It’s not a pleasant subject to talk about, but writing a will is a really important step in your life for settling your affairs and making sure your assets go to the right family and friends. Even considering writing a will is a step in the right direction, you can begin to decide where your property, money and valuables end up, they could end up really helping your loved ones, make sure you consider that.
If you are thinking about writing a will this guide will help you understand the process better and help you write a perfect will.
Who Writes it?
Sadly, writing a will isn’t as simple as creating a list of people you want to receive your assets and picking someone to execute it. Times when people have done this in the past, it has led to a lot of penalties and extra taxes needing to be paid. Paying will writing solicitors might seem unnecessary at the time but when it comes down to the will be required, your assets and finances go to the people who deserve them rather than lost in tax payments and other fees. If you don’t have a lot of assets its less likely that your property will be affected from the extra charges mentioned, using online software is also available if you wanted an alternative rather than paying a professional firm.
When the times comes for your will to become of use, someone will be given your money, home, and any other contents you own. There is always a section to choose beneficiaries and decide who exactly receives what, before you put pen to paper or discuss it with your solicitor, it worth making a daft at home just to make sure you don’t forget any property or people as it can become a complication in the future.
Picking Someone to Execute Your Will
This is the person who will make sure your will is fulfilled correctly, so picking someone responsible is crucial. If you pick one of your children and they don’t get along with their siblings, this can be a major problem in the distribution phase. You don’t have to pick family though if you think there could be complications, then picking a neutral party is perfect, a friend or the bank are good examples. Mistakes can occur in this phase of the will so paying a professional again may save money if there is a lot to consider.
Compensation for the Executor
Naturally, there is a fee for paying the bank or lawyers to handle your affairs of around 2%-4% of the overall worth. If you decide to pick family or friend to handle it, you might want to consider offering them compensation. It can be a long, tough ordeal for them to go through, dividing assets and selling a property isn’t easy, so offering them a little extra makes the process fairer from their perspective.
Picking a Guardian for Children
You don’t have to receive permissions from the person you want to give guardianship too. However, it’s always a good idea to ask, as legally they can refuse the task if they don’t feel up to it.
Detail is Key
When it comes to personal possessions its key to state every important item and who you would like to keep it. It might seem negative but if you feel that someone in the family shouldn’t receive anything that should be stated too, I could be a case that they have received a lot more than other family members throughout the years and this is a way to even it all up. You can even state the reasons why you are giving people your possessions or the reason someone isn’t receiving anything.
Attach a Letter
The will is an official legal document and can’t be used to express personal feelings and thoughts, but you can attach a personal letter directed to individuals if you feel more needs to be said, some choose to add a humorous side or something else more sentimental.
Signing the Will
Some thought will need to go into this, when your will is finished you will need witnesses to confirm everything you’ve agreed to and sign the will to that degree. The witnesses need to be over 18 and someone who is likely to be around if any disagreements with the will occur. Commonly its either 2 or 3 witnesses required and they may need to testify in court is any disagreements escalate, but if you’ve opted to use professionals it shouldn’t occur.
Secure the Will
Once it’s all signed and confirmed, you’ll need to find a safe place for it. A fireproof safe is a popular option and making sure you tell a few people about its location is key to making things run smoother if it’s needed.
A lot of this you can run through in your head, it’s tough to put pen to paper and think of the worst, but if you have a family who relies on you it’s something you need to finalise. Once you made the will you can then store it away and not think about it for many years to come.