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Thinking about the future is not just about getting your money sorted. Its also about making sure that you protect the people you leave behind. This contributed post talks about wills and how important they are to have if you’re serious about passing on the wealth you’re creating. If you don’t, guess who gets your money? That’s right, a lot of it goes to the government, and a small sum will (eventually) go to your family. And perhaps not the family you intended it to. There are numerous horror stories out there of people dying intestate.
Intestate: “a person who has died without having made a will”
Don’t let this happen to you or your family!
Writing a will can be a difficult time. It’s hard to confront the fact that one day you will pass on and your estate will need to be inherited by someone. Taking an exacting eye towards this can help you get this grim duty over with, and to make it sufficiently detailed so there’s absolutely no argument around the finer points of your wishes.
But when, what, why and how should you start thinking about your will? It’s not like you’ll naturally wake up inspired to detail exactly how you’d like the days after your death to proceed. Sticking to the following parameters can help you:
When – You Have Assets Worth Inheriting
Some people have no estate as they age, meaning that there’s nothing for anyone to inherit. In this case, a will is less important, and a note of love is probably the thing that should take priority. When you start to acquire assets that matter, such as a house, a business and maybe some savings, then you should focus on your will. Another important time to do this is when you have children. In the event that they reach eighteen without you, having a reserve of cash to help them start their life in a responsible way can offer some practical assistance in the event of your absence.
If you have any coveted or valuable items at all, it can go into your will. Of course, we’re not so tasteless as to add a minimum cash value to our recommendation. Sometimes the most valuable things in the world have little monetary worth, such as your grandfather’s wristwatch or poems your mother had written in her childhood.
Assign what matters to you, and progress from that framework. You can be sure that this attitude will for sure help out the general matters to no end, and allow for your children or other inheritors to receive the items they truly desire.
What – Anything You Deem Worthy
Anything at all could be in your will. You can also add the details of how they should be received. For example, if you wish for a large sum of money to be given to your children in the event of your passing, you might choose to make them qualify for it in a certain way. For example, asking them to get a degree before they’re given the funding can ensure they develop discipline before attending to a large sum of money like that.
Anything you deem worthy can be a strong case for will acquisition. Even if you feel like it’s too small to mention, it likely isn’t. After all, these are your posthumous wishes that you’ll be giving here. Using the right wills and probate solicitors to craft and authenticate your will should see it being treated with the respect it truly deserves. Shop around until you find one you feel comfortable with, because having the “will conversation” can be quite emotionally distressing.
Why – It’s The Right Thing To Do
Some people choose not to leave a will. That is a choice that must be respected, but it’s hardly ideal, specifically if there’s a sizeable estate to be divided after your passing. Family members can come out of the woodwork and demand a piece of your estate after you’re gone, and this can cause intense argument between your loved ones. In the interest of preventing familial chaos, give them some solid guidelines.
It’s always best to divide your estate up between the number of children you have, and equally. Sometimes you can be more specific. For example, if you have a pet that one child loved and cared for more than anything, then they should have ownership of that pet after you pass. This is a small example in the micro, but you can see how pressing that into the macro could allow for some very heartfelt decisions which will have a positive emotional impact after you die.
How – Visit A Solicitors
Solicitors are the final say in how a will is authenticated. They will be able to hold this legislation in place, and keep your will safe until it becomes necessary to use. If you define this ahead of time, you will also be able to have them take care of any specific funeral arrangements, or at least authenticate the validity of this being carried out.
If you have assets that are valuable, this can be the best way to just know they will be treated with respect. Death makes people react in funny ways, and so having this uniform, legal and valid method of conducting business can help tidy up the whole affair to one more worth of respect.
Be sure to communicate all of your desires clearly. A solicitor can bring in some solid ideas to help you think along the right lines, but they can never dictate to you what you should put in the will. Neither does your family have to use the same solicitor for when the time actually comes. You can choose to have the will drawn up, and as long as its kept safe in a place your family can find it, they can choose a solicitor to handle the estate details later on.
It can be difficult to plan for your will writing. It must be done, and it must be considered with a strong mindset. If you’re unable to face it alone, then going through it with a partner can be important. We’d recommend not crafting the will with someone who stands to gain a lot from it, even if it’s your most trusted relative. Money also makes people do weird things, meaning that you can have your original wishes corrupted in ways you didn’t expect if you fail to be careful.
Meditate on your wishes. This will be the last statement you give to your family, outside any notes of love you leave them. Giving your belongings, prized possessions and heirlooms to family members is part of your legacy, meaning that gifting on these things can be considered one of the most important things to do. Treat it with the respect it deserves by taking time to make your decisions. The last thought that your family will have of you (aside from the great memories you shared) will be how you handled your final will.
With these tips, you’ll be sure to leave a wise and well-crafted will.
I hope that helps you going forward. Make sure 2018 is the year you make (or update) your will now that you know how important it is.
If you would like some help kickstarting your money success this year, I have a free 7-day course you could follow to get you thinking seriously about your money. I also have free e-books on help with paying off debt, and the options you have for retirement savings.