A will is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your family. It will protect your spouse/partner, children and assets, as well as letting everyone know how you would like things handled after you have passed on.
Here are our top 6 reasons for having a will:
1. You decide how your estate will be distributed
As a legally binding document, it provides ‘peace of mind’ as to how you would like your estate to be handled upon your death. If you die without a will, there is no guarantee that your wishes will be acted upon. It can help minimise family issues about your estate as it would provide clear instructions.
2. You decide who will take care of your children
A will allows you to make considered decisions about who should care for your children. You would not want the court to choose among family members, so having a will allows you to appoint the person you want to raise your children.
3. You can change your mind if your life circumstances change
A will can be changed at any time whilst you are alive to accommodate changes in your life. They can include births, deaths and divorce which are all situations where changing your will are necessary to ensure specifically how you would like your estate distributed.
4. Minimise Estate Taxes
Having a will can minimise estate taxes. The value of what you give away to family members, friends or charity will reduce the value of your estate when it is time to pay estate taxes.
5. Gifts & Donations
Having the ability to make a gift or donation is critical for some people as it allows your legacy to live on and reflect your personal values. Additionally, gifts up to a certain limit are excluded from estate tax which increases the value of your estate and provides your beneficiaries with a lasting gift.
6. Winding up Your Estate
Executors play an important role in the administration of your estate, so you will want to appoint someone that you can trust, is organised and you believe will carry out your instructions. Executors ensure all your affairs are in order from paying off any debts and notifying financial institutions to cancel any bank accounts including credit cards.
Whilst lawyers and solicitors are pivotal in helping you draw up your will and ensuring the documentation is drawn up, financial advisers can play an important part. With a deep understanding of our client’s financial circumstances, we can work with our clients to ensure that their affairs and the estate are structured appropriately in conjunction with their solicitor.
Talk to us today about how we can help create your estate plan.
This information is of a general nature only and has been provided without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of this, you should consider whether the information is appropriate in light of your particular objectives, financial situation and needs.