Why Should I Have A Will?
If you have any form of assets, be it money, a car or a house, then you need to start thinking about what will happen to them when you're gone. Having your wishes written down in a will makes it easier for your family and friends to sort everything out when you die without any added stress. It also ensures your belongings are shared out in the way you want - otherwise they will be shared out in a standard way which might not be how you prefer it. Having a will is a must if you have family or children who depend on your financially, as it lets you plan out what will happen to them, who will take guardianship and what will be done with your assets. A will can also dramatically reduce the amount of inheritance tax payable on your property and money.
What Does It Do?
Your will serves two important functions. The first is to outline who should have your money, property and possessions when you die - and in what proportions. If you would prefer one person to have a larger portion then this would need to be outlined in your will - otherwise everything is split in a standard way. The second thing your will will do is detail who will be in charge of organising your estate when you are gone. This role is called the 'executor', and it's their responsibility to make sure your wishes are carried out. This can be anything from the split of assets to the manner of your burial and funeral.
How Can I Be Sure My Will Is Legal?
While your will doesn't have to written on fancy headed paper to make it legal, there are some things you need to do to make sure your wishes will be carried out. Even if your will is on a scrap of paper, it will still be legal as long as it does the following:
Says how your estate should be shared out when you die.
Is signed and dated in the presence of 2 different witnesses, and then signed by the witnesses in your presence. It is important that the witnesses can't be people who are going to inherit anything from you.
Was made when you were able to make your own decisions in full control of your mental faculties, and you weren't put under pressure about who you are leaving things to.
How Do I Get Started?
Getting a will written is actually an incredibly simple thing to do, and with the help of experts you will be on your way in no time. If you have a small family and you want to leave everything to them, then the process is very straightforward. However if your situation is more complicated, for example you have a second family, children from another marriage or want to leave your money to people outside of your family or charities, then you may want to consult a specialist. There are a variety of options for you when it comes to physically getting your will written - you can use a solicitor, use a specialist will writing service who can handle more complex issues, or you can buy a template document in your local stationary shop.
So what's stopping you? Give yourself peace of mind today and get your will written.