Will Writing: What No Parent Wants to Think About

cover page titled Last Will and Testament

(Editor’s note: please welcome Laura’s post on will writing. Having a will in place can save your children and loved ones a great deal of heartache. Thanks, Laura!)

Get help writing your will from Liverpool Victoria Life Insurance.

We all know that we will die before our kids, of course, and we want it that way. It’s not something we revel in thinking about, but we want to be in our kids’ lives as long as possible, and leave what we have to them and insure they will be secure and looked after when our time is up. What we don’t want is to leave our loved ones picking up the pieces if we die without a will.

Why Make A Will?
You’re not required to write a will by law, but writing one gives you the power to make sure your property and possessions are passed on the way you want them to be after your death. If you die without making a will, your estate can be distributed according to the law and may go against your wishes and the good of your loved ones.

If you’re an unmarried couple, your partner could be left with nothing if you die without a will and your assets are dealt with according to the law. Similarly, if you’re divorced, writing a will gives you the power to decide if you want to leave anything to your former partner.

Going through the will-writing process can also help to make sure you don’t pay more Inheritance Tax than you should.

How To Write My Will
Many assume that writing a will is a lengthy and expensive process, but it needn’t be. You can write your will by yourself, but it is most sensible to do so through a solicitor so you follow all the necessary legal formalities and get the right advice on Inheritance Tax. Be prepared, if you decide on how you want your will laid out before approaching a solicitor it will help speed up the process. Organisations like the Citizens Advice Bureau and Age UK offer free help with will concerns, as do insurance companies like LV= life insurance who offer a will writing service.

What To Put In A Will
Before you approach anyone about will writing, think about what you want and need to put in it. Your will should lay out what money, property and possessions you have, who you want to benefit from your will, who you want to care for your children if they are still under 18 years, and who your executor will be. The executor is the person who will sort out your estate and carry out the wishes set out in your will, and can be chosen and named in your will.

What To Do With Your Will
Once your will is written, store it in a safe place and let your loved ones and executor know where it is. If you write your will with a solicitor they will usually keep the original copy for you. You should go back and review your will every five years or after any major changes such as getting married, separated or divorced, any deaths in the family or even if you move house. You can add to or amend your existing will, or make a new one.

It’s pretty sombre to think of leaving your family early or otherwise, but being prepared for the unknown and unexpected can help secure the futures of you and your loved ones. If you have a family you’re never too young to write your will, make sure they get what you want them to.

Guest post written by Laura for www.lv.com.

Photo provided courtesy of mstephen7 via Creative Commons license, some rights reserved.

Earnest Parenting: tips for parents who need to write wills.

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  • Mary Speller August 11, 2011, 8:06 pm

    A great article on a very important subject.

    it is not just the parents either, it is also your adult children. They definitely do not think they will die, and can place family members in great financial difficulty in a time of great sadness.

    The death of my 24 year old son, in another country has resulted in complicated legal issues being sorted out in 2 countries. This has resulted in our family speaking to all adults, especially those with children, and asking if they had wills.

    It is difficult making decisions about your will, but your family will thank you later when they do not have to go to court to get administrators appointed, just to sort out your finances and your children.

    When your children are travelling, and trying to save costs, travel insurance could be the difference between a good ending to an accident or illness overseas, and total disaster if your family has to mortgage their home to bring you home accompanied by doctors and foot medical bills in a strange country.

    Reply
    • Amy LeForge August 13, 2011, 11:00 am

      Oh Mary, I’m so sorry for your loss!

      Yours is excellent advice for all of us.

      Reply