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When Should I Write My Will?

Preparing for Death

Almost everyone knows that a will is: a document that state’s your wishes once you pass away. Some people put off writing one as they don’t feel as though it is needed, or because they feel it’s too complicated.

Here we take a look at when you need one and the best time to write your will.

When to write a will?

The sooner you write your will, the better. There are many reasons for that and there is no reason to delay it. Writing a will can be quite simple and it’s always sensible to plan for the worst. If you think that your wishes are simple, that simply means writing it will be even easier.

The importance of having a will

Even if you’re young and healthy, having a will can be important. You never know what will happen and a will gives you peace of mind and security about the future. Here we'll look at some of the key reasons why writing a will now is a good idea.

Intestacy – If you die without a will when your estate will fall into something called the rules of intestacy. This is a pre-determined set of rules that determine who will inherit your will starting with a spouse and then onto children and so forth.

None of your family has control over these rules and it may mean that your wishes aren’t met. They don’t account for nuances in family relationships such as step-children or non-married relationships.

Financial security – Your will can also allow you to ensure that your loved one's futures are financially assured. It allows you to control how your assets are distributed and also step up things such as a trust. A trust is a legal arrangement that holds assets, such as money for a child until they reach the age of 18.

Possessions – Everyone has a possession that they care about. In a will, you can dictate where everything that you own can go to. You may, for example, have something that you want to go to your brother but if you die without a will, this need won't be met. If you have specific wishes for what you want to happen then these need to be expressed in a will.

Guardian – If you have young children, a will can be vital in ensuring that the right guardian looks after them if you pass away. If you don’t state this in your will then it may eventually be decided by the family courts and you’ll have no control over who becomes the guardian of your child.

In a will, you can choose a guardian and even reserve guardians if you need to. This not only avoids the courts but will remove uncertainty from the children's lives and make the process much quicker.

Funeral – You can make funeral wishes known informally but making them in a will cements them into writing. This allows your family to know exactly what you wanted after death and removes any guesswork. It can make arrangements much easier for them.

Tax – There are also more complex reasons to write your will as soon as possible, such as avoiding any unnecessary tax bills. In a will, you can divide your assets appropriately and make the rules and regulations work for you and your family.

Make it easy for your family

Dying without a will makes life a lot more difficult for your family. Not only do they have to deal with all of the above but the process is also going to be much slower. A grant of probate is usually a fairly simple process with a will but without one it’s not an option.

It means that the post-death administration of your estate may take months instead of weeks. It also may involve using the courts where you otherwise wouldn’t need to. For these reasons, making a will as soon as possible makes perfect sense.

Making a will

If you don't have many assets, children or funeral wishes then you still may be thinking that it's not going to be worth it. In reality, making a will doesn't have to cost you anything. You can write it on your own and as long as you get it witnessed properly, it becomes legally valid.

This is only advised for the simpler wills but it’s perfect for people who have simple wishes as they can get their will sorted immediately. Here we look at a step-by-step guide to making your own will and this is the perfect place to get started.

You can also write your will with Bequest in your account! We take you through all the steps with a simple process that you could get done in under 15 minutes. No matter the size or complexity of your estate, we can handle your will for you. Our simple wills are completely free for you to print-at-home, or if you'd like, we can even print, bind and securely store your will for you. Sing up to create a Bequest account and start writing your will today.

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