Almost 56% of the 180,000 people who die without writing a will in the UK every year, die without making a will. Many problems are caused when you die intestate for the people you leave behind. These include court supervision, too. Therefore, it is better you make a will before dying in order to avoid any troubles your loved ones may face. In this article, you will understand what a will is and why you should write one.
What is a Will?
A will refers to a legal document that a person writes before dying that lays out the instructions about who inherits their estate and what happens when they die. It comprises of the guardians for their children (in case they are minor), the possessions that need to be distributed, how the funeral should be, etc.
However, if the wills are not prepared according to the laws, they may not be considered valid. Thus, if you want your wishes to be heard after your inevitable demise, you must follow the guidelines such as signing the will in front of two witnesses and getting it signed by them.
In case you are not sure about who your beneficiaries (the people who take possession of your assets) should be, you may consult an expert will-writer or a solicitor. This will help you overcome the complications of your estate.
Why Should You Write a Will?
If you do not write a will, your estate will be distributed according to strict lawful rules, which means your closed ones may lose some of the assets you want them to own. Hence, it is best to write a will. Following are the 7 major reasons why you should write a will:
#1 To Avoid Any Family Disputes Regarding Your Assets
If there are not any wills left by you, it can be difficult to divide your estate. This can lead to arguments and wrangles among your dear ones. This can damage relationships among the family, resulting in several disputes. Moreover, it can cost a lot if the decisions are contested legally.
Hence, to avoid such disputes regarding your assets, you shall write a will according to your wishes about the distribution of your estate.
#2 To Ensure Your Assets go in the Right Hands
During our lives, we all possess things that mean a lot to us. Do you want these to go out to someone you never wanted to give them to? Writing wills can avoid these situations. You can mention all your assets, including your house essentials, money, motor vehicles, properties, etc. in your will and mention who you want the beneficiaries to be. This way, your assets, especially the money that you have been earning does not go in vain.
#3 To Choose the Guardian of Your Children
You may want your children to be looked after by someone after you die. In case they are minor, they definitely need somebody to care for them. Therefore, if you mention who you want the guardian to be in your will, you will be free of worries about what happens to your children after you die. In addition, they will not have to go through the court proceedings and get a guardian who does not care a bit.
You can first talk to the person who you want to be the guardian of your children. This way, you will find out if the person is unwilling to take any responsibilities or if they are dedicated to your kids’ future. Wills help in providing minors with the best guardians.
#4 To Avoid Additional Court Fees
If the wills are not written, the court appoints an administrator to decide who your assets go to, who is the guardian of your children, etc. All this may require a fee of about 10% of your estate’s value. You definitely do not want your money to be wasted like this after you go, do you? Therefore, it is advisable to write a will.
#5 To Have a Funeral Your Way
We sometimes start wondering how our funerals will be. Isn’t that true? We wonder who will come and who would not, which flowers will be there all around, what kind of music will be played, everything. You definitely want your funeral to be according to you. After all, it is the last event about you, for you.
Instead of telling your grandchildren about which flowers you love and how you want your goodbye to be, you can mention it all in your will. In this way, you will be assured that everything goes according to your choice.
#6 To Guarantee the Finance of Your Children
It is not just important to decide who looks after your children but also how their financial needs are taken care of. If your children are under 18, they may not get the money until they turn adults. Or, maybe, even if they are already above 18, you might not want them to possess such a large amount at an early age. Therefore, it is necessary to make your mind up about how your children are financed.
For this, you may decide the amount of money they get every year for their education, clothing, etc. Trusts are great ideas for these as they control how much money your children get and what it is used for.
#7 To Set up a Trust
Trusts help in resolving all the problems related to your estate. They make sure everything gets divided according to the will of the person. This is why many people mention about the creation of trusts in their wills.
You can establish a trust in two ways – either you leave instructions for the trust to be set up after you pass away, or you set up one while you are alive. Furthermore, the trusts that you plan to set up shall also mention the financial needs of your kids.
One of the best things the law has provided us with is a will. Writing wills can ensure that one’s wishes are carried out the way they want to be. Hence, it is best to write a will before you die. If the above reasons are not sufficient for you to create a will, think about how you will help your loved ones you leave behind by sparing them the court proceedings in such a difficult time.