Writing a will is something everyone should do – you don’t need to wait. We have put together a quick guide to some of the things you might want to think about before putting together a will.
The idea of writing a will might sound pretty daunting, but writing one doesn’t necessarily mean you’re at Death’s door; it just means you’re organised. Planning ahead, if you will.
The people you leave behind can come up against a lot of problems if you haven’t written a will, so the earlier you write one, the better. Even if you’re as fit as a fiddle!
It’s a way of guaranteeing that all your money and assets go to exactly who you want them to after you’re gone. There’s nothing daunting about that, right?
Useful: ✍️ Make a Will For Free Online
What kind of send-off do you want?
If you have something in particular in mind for how you’d like people to celebrate your life, your will is the perfect place to document this.
Consider how much money you want everything to cost. Do you want a memorial or funeral service? And will you be putting money aside for it?
What is the value of your estate?
You’ll want to draw up a list of all your assets, from your property and bank accounts to your jewellery and other household items.
Once you’ve figured out all of your assets, you’ll need to make a note of all the debts you owe, such as a mortgage or credit card debt. Once you’ve taken your debt away from your assets, you’ll have an idea of your estate value.
Who will take care of your finances?
One of the biggest decisions you need to make is who will be the person in charge of handling all of your finances and assets once you’re gone?
This will be a big responsibility, so it should be someone close to you who you trust will do everything right.
Who should get a share of your money and assets?
As well as who will be in charge of managing your finances, you also get to choose exactly who inherits your money and possessions.
Is there something in particular that you wanted to gift to a certain family member? Maybe there’s even someone that you don’t want something to go to.
What do you want to happen to your property?
Your property is more than just a possession; it’s your home, so it might have deep meaning to you or your family. Are you happy for it to just be sold on? Or is it something that you want to stay within the family?
The same goes for any other of your belongings too. What value do they have? Sentimental, financial or otherwise.
Is there a cause close to your heart?
Often people when writing a will might make the decision to donate a portion of their money to a cause close to their heart. Is there a charity who researches a particular illness that you’d like to support?
Or perhaps you’ve volunteered your time at the local dog shelter in the past and you’d like to leave something behind for them?
Decide how much you can afford to donate to them and have that written into your will as well.
Should you make any changes?
Once you’ve written your will, what’s included in there doesn’t have to be final. There are a whole number of things that might happen in your life which could change your situation and, therefore, mean your will needs to change too.
What if one of your beneficiaries should die before you? What if you divorce or get married? What if you move house or get a new grandchild?
Big life events such as marriage or divorce can cancel out an existing will, so you should revisit your will ever five years to check it’s all still valid.
Writing a will is an important part of making sure everything’s taken care of when you’re no longer here, so see it as a positive thing and get yours written today.
In the links below you can find useful guides from Gov.uk and Age.uk that are worth reading.