No one likes to think about dying, but since it is an inevitable part of life, everyone should make a will. It’s remarkably simple to do one and it can make all the difference in the event of your death.
Most of the decisions can be made ahead of time and you can get a lawyer to sign off on the will. However, if you prefer, you can also have a lawyer advise you on the creation of your will.
Why You Need a Will
Many people have precise ideas about what they want to happen upon their death, but without a will, there is no guarantee it will happen. If you have children, for example, they could end up with people you would rather they not live with, unless you have specified their guardians in your will. The same goes for your estate. It could be divided up in a manner you would never wish for.
The will isn’t just for your own wishes, it will also make life simpler for your friends and loved ones after you’re gone. You’ve probably seen what can happen when a parent dies and leaves no instructions for their children. The chaos that follows can generate bad feelings and discontent that lasts for generations. It’s best to avoid this by simply planning your will out ahead of time.
How to Write a Will
Start out by listing all your assets and all your debts. This will give you a good idea as to what you are worth.
– Any property owned
– Life or other types of insurance
– Pension funds (including the death payment)
– Jewellery and personal belongings of value
– Furniture and items in your home
– Bank accounts and other savings
– National Savings, premium bonds, etc.
– Your mortgage
– Credit card balances
– Bank overdrafts
– Equity release
Keep in mind that these numbers are in constant flex and so you will need to make adjustments to your will whenever something major changes.
Dividing Your Estate
Who will receive each part of your estate? You can choose to have everything divided evenly between specific people, or you can require certain things or amounts to go to each person. Some people choose to add conditions, such as only releasing a certain amount of money to the recipient at a certain age or after a specific event, such as marriage or the birth of a child, occurs.
You may not want any of your estate to go to family. If that’s the case, make sure you are quite clear in your will about where it should go. You can leave part or all of the estate to a charity or organization that you feel deserves it, if you prefer.
Once you know where everything will go, it’s time to get a lawyer involved. You can appoint a Power of Attorney through your lawyer, as well. Catherine Higgins has the necessary experience to advise you as you prepare your legacy.