End-of-life planning can be a difficult subject to approach. Contemplating life after you have gone can be upsetting to consider, but without a will in place life after your death can become very difficult for your loved ones.
If you have a husband, wife, partner or spouse, children, or people close to you that you would like to provide for, then you need to write a will. Here are just a few reasons why.
To Keep Control Of Your Estate
Whether you are a multi-millionaire or a humble homeowner, you will have an estate to leave behind after you are gone. This may not be pots of money you have squirrelled away over the years; it could simply be some of your treasured possessions and mementoes that you wish to pass on to loved ones.
Without a will, you can leave behind a mess of paperwork and legal issues, and cause friction between the loved ones you leave behind. Every day, people lose someone close to them and then have to begin to deal with the legal aftermath caused by their passing while still dealing with their loss and grief.
When family members dispute how an estate is being administered after the loss of a loved one it is called contested probate. These issues can take months or even years to solve, and you will need the help of contentious probate solicitors to help find a resolution. By having a written will you can help your loved ones to avoid these legal problems and avoid tension in the family.
These contentious probate claims can also be used in cases of diminished capacity. Many elderly people suffer from conditions that can cause confusion or reduce the mental capacity to understand complex situations. If a parent has written a new will while not of sound mind, you may need the help of a legal expert to challenge the validity of that document.
To Provide For Your Children And Grandchildren
If you do not have a will you are failing to provide for your children, and your grandchildren if you have them if the worst happens. Even if you are a young person with a young family, you should still take a small amount of time to put plans in place to ensure they are provided for.
This is about more than money too. You may have many prized possessions, some of a high financial value and some sentimental, that you want to be given to specific people for specific reasons. Having a will lets you make these decisions and rest assured that your instructions will be followed.
A well-written and executed will helps your family to grieve too and can be instrumental in helping them to recover from the emotional as well as the financial loss. It gives you an opportunity to make a connection again after you have gone, and let people know just how much they mean to you. This can be incredibly important to your children, even when they are grown adults with children of their own.
If you do have young children, you can use your will to leave instructions on guardianship. Your children’s emotional welfare is just as important as their financial future. In your will, you can nominate a family member or close friend to take care of your children and ensure they receive the care and support they need throughout their lives.
To Plan Your Funeral
Writing a will gives you the opportunity to plan your own funeral. This may not sound like much fun, but it is actually a part of will writing and end-of-life planning that people enjoy and often take great care over.
You can just lay out some simple instructions about the basics, such as the type of burial and headstone you would prefer or if you would prefer to be cremated. There is little limit to the number of details you can include, and playlists of songs for the wake and buffet choices are slowly creeping into funeral instructions as people use the opportunity to throw one last party.
The funeral service is often a crucial part of the planning for many people. You may wish to have specific poems, proverbs, a piece of literature read by someone, or even a message that you have written yourself. This can help to make the service more personal to you and your life. It also gives those who are attending your funeral a lasting memory of both the life you enjoyed and the person you were.
By writing a will you are protecting your family from a number of hardships, including the emotional toll of planning your funeral. Make the arrangements yourself and you save them time and trouble and get to say a more personal goodbye to friends and family after you have gone.
To Limit The Amount Of Inheritance Tax Due
Have you ever heard the expression ‘nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes’? This is sadly true, and the inheritance taxes that can be due on your estate after your passing can have a massive impact on your finances.
This can reduce the amount of money, property, or possessions you can leave to loved ones. By writing a will with the help of a legal professional you can make arrangements to limit your tax exposure and make financial plans that will help protect your estate.
Inheritance tax does not impact assets that are passed between spouses, so when planning your will, you can make sure your partner is provided for without worrying about tax liability.
Placing financial assets in a trust for your children helps to avoid excess inheritance tax too. This ensures that they get as much as possible to help provide for their future, and you can limit their access or put a responsible adult in charge of the funds until they are older.
If you are worried about the inheritance tax bill you may leave behind, especially if you have many assets, then you may wish to take out a whole-of-life life insurance policy specifically to pay for it.
Many people use this method as life insurance can be relatively inexpensive, and the policies can be worth a significant amount of money. This can be enough to cover the tax due on your estate and protect your assets for your loved ones if issued to a trust fund in your will.
To Give Back A Little After You Have Gone
Many people make charitable donations in their will. This can be a great way to thank an organisation that has helped you in your life or to use some of your estate to help other people, animals, or the environment. Without a will, you will not have this opportunity, and any excess assets may be swallowed up by legal fees or taxes.
There are many organisations and charities that can help you do something specific with your donation, such as contribute to a school library or cover the costs of medical care for sick children in impoverished nations. These contributions are a great way to give back to the world you lived in.
Too many people leave a financial and legal mess behind after their passing. It can be easy to avoid contemplating what will happen at the end of your life. Begin to take steps toward making a will soon to protect your family’s future.