Make writing a Will the one New Year Resolution you will keep
Making a Will these days is easier than ever and if you've been putting it off simply because it seems daunting, you could be making a big mistake.
Dying without writing a Will can create problems. If you don’t write a Will, your family could face big financial headaches, or they may even row over who gets what. You might also pay more inheritance tax than you need to.
You make a Will for your family's future. A Will enables you to start thinking about issues such as “who will care for my children or who should get my treasured gold necklace”.
Whether you're 22 years old and just ran your umpteenth marathon or are ready to retire, writing a Will should definitely be near the top of your New Year's resolutions list.
Someone's got to look out for your children
Don't just assume your parents or other relatives will step in to take care of your little ones after you pass away. If you want a specific family member or friend to take care of your children, but that person is not your next of kin, you'll need to stipulate them in your Will.
Age is not an excuse
Nearly everyone under the age of 30 (92%) – said they didn't have a Will at all, a recent survey undertaken by The Law Society revealed.
But people in their 20s and 30s go through plenty of life changes that make it important to have a Will – you may buy a house, get married, have children, get divorced, inherit wealth or go through a life-changing medical condition.
Think about who you would leave your assets to if you were to pass away, such as friends, family or charitable causes.
You don't want the Government to get it
It is always best to set out clearly whom you want to receive your assets. If you don’t, then you are leaving it up to the law and your estate may pass to persons you have either never met or you would never wish to inherit (or ultimately it will go to the Treasury).
If you’re separated, but still legally married or in a civil partnership, your ex could get everything – even if you split up with them years ago.
Partners, step-children, friends or charities will receive nothing without a Will. So, if you'd rather leave your property or assets to someone outside of your immediate family or a non-blood relative you should write a Will.
You want to keep the family business going
If you run a small business, a Will gives you the chance to ensure it lives on long after your passing.
This can help your beneficiaries avoid costly litigation over what your intentions were and who has rights to what, and it'll keep power struggles to a minimum.
Make your wishes known
Use your Will to lay out exactly what you have in mind for your memorial service, especially if there are religious requirements or certain family traditions you want to uphold.
Unless you write down your wishes, your family may not be able to carry them out, either because they have no way of knowing what it is you wanted, or there is disagreement among them.
The process is a good one because it gives you peace of mind and enables you to start thinking about issues important to your loved ones and it's really something you do for the people you care about.