Making a will is one of those bits of life admin that a lot of us put off. It’s easy to understand why. None of us want to think about a time when we’re not here with our friends and family. The trouble is, none of us can live forever. It’s worth putting the time in now so everything is sorted. Here are just a few of the most important reasons why you need a will.
Having a will makes life easier
Losing a loved one is one of the worst things most of us will ever experience. It also creates a lot of paperwork. When you’re grieving the last thing you want to deal with is a load of admin. Sadly, there will always be phone calls to make and forms to sign. Making a will makes the whole process easier as it sets out your wishes clearly in one place. The alternative is going through the intestacy procedure which involves a lot more form filling and potentially going backwards and forwards to different places to get everything finalised. If you’ve made a will it saves your family from the extra hassle.
It helps you work out where everything is
I’ve talked to a lot of people who don’t think they have much to leave to anyone. Then I start asking them about their house, pensions and bank accounts and they realise they have more than they think. As part of the will writing process we encourage you to gather your paperwork together to make sure we don’t miss anything. Just having the conversation can help you to appreciate how much you have. Plus it all means that you get organised with everything in one place. It might seem like a really simple thing to do but it makes life much easier for the people you leave behind.
You can protect your family
Do you have a complicated family? More and more of us have second families these days. Even if you don’t, there might be people you care about who are outside your immediate family. The intestacy rules only allow for blood relatives to inherit in a strict hierarchy. Your spouse or civil partner is given priority, receiving the first £270,000 of your assets. If your estate is worth less than that your children won’t inherit anything. The rules also exclude relatives by marriage completely. It’s also worth remembering that if you don’t leave a will and have children under 18, you won’t have any say in who takes care of them when you’re gone. Doesn’t bear thinking about, does it?
Are you married?
A lot of people assume that if you live with someone they’ll inherit as a ‘common law’ spouse. Unfortunately this isn’t the case and it’s one of the most important reasons why you need a will. Your partner could find themselves being evicted from the family home because it belongs to your children. If you have children from two different relationships it can get even more complicated. There is a process for dependants to claim for a share of the estate. The only trouble is, it involves more paperwork and a lot more stress. The best thing you can do is to write a will so everyone you love is included and your wishes are clear. When it comes down to it, if you don’t have a will nobody knows what you want. You need a will because it will give you and your family peace of mind knowing that everything’s taken care of. Are you ready to make your will? Get in touch here or call us on 0116 380 0752. Photo credit: Donald Gianatti unsplash.com