not make a will is a grave mistake
Benjamin Franklin wrote in 1789 that in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes….
While I cannot assist with tax information I can help explain in this post the benefits of making a will. No one wants to think about death but it will happen to all of us eventually.
Why you should make a will
You should make a will as it will let your loved ones know what is happening with your money, assets and priceless possessions after you die (commonly referred to as your ‘estate’). If no will is made then the law can decide who will inherit your estate – this may not be in line with your wishes and can cause great discomfort and distress to your friends and family. They would already be grieving for you and this will aid to their discomfort. Do you really want that? Is that how you want your loved ones to remember you?
Please note that I am only offering my opinion on making a will and if you have a large estate or are unsure then I strongly suggest you speak to an independent financial adviser or a solicitor.
Reasons you should make a will
It is easy to make a will one way is with a Do it Yourself kit – Last Will & Testament Kit (Do It Yourself Kit)
By making a will it will assist your family and friends to resolve your estate when you die. Without a will the process will involve a lot of red tape and will be not only time-consuming but will be very upsetting and stressful.
By not writing a will all that you own (and had worked very hard for) will be shared out in a standard way as dictated in law. This may not be what you want.
By making a will you will reduce the amount of Inheritance Tax that could be payable on the value of your estate and monies you have left behind. Do you really want excess money going to the State rather than your loved ones?
By writing a will you can dictate who gets what. You may not only want to leave money, property or possession to your immediate family or other friends who depend on you financially but you may want some of your money to go to a specific charity or project that was close to your heart. By not making a will that may not be possible.
What your will confirms
A will confirms who you want your money, property and possessions left to after your death.
The will also establishes who will be in charge of organising your estate and to follow the instructions left in your will (it is so important you have a chat with that person sooner rather than later so they are aware of what may be expected of them). This person will be referred to in the will as your executor and you can have more than one executor named should you wish.
Your will can also inform others of your wishes for example if you want a burial, cremation or leave your body to science (I have made arrangements to leave my body to science and advised family and friends). I hope to do a blog post on this in the near future.
Making sure your will is valid
Your will does not have to be on legal paper or use a lot of legal language. You can even use the following Last Will & Testament Kit (Do It Yourself Kit)
A document is a valid will as long as it covers the following points
States how your estate should be shared out when you die (make sure you have mentioned all your family, relatives, friends etc as if anyone is omitted they may not be able to make a claim unless they take legal action)
Your will must confirm that you were of sound mind and body and the decisions in the will are of your own making. You must also indicate that you were not put under pressure on who gets what.
The will must be signed and dated by you in the presence of two adults who are independent witnesses. The witnesses cannot be people who are going to inherit anything from you (or their husband/wife/civil partner). Why not consider asking your boss or work colleague to witness your will?
Start making arrangements now
Making your will can be quite straightforward especially if you have a small family and are intending to leave everything to them.
Sometimes it can be more complicated. Examples include if you a have remarried and have a second family. Or you may have many friends who you want to leave money or possessions to.
No matter what your situation is make sure you are not put off from making out your will. After all you want people to be left with happy memories and not arguing about who gets what.
Getting your will written
There are many ways to get your will written and does depend on how complicated your wishes can be.
You can use a specialist will writing service which can be £75-£150
You can use a solicitor and the average cost is around £150 but this can vary depending on your circumstances and the amount of work involved
Or you can buy a template document referred to in this blog.
Making a will is not something we talk about much but it is something we all must do.
So remember that by not making a will it can be a grave mistake