What to include in your will
Thinking about writing a property will for the first time, or updating a will that you have written previously? Here are a few things you need to consider so that your will can be used to distribute your wealth in the way you wish after you die.
Choose a guardian for your dependents
If you have children who are dependent on you, choosing a suitable guardian is the most important thing you can include in your will. When deciding on a guardian for your children you need to consider their age, their living situation, and whether you think they will raise you children in the way you wish.
Similarly, if you take care of a sick or elderly relative, you can leave money to go towards their costs of care.
Name an Executor
An Executor is the person responsible for ensuring that your estate is distributed in the way laid out in your property will, so it is very important that your will names an Executor you can trust.
Though a family member might be the obvious choice to name as Executor, it is not always the best option; if this is the case you can choose an independent third party.
You also need to consider whether a chosen friend or family member actually wants to have the responsibilities that come with being an Executor – it is a good idea to discuss it with them first.
Make it clear who you don’t want to get anything
Not all families are perfect, and there may be a family member or two whom you do not wish to receive any part of your estate. If this is the case you can specifically state in your property will that you do not want them to receive anything.
Make it clear how you want your estate to be distributed
Working out how your money is to be distributed to family members can be relatively easy compared to heirlooms, those physical items that have the potential to cause arguments over who gets what.
You can minimise these arguments by giving some of them to your chosen family members before you die. That way your family is clear that the heirlooms were distributed in the way that you wished them to be.
State how you want your funeral to be conducted
If you have any specific wishes about how your funeral is handled – choosing between burial and cremation, for example – you should write them in your will. This will also make it less stressful for your family members since they will have less work to do while they are still mourning your death.
Leaving money to charity
If you wish to leave any money to any charities, you should write it down in your will – how much money and to which charities.
Let your family know where your will is
There is no point spending time writing your will if nobody can find it when you die, so let people whom you trust know where your will is stored.