An ageing, wrinkled hand slowly but deliberately moves a fountain pen across a sheet of paper, leaving a long scrawled signature. The piece of paper is briskly whisked away as the last breaths of life are taken. This death bed scene is common in olden-style movies or novels, where the wealthy patriarch or matriarch signs their last will, thereby propelling forward the movie or book’s plot. The reality is, however, that no matter how much money you have, or how old you are, it is never too early to write your will. What is a will? Why is it important that you have one? Read on and all will be revealed.
What is a Will?
A will is a legally binding document that outlines how you want your physical possessions distributed upon your death. Your will is reflective of your needs and personality. It could be short or long, contain simple or sophisticated language, or be jocular or serious in nature. There is no cookie cutter version that applies to everyone. Generally, speaking, your will must also be witnessed by two other people, who can then attest to the will’s validity and the fact that you were of sound mind and not under duress when you wrote it. It is also recommended that you choose impartial witnesses, unlike your spouse or partner.
It Eliminates Confusion and Disputes
So now you know what a will is and what it does. But why exactly is it so important? Why should you stop putting off writing one?
One of the main benefits of having a will is that it prevents unnecessary confusion or dispute amongst your loved ones after you pass. Can you imagine anything worse than causing further pain or creating division between your friends and family? While it may be hard to believe, resentment and jealousy can easily fester when it comes to those who feel entitled to certain possessions or expected a particular split. A will may not completely banish those feelings, but it does banish any doubts as to what you thought everyone should get, and consequently removes any potential clashes of opinions.
This also means that the distribution of your belongings is timely and orderly, saving everyone the experience of drawn out legal proceedings.
It Gives you Peace of Mind
A common worry for people who have dependents is how these family members or friends will financially cope on their own. Having a will ensures that you can provide for your family after your death, thereby giving you peace of mind. By writing a will, you are also appointing a person – known as the executor – you trust to follow your instructions with honour and integrity.
Peace of mind can also come from knowing that your wishes regarding funeral arrangements will also be satisfied. For some people, this is a highly sensitive matter.
How to Store It
The last thing to consider is how you will store your will once you have written it. There are actually a variety of storage options available, such as renting a safety deposit box, entrusting it with your solicitor or using a high-security cloud computing storage system. If you’re not sure about the latter, check out a provider such as Your Digital File , which specialises in storing confidential items. Their product also has a handy auto-release feature that allows documents to be released to nominated users in the event of tragedy.
Have you written a will? When was the last time you updated it? Comment below to share your thoughts.