Why you should think about making a will

Last will and testament

Why you should think about making a will – even if you’re only 30

When you think about your future, is making a will part of your plan? If not, you’re not alone. In the UK, research has shown that 59% of parents don’t have a will and 5.4 million adults wouldn’t know where to begin with writing one. Meanwhile, in the US, it’s been found that 78% of millennials and 64% of Gen Xers don’t have one.

So why is it important to make a plan for your estate after you’re gone?

Your kids will be taken care of

One of the most important reasons to make a will is to ensure your kids are looked after if the worst were to happen and they were left without their parents. You can set out who you want to appoint as guardian to your underage children.  This ensures that they’ll be taken care of. It’s worth naming an alternate too.  In case something happens to your chosen guardian and they’re unable to take on the responsibility.

What if you die without a will – known as dying intestate?  The courts will take on the responsibility of appointing a guardian for your children. When the situation revolves around something as important as your children’s lives, it’s essential you make the right choice – and that you make this known by leaving the information in a legally valid will.

You can leave your assets to the right people

You’ve worked hard for what you have. This is why you need to make sure it isn’t left to the wrong people. If you die without a will, it’s then left to the government to distribute your assets. And this may not be according to your wishes. Your immediate family members will likely receive the vast majority of your assets.  If you want to leave something to someone outside of this group, you’ll have to state this explicitly in a will.

You may also need to think about making a will if your relationship comes to an end. If you don’t have one in place and the worst happens before the finalisation is legal, you run the risk of everything being passed to your spouse – even if that isn’t your wish.

You’ll ease the stress for your family

Your family is going to have to deal with a huge amount of stress when the time eventually comes. You don’t want to add to this by leaving them to work out what you may have wanted to do with your estate.

Even the closest families can be torn apart by the disagreements that come from uncertainty and grief. By making a will and making your wishes known to everyone, you can help your loved ones start to heal sooner.

You can set out a social media policy

In today’s world, we all have digital accounts and social media profiles. Although they may not be a physical asset, you own yours all the same. This is why it’s important to establish what you want to happen to your accounts after your death.

You can name someone you want to leave responsible for your accounts and state what you’d like to happen with them. You may want them closed and removed or you may want them to remain as a memorial page, for example. All you have to do is leave instructions on how to access your accounts and what to do with them in your will.

Ensure your will is legally valid

When you do decide to go ahead with making a will, it’s vital to ensure it’s legally valid. Going through the process of setting one up only for your family to find it won’t be legally upheld will only lead to more stress at what’s already a taxing time.

This is where specialist wills, estate and probate lawyers can prove an invaluable help. They’ll make sure you’ve included everything you need to in your will.  They will ensure that it’s witnessed by the right people and that it’s legally valid.

Once you’ve made your will – and made sure it follows the letter of the law – you should update it regularly. This will ensure everything is up to date and you can still rely on the people you’ve named in it.

So although you may not see making a will as a priority right now, it should be. You already have so many aspects to your life that not having one in place will just lead to confusion and anxiety for your family. If you can make things easier for them, why wouldn’t you?