What is a Will?
Your will is a document that is regarded as legal. It will set out how you would like your estate split up between your chosen beneficiaries after you have died.
It could also include the type of funeral you prefer, how your valuables should be split up, and any other instructions such as the person or people you would like to take over the care of your children (should you have any).
You can write up a will on your own, or you can ask a will writer or rhw Solicitors in Surrey for help, especially if your estate is complex and located in Surrey, or you simply need help.
According to certain estimates, as much as 60% of adults have not set up a will. If you pass away and you haven’t left a will, the courts will decide on how to distribute your estate, which could mean that your loved ones will be at risk of losing out.
The Primary Reasons to Make Sure You Have a Will
Name a Guardian for Your Children
When you draft a will, it involves a lot more than just deciding how you would like your estate split up. If you have children, you should name a guardian in your will. If your kids are under 18, you should be appointing a legal guardian.
If you do not have a will, a family court will then make the decision on your behalf, which could mean that your children end up with a person that you would not agree with.
Financially Provide for Your Children
In addition to stating who you would like to care for your children, your will can also be used to plan for their future financially. Some common examples of this could be money you have set aside to further their education, or ensuring that set amounts are given each year to provide for hobbies, clothing, entertainment, etc. You can also decide how the money should be used.
Trust for your kids is recommended since it gives you some level of control when it comes to when the child will receive money, and how you would like them to use the money.
Trusts are generally set up in one of two ways. The first method involves establishing a trust before you die, while the second involves leaving instructions for a solicitor or executor to set it up once you have died. We have a guide on “will trusts” if you need more information on how these trusts work and the costs involved.
Provide for Dependents Even If They are Not Blood Relatives
If you remarried and you have stepkids, they might be very important to you. However, there are laws in place that only a family that is blood-related or your spouse will inherit automatically when you have not left a will.
When you have plans to carry on providing for your partner or stepkids, there should be instructions in your will that include them. This same rule will apply to other dependents such as foster kids or anyone else that was relying on your financial support.
Safeguard Your Partner When You are Unmarried
Your partner will not be entitled to your estate if you have not stated that they are in a will. It also won’t matter if you have been together for many years.
Your will can make sure that your partner or any other dependent that is not blood-related will be taken care of according to the instructions in your will.
Protect Your Family Home
If you own a home and you have stepchildren and a partner (meaning you are not married), they might not inherit your house if you pass away, and you have not left a will. This could mean that your dependents will lose the home they are living in.
In your will, you should state that you are leaving the home to your partner, or that you have granted them rights to carry on living on the property.
Avoid Family Arguments or Disputes
When it comes to dividing up estates, it can result in unnecessary arguments amongst your survivors, this is especially the case when you haven’t left a will. Or when your instructions are not made clear.
If some of your family members decide to contest your will it can damage relationships, or it could end up costing a lot of money when the estate is legally contested.
Making sure your will contains clear instructions can help to avoid such arguments and prevent damaging relationships between your survivors.