Two important reasons to have an up-to-date will

 

WillNo one likes talking about their death. This fact makes updating or even writing a will an unpleasant experience. Often, people put off thinking about their will for another day, assuming they have a lot of time to deal with it.

Having an updated will, though, is vital for ensuring others follow your wishes after you die. It makes the process of sorting through your life much easier and less stressful for your family. A good will can also prevent disagreements about how your to settle your estate.

Your will is a way of dictating who will arrange and settle your estate and how you want your assets divided. It can set out who will take care of your young children. Your will can set aside money for a non-profit or people who are not family and can even make requests for how to deal with your remains.

Writing a will usually is not a complex process, it’s not generally a fun thing to do, but is an important thing to do. Here are two reasons why:

Reason 1 for an up-to-date will:
It ensures others follow your wishes

Most people have a rough idea of how they want their estate divided and who they want their money and assets to go to. The problem is that with no will it reduces the likelihood of others following your wishes.

A will is an official document that states who receives what after you die. Without a will there you can’t ensure the people you love receive the inheritance you want them to have. Likely your estate will be divided based on law instead of who you like the most. You don’t want estranged family members claiming what you earmarked for close friends.

An out-of-date will won’t reflect any changes in your financial circumstances. Have your recently changed your investments? Or have you recently had children? Or gotten a divorce? You need a will that takes those changes into account.

Reason 2 for an up-to-date will:
It lessens stress on your family

Your death will likely be a traumatic and stressful time for your family. You don’t want people having to sort out what they think you wanted. Dividing up an estate is already tense enough.

And sadly, unethical people might show up claiming you wanted them to inherit, but without a will, there is no proof that is not the case. A former spouse might wind up with an inheritance that should have gone to someone else if your will isn’t updated.

Out-of-date wills can be contested, even if your executor knows what you intended . That might mean your estate has to go into probate. Probates lengthen the time, costs and complexity associated with settling your estate.

Having an up-to-date will is the best way the people you care about inherit what you want them to have.

Final thoughts

You might not want to think about your about your own mortality but it’s important to do so at least long enough to ensure you have a strong will. An up-to-date will is the best way to ensure your wishes are observed and reduce stress for your loved ones. Your loved ones will get what you want them to and not have to guess what you wanted or how you want your assets split up.

If you want to talk to me about anything to do with looking after your estate, or in particular about succession planning for your business, please contact me using the details below.

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