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Making a will is not merely a legal formality; it is a powerful tool that grants you peace of mind, ensures your wishes are unmistakably articulated, and allows you to dictate the distribution of your estate according to your desires. At its core, a will serves as the guiding force determining the fate of your assets.
The absence of clear instructions can lead to a time-consuming and stressful process of dealing with various issues during a period of mourning. In England or Wales, if you pass away without a valid will, the government steps in to decide the distribution of your assets. What they decide to do may not match with your wishes, potentially placing your family in a challenging position and disputes arising. In cases where no living family members or will exist, your property and possessions may end up in the hands of the crown.
For parents of children under 18, the implications of not having a will extend beyond asset distribution. Social services may make decisions about the care of your children, and any inheritance intended for them could be managed by someone appointed rather than a person of your choosing. Writing a will allows you to specifically designate who you want to care for your children, providing a crucial layer of protection around them even when you are not here anymore.
What is a will?
A will is essentially a legal document that empowers you to Essentially, a will is a legal document empowering you to outline the fate of your money, property, possessions, and, most importantly, the welfare of your dependent children after your passing.
When should I make a will
Certain trigger points in life signal the need to create or revisit a will. Acquiring property, becoming a parent, entering into marriage or divorce, initiating or starting a business—these pivotal moments signify significant changes in priorities and responsibilities. Protecting your loved ones extends beyond your lifetime, and creating or reviewing a will during these junctures ensures that your intentions are accurately reflected.
What happens if you haven’t made a will?
Neglecting to create a will puts the decision-making process squarely in the hands of the government. In the absence of a will, the courts will decide critical matters, such as the living arrangements of your children. Disputes may arise among potential caretakers, leading to legal battles that can be avoided through proactive planning. A will eliminates ambiguity, ensuring your documented wishes leave no room for dispute.
In addition to a will, you can enhance your planning with a separate letter of wishes. This letter can articulate specific details, such as your preferences for your child’s education and how you want their inheritance to be spent. As you won’t be there to exercise control, a will and a letter of wishes become indispensable tools to protect and provide for your children
Writing a will is an act of love and foresight. By creating a will, you take proactive steps to safeguard your family’s future, avoiding the uncertainties and potential conflicts that can arise in the absence of clear instructions. Your will becomes a guiding light, ensuring that your intentions are honoured, and your loved ones are supported in the way you envision.