Leaving a Will can be of great comfort to loved ones, as you can set out your wishes with regard to what you would like to happen after your death. You can also appoint people to take on various responsibilities. If you put your requests in writing in a formal legal document it can also help avoid disagreements between family members at a difficult time.
As well as giving details of who you would like to receive your estate, you should also choose someone to administer your estate. This can be an onerous task, as your assets will need to be collected in, valued, sold, estate accounts prepared and the money distributed in accordance with your Will. If you don’t have anyone prepared to take on this role, you can appoint a professional executor.
Your Will can include your wishes regarding your funeral and resting place, and you can also leave your personal belongings to your choice of beneficiaries.
Your Will can appoint a guardian to look after any children who may be under the age of 18 and you can also leave money in trust for them and appoint trustees to administer the trust fund.
This means that your children will be able to benefit from the money you leave, at the discretion of your trustees, before they actually inherit it. You can also choose the age at which you would like them to inherit, for example 25, if you feel that 18 is too young.
Even if you don’t own a property or have any children, it is still a good idea to put a Will in place so that your loved ones know what you would like to happen to your estate after your death.
As you go through life, you are likely to accumulate assets and responsibilities, so making a Will now means that you can be sure your chosen beneficiaries will receive what you would like them to have. A well-drafted Will will take account of potential future changes, for example if you become a home owner.
You can also leave a Letter of Wishes, explaining your choices to your loved ones, and even detail what you would like to happen to your online assets and accounts.
It is a good idea to periodically review your Will, particularly in the event of any major life changes, for example the birth of a child. If you get married, your Will automatically becomes invalid, so it is particularly important to write a new Will then.