It is not something that is nice to think about, but it is important to have your affairs in order so that your estate can be managed properly and to make what will be a difficult time easier for your loved ones with less confusion. This post will offer a few tips on writing a will that will hopefully prove to be useful.
Why Create a Will & When?
First, it is important to understand the importance of creating a will. A will dictates how your money, possessions and property are managed when you die, which means that you get to decide how these will be distributed. This allows you to take care of your loved ones and can prevent confusion and complexities if you were to die without a will in place. Many people think that you do not need to think about a will until much later in life, but it is better to be safe than sorry and life can be unpredictable, so it is helpful to have one as an adult (especially if you are married and/or have kids).
Value Your Estate
It is important to value your estate when writing a will so that you know what you have to distribute. This could include the value of your home, savings, insurance, pension funds, investments, vehicles and jewellery. If you are thinking of an Equity release, some of the plans can be an inheritance, so you should speak to a specialist about it too. Obviously, debts are factored in as well so you need to get your assets considered too, as this affects your estate value.
Choose the Right People
Obviously, choosing the right people to leave your estate to is a tough decision and often one that requires a lot of thought and care (especially if you have a large family). Ultimately, this is your choice and there is no right or wrong answer.
Write Your Will
It is then a case of writing your will. You need to know who you want to benefit from your estate, a rough estimate of your estate, how you want the estate to be split and understand your inheritance tax obligations (if the value of your estate is above the £325,000 threshold). If your estate is simple, you will be able to draw up the final document yourself, but if it is more complex, then you can speak to a lawyer.
Keep it in a Safe Place
Obviously, a will is a very important document that you do not want to lose. This is why you need to keep it in a safe place and have both digital and hard copies available. Additionally, remember to update it when you have a change of circumstances, such as getting married (or divorced) or having a child.
It is not the nicest thing to think about, but you do need to plan for when you are no longer around and have a will in place that will divide your estate as you wish.
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