A Will documents how your assets should be managed and distributed amongst your family and friends according to your wishes. In particular, you can provide for the welfare of your family and ensure the efficient management of your property by a trusted person, designated by you.
Most people tend to avoid thinking about their death and therefore avoid writing a Will or make it the last thing in their to-do list. But those who did manage to write one agrees that Wills are very important for everyone who own assets and want their family taken care of after their passing.
We take a look at some of the reasons why one should write a will in the following:
- If you die without a Will, the law deems that you have died “intestate”, which means that you have left no instructions as to how you want your property to be distributed and to whom. This can be as painful as it sounds for your loved ones, who may suffer financial hardship and distress whilst your affairs are sorted out – a time when they least need it.
- If you do make a Will, your loved ones will find the legal process dealing with your affairs relatively easy to handle and much less painful at the time when they need it the most.
- If you don’t have a Will, you are unable to control the person who will inherit your assets. On an intestacy, who inherits what depends on which of your relatives is alive at your death and how large your estate is. Spouses may not receive everything, while charities, friends and unmarried partners will seldom receive anything.
- If you do make a Will, then you can name the beneficiaries (including charities and friends if you so wish) and you will know with certainty who will inherit from your efforts.
- If you don’t make a Will, your family would be required to employ professionals to assist them in handling your affairs. Their charges could mean that the professionals become significant beneficiaries of your estate.
- If you do make a Will, your family will have clear directions on how to deal with your affairs and may not need to employ professionals.
- If you don’t make a Will and you are a parent of young children, you will not be able to ascertain the person who would be looking after them should anything happen to you. In such circumstances, the courts will appoint someone on your behalf, whom you may not have preferred choosing.
- If you do make a Will, you can appoint guardians of your choice who will look after your children until they reach the age of eighteen.
It is recommended that you seek the advice and assistance of a qualified legal and financial advisor when preparing your Will as there are strict rules about how it is to be signed and witnessed. Evidence may be needed to confirm that your capacity to make a Will was not impaired at the time it was made.