Writing A Will
It’s not necessarily something we want to think about. Your will is there to provide for your family after you’re gone, and most of us hope that will be many years away. But the fact remains that anything could happen at any time, and if you haven’t written a will, you can’t feel secure that your loved ones will be taken care of, or that your money will go to the people you want it to go to. That’s where writing a will comes in. Whether you’re 25 or 75, you should be thinking about writing a will, and you should also make sure it’s kept up to date whenever any major changes happen in your life. If you get married, get divorced, have a child — all these life events should be spurring you on to thoughts of how your will may need to be changed.
Where To Start With Writing A Will?
The terms of your will may be different depending on the country you live in. In most countries, though, making a will prevents your family from having to pay more Inheritance Tax than they need to. And while you can write your will yourself, you should get legal advice to make sure it reads the way you want it to. In order for your will to be legal, it needs to be formally witnessed and signed, and if you want to make updates to your will, you will need to make an official alteration, or codicil to it. Government websites are available to help you with the basics of your will, and you can find countless template sites and will-builders online that charge a small fee for their services.
You need a will because if you die without one, it can take years for your assets to be freed up for the use of the people who will inherit them. This is especially important if you have a lot of investments, if you own a house, or if you have stocks and shares tied up. If you have children or pets, your will can also tell people where they should go (do you want your parents to look after your children and pets? If this is not specified in the will, your dependants could be taken by the state). If you have a small business, you need a will so that people can authorise payments after your death — otherwise the business could collapse.
Who Can Help Me With Writing A Will?
If you’re not someone with a legal background and you have a lot of assets you need to organise, you may not want to risk writing a will yourself. The first, traditional option is to go to a local solicitor and ask to have a will drawn up. This is not cheap — a solicitor is likely to charge you a minimum of $150 for a will, with the fee being higher depending on your circumstances. Alternatively, you can ask a charity, as many, such as Saga, will be able to provide you with will-writing services for smaller fees, if you are over 55 and meet other criteria. The easiest way, though, is to look into an online will service. Rocket Lawyer, Gloss Legal and Expert Wills are all popular options.
Obviously, the route you take will depend on your own circumstances and income. But the more assets and dependants you have, the more important it is that you have a will. If you die without writing a will, you have no assurance that your loved ones will get your money.