Having a will is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your loved ones
A will is a legal document that outlines how you want your assets to be distributed after you pass away, and it can also appoint a guardian for your children in the event of your death. Without a will, the state will decide how your assets are divided and who takes care of your children, which may not align with your wishes.
But a will is not a one-and-done document. Life is constantly changing, and your will should reflect that. It’s important to review and update your will regularly to ensure it accurately reflects your current wishes and circumstances.
Here are some key reasons why having a will and keeping it updated is so important:
- A will allows you to make your own decisions about who will inherit your assets and take care of your children, rather than leaving it up to the state. If you don’t have a will, your assets will be distributed according to the law, which may not align with your wishes. This can lead to disputes among your loved ones and cause unnecessary stress and heartache.
- Probate is the legal process of administering a person’s estate after they die. If you have a will, it can help expedite the probate process and make it smoother for your loved ones. If you don’t have a will, the probate process can be more lengthy and costly than it needs to be.
- A will allows you to specify exactly how you want your assets to be distributed, rather than leaving it to chance. This is especially important if you have specific wishes for how your assets should be used, such as charitable donations or providing for a loved one with special needs.
- A will can also include provisions for things like funeral arrangements, organ donation, and the disposition of pets. It’s a way to make your wishes known and ensure they are carried out after you’re gone.
- Having a will can save your loved ones time and money in the long run. It can reduce the likelihood of legal disputes and help ensure that your assets are distributed efficiently.
So, how do you create a will and keep it updated? Here are some steps to follow:
- Make a list of all your assets, including real estate, personal property, financial accounts, and any debts you may have.
- An executor is the person who will carry out the provisions of your will. Choose someone you trust and who is capable of handling this responsibility.
- Beneficiaries are the people or organisations who will inherit your assets. Consider your loved ones, as well as any charities or causes that are important to you.
- While it is technically possible to create a will on your own, it’s a good idea to consult with a solicitor. Such an important document should not be penned by amateur hands. You should ensure that your will is legally binding and meets all the necessary requirements.
- As mentioned, it’s important to review and update your will regularly to ensure it accurately reflects your current wishes and circumstances. Major life events, such as the birth of a child, getting married or divorced, or the death of a beneficiary, are all reasons to update your will. Some major life events completely revoke a will. For example, marriage or divorce. When this happens, a new and updated will is necessary.
Having a will and keeping it updated is crucial for protecting your loved ones and ensuring that your assets are distributed according to your wishes. Don’t put it off any longer. Take the time to create or update a will and ensure that your loved ones are taken care of after you’re gone.