A will, officially known as a last will and testament, is a document that outlines what should happen after you pass away. While this is a grim topic to think about, and nobody likes to think about it, it is necessary to have a will in place to make sure you are happy with what happens to your legacy.
But organising a will can be difficult, and it can be nearly impossible to cover everything if you don’t have legal advice. We’d always advise getting help from legal professionals such as Brodies when organising a will.
With that said, here are seven reasons you should get a will organised.
Decide What Will Happen With Your Estate
Your estate is, in essence, everything that you own, and it is all your assets, both liquid and physical. Without a will to name a person responsible for looking after your estate after you pass away, it can be difficult and lengthy to divide it amongst your heirs.
In the writing of your will, you can name an executor who will be in charge of your estate and see all your affairs after you are gone.
Without naming an executor, the court in your region will nominate one for you.
Take Away The Stress Of Your Passing
With a last will and testament in place to orchestrate handling your affairs after you pass away, it takes away a lot of stress from the loved ones you’ll leave behind.
Not only will this make the process of grieving a lot easier for your loved ones, but it will save them a lot of time and money too.
Every single estate left behind by a person that passes on goes to court to get distributed between heirs. A will can make this process easier and less complicated for everyone involved.
Choose Who Will Look After Any Minors
In the tragic event that you pass away with a minor in your care, a last will and testament can outline whom you wish these caring responsibilities to be passed onto.
Obviously, the named person needs to be fit and, in a situation, support a minor, but all this is considered. Your first choice, named in a last will and testament, will most likely be the person that will care for your minors.
This person will be called the minor’s guardian and will remain so until the minor becomes of legal age to look after themselves.
Choose Who Will Look After Any Pets
Like minors under your care, a last will and testament will also name who will look after any pets in your care. A pet is considered property under the law, so things can get complicated if a person isn’t named to look after them when you pass away.
You can also nominate a stipend of funds to accompany your pet to ensure the named person or loved one has enough money to look after them.
Minimise The Potential For Disputes
While nobody likes to think about their family getting into disputes over who should get what, it does, unfortunately, happen. Having a last will and testament in place is a great way to keep disputes to a minimum, as it will outline exactly what you want to be done with your assets and estate after you pass away.
This is important for several reasons, such as; keeping the proceedings civil, saving time and saving money.
Outline Funeral Instructions
This is a very critical function of a last will and testament. If you have specific requirements for your funeral proceedings, be it personal, religious, or otherwise, then a will can help you accomplish these instructions after you pass away.
You can also outline any services you have pre-paid for or the funds that should be spent on your funeral costs to avoid your loved ones paying these fees.
You can also name a person who will be in charge of organising your funeral.
It is important to note that these wants won’t be legally binding or enforceable, but they will provide those organising your funeral guidelines to follow.
Provide Instructions For Any Digital Assets
It’s the 21st century now, so what happens to all your digital assets after you pass away? What about any cryptocurrency you have, online accounts you’ve made, websites you’ve built or any photos or videos of you that remain online?
In a last will and testament, you can clarify what you want to be done with all of these assets. It may not be at the top of your list, but it is something to consider.
There are so many aspects you can control through a last will and testament that haven’t been covered here; this is by no means a complete list – but it acts as a good starting point.
As a final tip, always consult a legal professional when writing a will!