Writing a will is something many of us do not want to think about. There is some strange part of us that does not want to contemplate death, and the thought of actually sitting down to write out how to pass on our worldly possessions while we are still alive, seems to bring death a little closer to home. However, death can and does strike many people unexpectedly every day. Just because we are in our 30s or 40’s does not mean that we are invincible and the problems we can leave behind if we have not made a will, can cause massive issues for our families and loved ones. I recently witnessed a situation where a friend died overseas without writing a will. He had always been very sure of exactly what he wanted to happen after his death and who was to receive and not receive his wealth. Sadly he never wrote them down and his estate went to exactly those he did not want to inherit, after a long and messy probate.
The appointment of an Executor
Generally the first thing to do is to appoint an executor of the will, who will take on the duties of carrying out the contents of the will to the letter. Ideally this person will be aware of their appointment in advance and will know where the will is, so preparations can be conducted as soon after death as possible, especially if specific funeral requirements are called for. The Executor may be a close member of family, or a professional who assisted in the writing of the will.
The contents of the will
A will can be as simple, or lengthy and complicated as you want it to be. It does not have to simply lay out who gets the car, the house and your finances, but also what you want to happen with your body. In addition to the appointment of the Executor, you can ensure that specific items can be gifted to certain people, appoint guardianship of children and anything else you wish to happen, exactly as if you were standing there giving the orders yourself.
How to prepare your will
Writing your will is not a complicated procedure. You can pick up the forms from your local Post Office, though it needs to be properly completed and witnessed to become a legal document. You can write out your wishes yourself, though working with a professional is advisable. A solicitor, bank representative or member of the Institute of Professional Will Writers, can help you to prepare a better will where there will be less chance of any misrepresentation or mistake being made. The cost of such services in writing wills from Bradford to Bristol is not high and will enable you to consider things such as inheritance tax you may not have previously understood, which may affect the overall outcome.
Putting off writing your will is highly unlikely to affect the moment of your death. Failing to write one though, could have serious implications for those you leave behind. Getting round to writing one may be tough, but you will feel better knowing you control exactly what happens when you are gone.