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5 Things To Consider Before Writing A Will

5 Things To Consider Before Writing A Will
5 Things To Consider Before Writing A Will
Sun Jan 21

Studies show that making a will is one of the most put-off activities among the adult population.

While thinking about what might happen to your belongings, your family and children after you have gone might seem rather morose, the fact remains that every adult needs to have a will.

You actually leave your loved ones with more work and possibly stress and heartache if this document is not available.

However, before you jump straight into making your will, there is some brainwork to be done.

Here are the top five things to consider before writing a will.

1. Funeral Arrangements

Again this is one area that most people shy away from talking about, but sadly it is a fact of life, and again if you have not expressed any wishes the family will just have to do what they believe best.

How far you specify things is up to you, but the most common and important factors are (a) do you want to be buried or cremated? and (b) do you want to be an organ donor?

2. Appointing Guardians

If you have children under 18, you need to consider what happens to your children.

If one parent survives and both of you had a parental responsibility, then they will stay with the surviving parent.

But, if you have sole custody or both of you were to pass, then you need to consider a guardian.

Someone young enough to support their growth and uphold your values and wishes is always a good idea.

It helps if your child knows them and this was of course what godparents were intended for.

3. Complicating Factors

If you know that dividing your estate is going to create friction or prove complex, you should take steps to get this all logged in your will.

Stepfamilies and children from other relationships are one such confounding factor and can cause things to get nasty if no arrangements have been made.

If you do not want someone to benefit who generally would have done, you need to make this clear and explain yourself.

If you think your situation is not straightforward seeking professional advice in advance is always recommended.

4. Assets and Beneficiaries

You need to decide who is to be given what.

Friends and family can all be named as beneficiaries, and you should stipulate your wishes and not rely on word of mouth and goodwill making sure people receive what you suggest.

You can leave money or items to specific people; you can leave things to charity, the critical factor is you make your intentions clear so that there is no confusion.

5. Power of Attorney

Some people also like to create a power of attorney arrangement at the same time as their will is drawn up.

This only comes into force if you become unable due to illness or age to be able to make decisions for yourself confidently.

This person would, therefore, need to be someone you trust and you should ensure that this is immediately changed if there is any breakdown in the relationship.