Why Should You Start Thinking About Your Will?

death at the crossroads
Writing a will isn’t a matter that many people want to think about at great length. After all, to do that you also have to think about the fact that one day you’re going to die, whether it’s 60 years from now, in bed, surrounded by grandchildren and loved ones, or tomorrow when a freak accident results in a weather satellite landing on your house.

But while it’s not really a savoury subject to consider, the fact is that if the worst should happen having a will is a good way to make a bad time easier for your loved ones. Here’s why you should start thinking about one now.

It Will Help Keep Things Civil

In the aftermath of bereavement everyone is very upset and often thrown together with family members they don’t normally see as much of. Having a lot of complicated admin to work through will only make that harder.

A common mistake many people make is designating one of their children as executor, but it takes only a second to realise that this is like a sibling rivalry hand grenade in an already tense time. Instead you want either a trusted friend or legal professional to take this role. The important thing is that it isn’t anyone who’s a major benefactor of your will, to prevent  a conflict of interest.

Having the executor clearly assigned beforehand will help to avoid a lot of ill feeling.

It Will Keep the State Out of It

If your family is any more complicated than a straight up married, nuclear family you’ll want to make sure that everything is written down in black and white.  Without a will your belongings will be automatically handed over to your next of kin. If you’ve got a friend, non-blood relative or even a partner you’re not legally married or in  civil partnership with, having a legally binding will is a good way to protect their interests in the event of your death.

The right will can also help your beneficiaries avoid having to pay the 40% inheritance tax.

It Needs Checking Regularly

Even if you have a will already, you should be going back to it every 2 to 5 years. After all, life changes quickly. Children are born, new relationships are formed and break down. So every once in a while it’s a good idea to come back to it and make sure that everything is how you want it.

It Needn’t Take That Long

For all the potential pitfalls and problems that exist with inheritance, the fact is that creating a will that will negate those problems needn’t take that long. Often a fifteen minute talk with a lawyer is all you need to get the basics sorted, possibly longer if you have any particularly complicated issues to resolve.

However, no matter how long it takes, the time spent is worth it for the peace of mind it gives you and your loved ones.

And once it’s done you can go back to happily not thinking about it anymore.

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