We are often asked, especially by younger clients, if a Last Will and Testament is really necessary. The answer is always a resounding yes and that a Will is not a one-time document but must be
updated when your circumstances change. For example, marriage revokes any pre-existing Will, but divorce does not. I am sure you can imagine the sort of issues this would cause if your Will was not updated.
If you die without a will in place, government legislation will govern what happens to your estate, assets, family and even children. It is vital to have an updated Will when you get married or have children, but it is equally important to ensure your assets are dealt with in accordance with your wishes. It is worth remembering that the death of a loved one is always hard and nothing can stop the feeling of bereavement and loss, but an up to date Will can make sure dealing with your assets and estate is one less hassle for them to deal with
Here are a few key reasons why you really must have an up-to-date Will in place:
Married? You need a Will!
Once you are married, you and your spouse’s finances are intrinsically tied and it is therefore extremely important to ensure you have in writing what will happen to your half of any shared assets and your own assets which may be separated. Traditionally, your spouse will automatically inherit your possessions and assets should the worst happen, but this really cannot be left to chance. There are a vast array of examples where people have contested the traditional process and made things extremely difficult for the loved one left behind. A Will removes virtually all the ambiguity of your wishes should you die.
Children? You need a Will!
As mentioned in the previous point, it is traditional for your spouse to inherit your assets should you pass away. However, if your spouse dies or is already dead then assets will be passed to your children. Once again, it is worth ensuring this is in writing so there is no room for interpretation by the law courts.
We also understand modern families can be complicated and you may wish to decide which child inherits certain items or parts of your estate. You may also wish to exclude a child from your Will. Therefore, it is so important to ensure you have an up-to-date Will to make sure your final wishes are respected and dealt with in the manner you wanted.
House? Land or other Assets? You need a Will
If you own a house or have equity in one you need a Will to dictate what happens to this once you pass on. The same is true if you own land or any specific assets you wish to pass on to someone. This could be anything from a collection of antiques to a keepsake which is important to you or another person. It is important to get this in writing to stop any issues once you are no longer round. I am sure you have heard multiple stories of families arguing and even seeking legal resolutions when a loved one dies. A Will may not totally eradicate this, but it does go a long way to ensure your wishes are followed.
Want to do some good? You need a Will
It has become increasingly popular in recent years for people to leave a “legacy” in their Will. This is when an individual leaves, usually money, to a charity they have been affiliated with and can be seen as a final kind act. This could be just a part of your estate but needs to be written down to ensure the charity or organisation receives what you would like them to in the event of your death.
We hope you understand the true benefit and value of having an up-to-date Will. Ultimately it will ensure your wishes are carried out, avoid issues for family and loved ones left behind plus provide some peace of mind for you.
A Will does not have to be overly complicated or expensive, in fact, Parkway Financial Solutions are offering a Free Will to our existing and new clients. Click here to find out more!