At Arenburg Legal our aim is to help clients start their retirement living journey on the best possible footing. We know that writing a will is something no-one really wants to think about, but the reality is that having a complete and valid will in place in your elderly years can make things a lot easier for your family and friends in the long run. Here, we’ve compiled the top 5 reasons you need a will.
- Minimise family debate and stress
A will is a legally binding document. Provided your will is valid and complete, it lets you determine how your estate will be handled upon your death. A valid will allows family members to distribute your estate in accordance with your wishes, without debating the ‘who, what, how much and when’ of your estate. This can greatly lessen the likelihood of undue stress and family breakdown.
- Minimise the length of the probate process
The probate process is the legal process of transferring property upon a person’s death. All estates must go through a probate process, but having a will can speed up the probate process as your loved ones, lawyers and the probate court do not have to divide your property for you. A faster probate process can minimise the costs of probate fees for your loved ones – the longer the probate process takes, the more costly it becomes.
- You choose what happens to your estate and assets
If you pass on without a will (known as dying ‘intestate’), the rigid laws of intestacy will determine who receives what of your property. In this context, your property includes real estate, bank accounts, securities, shareholdings, and any other assets that you own at the time of your death. Intestacy laws determine the order of inheritance, and which steps need to be taken to ensure the rightful inheritors receive the assets.
Our concern with these laws is that they fail to take into account any personal feelings on the part of the deceased that may have an impact upon to whom they wish to leave an inheritance. In some cases, intestacy laws can even force the sale of a family home or car. It’s vital that you have a complete and valid will early on to prevent the distribution of assets in a way that does not match your desires.
- You can disinherit individuals who would otherwise stand to inherit
Sometimes family breakdowns mean that you do not wish for certain individuals to inherit your property. Because your will is entirely up to you, it gives you the chance to select or deselect who receives your property. Without a will, your estate can easily end up in the hands of someone you did not intend (for example, an ex-spouse with whom you had a difficult divorce could end up managing your estate on behalf of any children under 18 years of age).
- A will takes care of minor children
If you have minor children (under 18 years of age) or are the guardian for minor children, a will allows you to decide who would be their guardian in place of you. Without a will, the court will choose a family member or state-appointed guardian. Having a will allows you to choose who you want raising your children, or avoid someone you don’t want raising your children doing so.
At Arenburg Legal we believe that being proactive and having a complete and valid will early on can save a lot of undue stress, confusion and hardship for your loved ones in the long run. In fact, writing a will can leave you with an incredible feeling of relief and peace of mind knowing that all your property and belongings are forever taken care of in accordance with your wishes.
As a will is a complex legal document, a number of legal requirements must be followed in order for it to be effective. If you would like advice on how to write your will, please don’t hesitate to get in touch on (07) 31815554 or .