To ensure that your belongings pass to the people without delay or argument, making a last will is as much about your wishes as your wealth. It means that you take the decisions about which of your possessions goes to whom, whether they are financial or simply sentimentally valued possessions. Making a last will is also about your beneficiary’s health as much as wealth. Usually everything is passed automatically to a spouse but dealing with death is so difficult and if you add any uncertainty or ambiguity at the same time then health problems can undoubtedly arise. Companies such as wiseman.co.uk can be there for you to help you set up a will and last testament. The following are the top five reasons you need a will.
1) You decide how your estate will be distributed. A will is a legally-binding document that lets you determine how you would like your estate to be handled upon your death. If you die without a will, there is no guarantee that your intended desires will be carried out. Having a will helps minimize any family fights about your estate that may arise, and also determines the “who, what, and when” of your estate.
2)You decide who will take care of your minor children. A will allows you to make an informed decision about who should take care of your minor children. Absent a will, the court will take it upon itself to choose among family members or a state-appointed guardian. Having a will allows you to appoint the person you want to raise your children or, better, make sure it is not someone you do not want to raise your children.
3) To avoid a lengthy probate process. Contrary to common belief, all estates must go through the probate process, with or without a will. Having a will, however, speeds up the probate process and informs the court how you’d like your estate divided. Probate courts serve the purpose of “administering your estate”, and when you die without a will (known as dying “intestate”), the court will decide how to divide estate without your input, which can also cause long, unnecessary delays.
4) Minimize estate taxes. Another reason to have a will is because it allows you to minimize your estate taxes. The value of what you give away to family members or charity will reduce the value of your estate when it’s time to pay estate taxes.
5) You decide who will wind up the affairs of your estate. Executors make sure all your affairs are in order, including paying off bills, cancelling your credit cards, and notifying the bank and other business establishments. Because executors play the biggest role in the administration of your estate, you’ll want to be sure to appoint someone who is honest, trustworthy, and organized (which may or may not always be a family member).