Every conversation about wills should begin with two questions.
“Should I have a will?”
“Should I work with a solicitor who has experience with wills?”
The answer to these two questions is short, simple, and the same – “Yes.”
It’s common for anyone reading that first question to ask why having a will is important. If you’ve hesitated for any reason, you’re urged to read on, for a few suggestions as to why making a will is highly recommended.
One Major Reason
The advice that you’ll find on why you should have a will ranges from about three good reasons to 10 good reasons. But, there is one that should be at the top of every list. If you don’t work with a legal professional to put a legally binding will in place, you won’t have control over the distribution of your assets. It’s as simple as that. With a will, you determine exactly where everything will go. This applies to more than physical assets and money. You can establish rules for who will care for your young children. This is essential if you want to ensure that they will go to a relative that you prefer, or to make sure they don’t live in foster homes.
As almost everyone understands, the legal system can be complex at best. Without the advice and guidance of solicitors dealing with wills, the legal world can seem like a maze, full of “red tape” that makes life difficult. When you have this important document in place, you will keep the difficulties and hurdles to a minimum. Without a will, decisions take more time and the process may create disputes between family members. The document also gives you control over what happens to your body when you die. If you prefer cremation and having your ashes scattered on the ocean, you can say so in your will.
Among the most important elements of the will is your ability to name an executor – the person who will make sure that your wishes are carried out after you’re gone. Should you fail to create a will and name an executor, a person called a public trustee will be appointed by the legal system, with their pay coming out of the assets you leave upon your death.
A will affects much more than assets, of course. As mentioned earlier, you are able to provide for children in this document, but you also have the opportunity to provide for a common-law partner. If you don’t specify this in your will, it’s possible that your house, car, and assets could go to someone else. You can also determine what happens with a beloved family pet, something many people make sure is included in their last will and testament.
In essence, preparing a will with the help of an experienced and trusted solicitor will save you time, money, and a lot of stress. You will not have public-trustee fees, and you can even avoid some of the burdensome taxes by ensuring your assets go in a specific direction when you die.