What Is The Purpose Of A Will?
A will is a legal document that sets out what you want to happen to your belongings when you pass away
Dealing with a will is something that people tend to put off
It’s not a nice thought and it is understandable that you want to keep it at the back of your mind for as long as possible. There are many reasons people give for putting it off: fears of morbidity or the feeling that you don’t really have that much to leave behind are just a couple of reasons that all too many people neglect to write a will.
However, if you pass away without a will, the assets that you own will be out of your (and your family’s) control and your belongings might end up in the possession of someone that you or your family would not have wanted. They could be distributed as decided by a court of law who may have very different ideas as to who should inherit what. This could leave the most important people in your life with nothing. This would mean an expensive and stressful legal battle if they were to recoup the things that they know you wanted them to have.
There is no reason for this to be the case in this day and age when in most cases, writing a will is fairly easy to do, taking up very little of your time and being quite a simple process. You are well within your rights to leave anything you own to whoever you like. Your solicitor will advise you on how to set it all out so your wishes are clear and easy to understand after which you can have peace of mind and your loved ones will have no worries when you have gone.
How Does a Will Work?
When you make a Will, you name the people that you would like to take ownership of your belongings when you die. These people become your Beneficiaries. Anyone can become a beneficiary and you can have as many as you like, distributing amongst them your possessions as you see fit. There are no restrictions as to who you can choose. Some people without families (and some with), leave their assets to charities or other individuals and organisations. We have all heard the stories of a great aunt who fell out with her family and left her fortune to the cats home. And yes, this is allowed too.
You can choose to leave specific percentages of your Estate to a Beneficiary or you can leave specific items to certain people. Certain pieces of jewellery might be sentimental to particular people and your car might be best suited to another. It is entirely up to you who gets what. Although this can only be shared out the way you wish if you have written a will. If you want to leave a particular amount to your grandchildren that you want to be distributed equally, it’s best not to name them all individually. If more grandchildren come along they would not be named in the Will and would not get anything if you don’t get around to updating your will after they are born.