What Wikipedia Can’t Tell You About Making Your Will
Good, you have decided that you need a will, finally! Better late than never…What do you do after you have taken the decision?
Well, most people will just go online and Google something like “how to write a will” or “making a will”. If you are like 73% of the population that looks for information online first, you will most probably end up on a Wikipedia page about writing your last will.
We went there and checked it out. It’s a great resource! But there are some very important things that they have missed as well….
Why do you need a will?
Your will is not only a piece of paper that says who gets the farmland and who gets the car. It can be much more – it will provide guidance for guardians taking care of your children and for your children’s behaviour and life. It can prevent ugly developments in complex family structures and voice your opinion. It will can also assure that everyone you love is taken care of in a timely manner.
If you like being in control in your life, your will is the perfect way to do it.
What we didn’t find in Wikipedia….
Talk to your family
The first step to writing your will is discussing it with your spouse and children if they are adults. It is not pleasant to discuss death but it is inevitable, and it will allow you find out how everyone feels about the family assets and estates.
You might find out that the asset distribution you had in mind is not what everyone wants. By talking to your family you avoid future disputes and family conflicts.
Choose a guardian
If you have small children, this is a crucial point in your will. Decide on a guardian together with your spouse and have a long discussion with the person of your choice. They need to be ready to take on the guardian responsibilities.
In addition, don’t forget to leave an amount that will suffice for the guardian to take care of your children.
Choose an executor
The executor is the person that will be responsible for fulfilling the will. This is most of the time your trusted lawyer. She will make sure that everyone is taken care of in the way you wanted.
You can choose an executor that is not a lawyer as well – a family member or a friend. Don’t ignore the fact that the role of the executor is not an easy or pleasant one. Discuss with your preferred executor what will be required of them and make sure they are capable of completing your final wishes.
Choose the right age
When your children inherit your assets, the state decides when they will receive their inheritance. It can be as young as 18 years old.
You can draft a will in which your children receive partial amounts of their inheritance as they reach a certain age or when other events in their life occur as graduating college or getting married. In the meantime, the executor of the will makes sure that their living expenses are provided for.
Write a letter of wishes
This is your last chance to have a say in what happens with your grandma’s ring or your family portrait. A will is not only about money; it is about being sentimental and leaving a trace in people’s lives.
Tell your family how you feel about your possessions and about their behaviour. Tell your children what sort of people you want them to grow up to be.
Your letter of wishes may or may not be part of the will. It is a way to raise your voice for one last time while staying involved in your family’s life.
Wikipedia can give you a lot of technical and legal information but it can’t write your will. But your lawyer can help you do it! If you have been putting off writing your will because you don’t have a lawyer, we are here to help!
Worries about how much it will cost? Ask us, and you might be surprised!