Article written by Jeremy Brooks, Solicitor, Private Client department
It’s 2023 and many people will have New Year’s resolutions in mind. This could involve a determination to get fit, take up a new hobby or focus on a digital detox. We are aware that many resolutions become more of a chore and by February, they can often be abandoned. But if you set a resolution that can safeguard your family’s future, you are much more likely to stick to it. In this article, we look at the reasons why ensuring you have a Will should be on one of your New Year’s resolutions.
1) A Will can provide financial stability for your family
When a person dies, it can be a difficult task to ascertain their finances and how this should be distributed amongst family. At times, this could cause tension that may become difficult to heal. A simple way to avoid this is to have a Will in place. This ensures that your family knows your wishes and can help avoid extra stress at a difficult time.
A Will is an effective way to ensure your family are taken care of financially and for those with young families, you can nominate a guardian to look after your children should you die before they reach adulthood.
2) A Will can protect your assets
If you die without making a valid Will, you are deemed to have died “intestate”. Should this occur then the general laws of intestacy will apply to your estate, and this could result in your affairs not being handled in the way you would have wished. Your spouse does not get everything as many people imagine and this could have a serious impact on them. Similarly, your digital assets such as social media accounts and personal data can be protected via a Will.
3) A Will allows your personal wishes to be carried out
A Will can guarantee your personal (and specific) wishes are carried out after you die. This may include things such as funeral arrangements where you can specify instructions. For example, you may want to specify your desire for a burial rather than a cremation. This provides peace of mind and reduces the stress on family members when making decisions.
4) Leaving a legacy
It is common practice for people to donate part of their estate to a charitable cause upon their death. You can nominate a charity to receive a donation upon your death and thereby leaving a positive legacy. You can also avoid burdening your Estate with unnecessary tax liabilities by including the correct provision in your Will.
The idea of writing a Will, for some, can be an uncomfortable subject. However, its importance cannot be understated. Making a Will ensures that any specific intentions you have for the division or disposal of your property, money and possessions after your death can be efficiently carried out.