Great majority of people want to have their whole lives planned out. Unfortunately, things never turn out this way. One of the greatest ironies is that one thing you actually can control is what happens to your belongings after you pass on. Still, the only way to gain this control is by writing a will. Here are few things you need to know about it.
What if You Die Without a Will?
First thing first, what happens if you die without a will? Well, this depends on the country, but there are a few likely scenarios. If you’re single, have no children and your parents are still alive, then all your assets go to them. If you are married and have children with the same spouse, all your belongings go to the spouse. In case where you are single with children, all your estate gets divided by them in equal parts. Seeing how these are quite simple and straightforward scenarios, if your case is one of the listed above and you agree with it, you don’t have to bother writing a will. Still, if there is only one possible complication in store, it is better to be safe than sorry.
How Difficult It Is to Make a Will?
Writing your will is not difficult. While it is advised to go with a lawyer, this is not always necessary. For the simplest wills, like those where you want to leave everything to your children and you have no spouse or they have passed on before you, you can easily write it on your own. You can even get a will template quite cheap (usually around $20) and put your wishes on paper. Another method consists of composing wills online, which has both advantages and drawbacks. However, if you believe your last will is going to be too difficult to execute, you might need some legal aid.
Think about the Children
If you’re a parent, then your first and utmost duty is to think about what happens to your children after you’re gone. In case where they’ve already grown up, you needn’t care about things like custody and guardianship since more likely than not, they will be the executors of the will.
If they are still minors, you need to pick the right person to take care of them. Bear in mind that this will not always be the person you like the most. You need to look at other factors like their relationship with your child, how similar is their lifestyle to yours and what kind of values they are going to learn in their household. If they are married or have children, you need to look at the family as a whole, not just the guardian. Finally, you should also look at their financial status, only so you can make sure your child will have everything. Furthermore, you should also write down your wishes on how the child should be raised. For example, what sort of education you would like them to get (set aside a fund for it as well), where it should live and what values you care about the most.
Managing Your Estate
As a legal document, the will decides what happens to your estate after you are gone. A lot of people think that the estate entails only your major assets like home, rental property or car. However, it also decides who gets your other belongings, like your jewelry collection, your photographs and even your cutlery. When it comes to items of sentimental value, you need to consider two things. First, who deserves them; second, who would rejoice more upon receiving them. Sometimes, the final will can let you do a good deed one last time. For all of this to work out smoothly, you need to manage your estate properly while you still can.
Despite the fact you may not need it, there are no real downsides to writing a will. Whenever you have a chance to make a decision on your own instead of have it being decided instead of you, you should take that chance. Just keep in mind that if fortune has it, you may live for decades to come, which means you might have to update your will at some point. Failing to do so can sometimes be worse than not writing a will at all.