Aug 9 2011
Even in these times of economic uncertainty, there are still things that we can rely on – death and taxes. While it might be difficult to think about that fact that death eventually comes to us all and it’s probably best not to dwell on that fact too much, it’s important to face facts and make sure that proper provision is made for those who survive us. Dying without a will (intestate) means that your possessions will be divided up according to stringent legal rules and will actually mean that you leave a mess for your loved ones to sort out during what will undoubtedly be a very difficult time.
Making a detailed will ensures that you can choose who will benefit after you have gone and that your property and possessions are passed on to the people that you would want to receive them.
If your circumstances are simple and straightforward, you can actually draw up your own will with the help of kits that are available for that purpose. However, for most of us, things are a bit more complicated than that and using a professional to help you with the task is probably the best way of dealing with the matter of drawing up a will. You will be able to take their expert advice on methods of tax savings to ensure that your estate benefits your loved ones in the most effective manner possible.
If you should die without making a will, your estate will automatically pass to your spouse (if you have one). If you’re not married but do have a partner, it’s even more important to make sure that you have a will and that your partner will be provided for.
Your will also enables you to stipulate any specific funeral arrangements you would like made (whether you want to be buried and where, whether you would prefer cremation or even allowing your remains to be used for medical research). Making these sorts of decisions can be extremely difficult for somebody who has lost a loved one and your death will be easier for them to deal with if you have left instructions ready for them. This is just one of the ways that you will be able to help them to face an uncertain future.
If you have children under 18 years of age, you will be able to appoint guardians who would care for them in the case of the unexpected death of both parents. This is particularly important as you will need to make sure that you choose people that you would trust to bring up your children and impart to them the values that you would have wished. You will also need to carefully consider how these guardians would be financially compensated for bringing up your children so that they can carry on living in the manner to which they are accustomed.
In these days of so many second (and even third) marriages and complex extended families, making a will is vitally important. By making your wishes known and planning for the future of your family, you could actually be ensuring that they need not undergo the stress of the bickering that can result if no clear instructions are left. Dying intestate could mean that you leave behind family members who are arguing over who should get what and what sort of funeral should be arranged at a time when they could be pulling together to support each other in their time of grief.
Even though you might think that making a will is for later on in life, once you have a family and own property, making a will is vitally important. It’s actually part of the responsibility you bear when you have dependants and not something that should be avoided.
This was a guest post by Debbie on behalf of World First. For up-to-date information on buying property overseas, take a look at World First for Foreign Currency where you will find some great advice on what you should look out for before taking the plunge.