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Wills – Something secure to leave behind

Nobody likes talking about the subject of a death in the family, but it is something we all have to come to terms with, including the writing of the Will in order to make sure that your other family members are financially secure in the event of your death. Generally once you’ve had children of your own, you may think about writing a Will but some other people don’t write a Will until they are well into their lives.

Writing a will is something that you really need to do in order to make sure your family is well provided for in the event of your death. Excluding the normal cases of death by old age, if anything were to happen to you to cause you to die suddenly, you would want your relatives to be able to continue living without much difficulty in your absence? Writing up a Will will help to assure them of this.

If you don’t leave a Will
We have all heard those horror stories of elderly people having failed to leave a will, where all of their assets are seized by the government or the governing body – and the family of the deceased have to deal with a massive financial loss, on top of the death in the family. Of course in today’s society this is far less common, but far too much is already claimed by the government every year in unwritten wills.

In short, it is up to the government to decide who is entitled to the assets in the will and often personal preference is not taken into consideration. They have no concept of your relationship with your family members and this does not often work in favour of the family members. In order to avoid this happening to you, it is imperative that you write out a Will.

Appoint a Guardian
When writing out a will; if you have minor children (children under the age of 18 years) who need looking after, you will need to appoint a guardian for them. If your spouse or ex-spouse is still living they will become the sole parents, although if you believe the spouse is unfit for some reason, you can write a letter expressing your wishes and keep it confidentially with your will. It will alert the court to any potential problems.

Naming an appointed guardian is always better than letting a judge decide. Try to pick someone you are on good terms with who you feel confident will care for and provide for your kids. If needs be, see if you can discuss it with them beforehand.

Choosing Beneficiaries
These are the people who will inherit the main investments in your will. In general if you are married, your assets will go to your spouse when you die. Some people might not like this arrangement, or some might prefer that more money or property goes to their children in the event of their death. It might be that both of you die at the same time so it is important to choose beneficiaries according to your individual circumstances.

It can be an awkward and downright frightening concept to think about, but you have to do it at some point so it is better to get it started sooner rather than later and you can always make amendments to it later on if your circumstances change in any way (for example if you get a divorce or if a person mentioned in the will were to die before you). However once you’ve drawn up the initial will, making amendments is much easier and you will have peace of mind if anything does happen.

Article provided by professional law firm; an established company with a glowing reputation that has been advising clients in London and Chichester since 1966

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