Making a will can assist you in protecting your loved ones and ensuring that your property is distributed according to your wishes in the case of your death. We’ll discuss the most important reasons to create a will. A will is a legally binding document that you prepare to specify who will inherit your property and what will happen to it when you die. It contains details on the type of funeral you choose, the manner in which you intend your possessions to be dispersed, and other preferences, such as who should parent your children, if any.
Occasionally referred to as a “final will,” it is a legally binding document — but one that may be void if not properly worded. While you may prepare your will on your own, if you have a complicated estate or just want assistance, you may employ a solicitor or professional will writer. Approximately 60% of adults, according to some estimates, lack willpower. Without one, your inheritance will be allocated in accordance with strict regulations, perhaps leaving your loved ones out.
In this part, we’ll discuss many of the most compelling reasons to draught a will.
Protect the house of your family
If you own the family home and die without making a will, your unmarried partner and stepchildren will not automatically inherit it, which means they may lose it. You might include a percentage of the property or the right to inhabit the property in your will.
Ascertain your unmarried companion’s safety.
You may guarantee that your partner receives an equitable portion of your estate by drafting a will.
Ascertain the safety of your dependents, most especially your stepchildren.
While your stepchildren, or even your own children, may be an integral part of your life, the law states that in the absence of a will, only spouses or blood relations inherit automatically. If you wish to provide for your stepchildren, incorporate them into your will. The same holds true for foster children and any other dependents who rely on your financial assistance.
Ensure the financial stability of your children.
Along with deciding who will raise your children, you may make financial plans for their future. This might include saving for their education, ensuring they receive a certain amount of money each year for clothing or hobbies, or saving for a down payment on a home. Consider establishing a trust to care for your children, since this will allow you to retain some control over when and how the money is distributed. A trust can be formed in one of two ways: during your lifetime or following your death by delivering instructions for its foundation. Consult our guide on wills and trusts to discover more about your options, the many forms of trusts, and the associated costs.
Make a will naming a guardian for your children.
When you create a will, you are not only determining how your estate will be distributed. Furthermore, you have the option of who will look after your dependents. Additionally, if they are minors, you may designate legal guardians for them. Otherwise, the family courts may make the determination, and they may pick someone with whom you disagree.
Stay away from family feuds.
Unfortunately, when there is no will or your wishes are not clearly stated, dividing an inheritance can occasionally result in squabbles and disagreements among your survivors. Contested wills may be detrimental to family ties and potentially costly if estate choices are contested. A properly designed will can help avert these disagreements and alleviate stress on your survivors following your death.
Ascertain that you do not pay an amount of estate tax that is greater than required.
The amount of inheritance tax that will be deducted from your estate is determined by the value of your estate and the beneficiaries. Everything you leave to your spouse or civil partner is immediately tax-exempt. Additionally, gifts to your children and grandchildren nearly usually result in a reduced inheritance tax burden than gifts to others.
If you’ve just married, draft a legal will.
According to intestacy statutes, your inheritance may be divided between your new spouse and children from a previous marriage, which might result in a conflict. On the other hand, in Scotland, prior wills are not immediately invalidated upon marriage—meaning that if you die, your new spouse may be left with nothing if your previous will specifically excluded them.
Additionally, divorce does not invalidate a will, which means that your former spouse may still be able to inherit from your inheritance. As such, it is critical to review your will on a regular basis to ensure it stays current, especially following a marriage or divorce.
In your will, you can choose an executor, or many executors, to carry out your final intentions. By designating your executor in advance, you can assure that you are picking the most competent individual for the job. Additionally, it alerts the executor in advance, providing them with an opportunity to prepare.
Indicate who will be responsible for the care of your pets.
If you own dogs, cats, or any other type of pet, they may require more care following your death. It is more normal to entrust someone with their care and to set aside funds for their food and maintenance.
Protect your digital assets by implementing a security strategy.
Nowadays, your assets are likely to consist of more than cash and real estate. Digital accounts and online purchases, such as music, images, or websites, are also considered to be part of your belongings and may be lost in perpetuity if they are not mentioned in your will. Emails and social media accounts are also included in your legacy; do you want them erased or locked, and do you want your executor to have password access?
Make a donation to a good cause.
If you are a supporter of a charity organisation, you may choose to make a bequest to it in your will. Along with contributing to a deserving organisation, if you contribute more than 10% of your assets, you may be able to save your family money on inheritance taxes.