A will is an essential document, but a lot of people put off writing it regardless. It might appear complicated, but setting up a will is actually a very quick and easy process, taking an hour or less out of your day.
Making a will makes everything simple and ensures a smooth process once you’re gone – preventing your family from facing unnecessary hurdles and red tape.
1. Prevents family arguments
There are many issues that can arise from not creating a will. For instance, your estate could end up being divided amongst family members you don’t know, leaving key people in your life with nothing and causing arguments between family members.
When a will hasn’t been created, your estate is automatically divided up between your nearest relatives. You may have a cousin that gets everything whilst your partner who you’ve been with for 10 years gets nothing. Those who have been a prominent part of your life could get overlooked whilst a near-stranger inherits everything.
Simply having a will ensures your estate goes to those you want it to, preventing a lot of heartache for your loved ones.
2. Prevent a lengthy probate process
When a person dies, their estate is distributed to whomever they choose. Without a will, a person will die intestate – meaning the state will divvy up your estate, possessions and money.
This can prove to be a lengthy process that could prove unsavoury for those closest to you. Your entire estate will be distributed to your remaining relatives but each sum could differ depending on where they live. Not only could others get more than their siblings or family members, the money could also be hit with higher inheritance tax.
Taking 20 minutes out of your day to arrange your affairs is nothing compared to months of deliberations from the state. Not only does it make things easier, it also makes it a smoother process for your loved ones whilst they are grieving.
3. You can choose to disinherit certain individuals
Depending on your family situation, you may decide to cut certain relatives out of your will. With a will you are the sole commander of who receives your estate.
Ultimately, creating a will ensures that your assets go to the people you feel are worthy of them.
4. You can make arrangements for your children and pets
As there are no guarantees in life, making arrangements early on protects the future for those you love. It’s a grim thought but a necessary precaution.
An investigation by the BBC found that 2/3 of Brits treat their pet(s) as a family member. Despite this, over 70,000 pets per year are neglected in their owner’s will. With no arrangements made, pets are often placed in shelters and are taken away from their homely environment. However, if the proper arrangements are made, animals can be taken care of by close friends or relatives.
Whilst our furry little companions are important, it’s fair to say that children take a priority. Sadly, over 41,000 children lose a parent each year according to the bereavement charity Winston’s Wish. In most cases, parents have neglected to choose a guardian for their children. Dying whilst your child is young isn’t something you want to consider, but if the worst was to happen, having a will in place could ease their pain. Instead of being placed in care during that distressing period, your children could be in a stable surrounding with a trusted guardian.
Without a will, it could prove to be a lengthy and difficult process for a friend or godparent to adopt or foster your child. During which, your child is in limbo awaiting their future home. It’s a grim thought, but also a necessary precaution.
5. You can make gifts or donations
Having a will allows you to specifically share your money, valuables or effects to whomever you like, including charities and organisations. It’s a final and selfless act that could change the lives of others in a positive manner.
6. You can change your mind
Just because you make a will doesn’t mean it’s set in stone. You can make as many revisions as you like, adjusting your will to fit your current situation.
For small changes, using a codicil is recommended. A codicil is a small add-on document that makes minor changes to the original copy. They’re considerably cheaper than a new will, but they are only suitable for minor amendments. If you’re looking to add or remove huge chunks, then writing a new will is best. If you chose to rewrite a will you must include a clause that cancels out any previous wills, otherwise it may not be taken into account.
The Money Advice Service provides clear information on what to do if you want to make amendments to your original document or rewrite your will.
7. You will have peace of mind
Creating a will is a simple process once you have an idea of where you would like your estate to be distributed.When it’s done, it’s there for life and protects your assets, your loved ones and your values.
8. Protects your loved ones
As mentioned previously, dying without a will can end up leaving loved ones in sticky situations. Arguments, pain and neglect can arise which could make an already difficult period twice as hard.
Sitting down and outlining all of your assets, who they will go to, and creating any necessary safeguards ensures your loved ones are protected. Whilst death is a harrowing experience, the thought of everything being taken care of ensures an easier transition period.
Make a will today and know that no matter what arises, your loved ones will be protected.
9. You make the decision of where your estate is distributed
Ultimately, a will gives you the option to decide who gets what. It’s entirely your decision. You have control over everything you’ve worked hard for.
It’s a document that outlines your wishes, leaves your loved ones with something to cherish, and prevents your family from experiencing a lengthy legal process.
Without a Will, life could prove difficult for those you love. It’s a document that can be changed at any time to fit your current status. It’s one that enforces your requests. Death may be a long time off, but alas, there are no guarantees in life. A Will isn’t a death certificate – it’s simply a precaution and a smart one at that.
The Castle Protection online will builder allows you to draw your will up in a matter of minutes, and for free! Start your online will today here or call 0161 814 7072 to speak to one of our will experts!