Having to think about writing your will is never a particularly nice experience; however, you also want to be sure that when you pass away, your belongings are going to people you would like them to go to and your estate is being handled by someone you trust. As such, it is important that you have a good will in place that can be written to the highest possible quality. If you are local to the Norfolk area then you may want to consider working with us and taking advantage of our online will writing service in Norfolk.
What is a Will?
A will is a legal document that lays out what your wishes are with all of your property in the case of your death. If you pass away and don’t have a will in place, then there’s a chance your wishes won’t be carried out, not to mention, your family might have to spend additional time, energy and money to settle all of your affairs.
It’s unlikely there is a single document that is going to resolve every issue that you have after your death, but a will is the closest you can get to it. Here, we will break down everything you need to know about your will and why you should contact us to have one written.
Why Does Everyone Need to Have a Will?
It is incredibly important that you have a will. There is a misconception often thrown around that you do not need to have a will if you aren’t wealthy. The fact of the matter is that no matter how big the size of your estate is, there are plenty of good reasons why you should have a will. These include:
- You can make your thoughts about your assets crystal clear. You can show what goes where and how much different people get.
- You can ensure that your assets stay out of the hands of those who you don’t want to have them (such as estranged relatives) as because of the way the law works, without a will, they may be entitled to something even if you don’t speak anymore.
- You can pick out who should care for your children. If you do not have a will in place then the court will decide and this may not align with your feelings on the matter.
- It will be easier for your loved ones to get access to your assets, and their distribution will be a lot more straightforward.
- You can plan to save your estate money on taxes, and you also have the option to give gifts and charitable donations to causes that you care about.
What Should Your Will Cover?
A will covers how you would like all of your belongings (bank balances, prized possessions, property) to be distributed at the time of your death. Also, if you have your own business or investments, then a will can specify who you think should receive such important assets.
A will also lets you direct different assets you own to charities of your choice. Not to mention, if you would like to leave assets to an institution or an organisation, then a will is a great means of ensuring that these wishes are properly carried out.
Wills and Trusts
It’s also really helpful to have a valid will in place if you have a trust. A trust is a legal mechanism that allows you to insert conditions on how you would like your assets to be distributed. These are usually in place to minimise the impact gift and estate taxes have on your assets once they are passed down. This works because the majority of trusts only deal with specific assets; this includes the likes of pieces of property and life insurance, as opposed to the actual sum of your assets or the total of your holdings.
Trusts are also helpful if you have a beneficiary who is underage. This means all of their assets will be securely held and then passed to them once they are old enough to have control over their own assets.
When you have assets that haven’t been retitled in the name of a trust, then these assets become subject to probate. As such, it means that if you haven’t specified in a will who should get which assets, then there is a chance the court will decide to distribute them to heirs that you personally haven’t chosen.
What If You Don’t Have a Will?
If you pass away and don’t have a will, then it’s the state who will oversee the dispensation of all of your assets; this typically distributes in the form of a set formula. Usually, the formula comes out stating that half of the estate should go to your spouse, and then the other half needs to go to your children. This could be fine, but there are other instances when such an outcome negatively affects a surviving spouse who would need the majority of your assets to maintain a certain standard of living.
Other complications that could arise if you do not have a will in place could come about if your children are minors. Namely, if your children aren’t old enough to manage their own assets, then the court will appoint a representative to look after it in their interests, and the family can heavily dispute this representative.
How to Get Started on Your Will
The best place to start when you want to begin working on your will is to compile a list of all your different assets and debts. These need to include everything you own, including the likes of safety deposit boxes, family heirlooms and any and all other assets that would pass down to another person or entity.
The actual writing of your will can be difficult, and as such, this is why so many individuals head over to professionals for assistance. If you would like help in putting together your will, then do not hesitate to contact us as we have a team of experts on hand who will be able to help.