There are three factors that could determine when an individual should consider creating a will; being married, having children or having a significant net worth.
Having a significant net worth
If you have significant net worth then it’s time for you to create a will, even if you are not married or don’t have kids. Your assets can still need to be allocated to family members or other beneficiaries when you pass on.
At Solon we recommend you set up a will or trust if you have assets that you would like to be distributed to important people.
If you have a spouse then you should create a will. Ideally your spouse should be your next of kin who has legal rights over your assets and possessions if your were to you pass away. It is key to be unambiguous and state clearly in your will if your spouse gets either a portion or all your assets. If you desire that a part of your possession should be given to any other person besides your spouse, be it a business partner or a friend, this should be clearly stated.
If you have got children either as a single parent or married, you should create a will. Naturally your children are direct heirs to everything you have as an asset and you wouldn’t want to risk denying them access to your possessions when you are no longer alive.
If you want your kids to have unrestricted access to certain assets for a perceived purpose you should probably state this in your will. This way the courts will have clarity as to where or whom specific portions of your assets should be directed to.
If you have young children you can appoint a guardian for them when writing your will. The guardian will be concerned with providing comfort and raising your kids in your absence while the executor will be in charge of the distribution of your assets amongst them according to the dictates fashioned by your will.
Reasons for making a will
Having a will is one of the best decisions you can take while you are alive in order to secure the future of your loved ones, it in fact gives you the power to decide what happens to your possessions even after you are long gone. Listed below are major reasons as to why you should consider will writing as a priority
- A will provides you the opportunity to appoint a preferred guardian who will take care of your kids in your absence in case you are a single parent
- Having a will affords you the opportunity to ensure that the intention for the allocation of your assets are executed adequately
- Having a will saves you time through the probate process, you do not have to go through the long process since your will already outlines to the court how you want your estate distributed upon your death
- When you have a will in place it helps reduce estate taxes
- Having a will helps secure the future of your generation and prevent misunderstanding amongst your beneficiaries
- With the power of a will you can be sure your assets get to the right people prevent the wrong people from making the decisions regarding distribution of your possessions
- A will helps you appoint a trust worthy individual who will manage the distribution of your assets amongst beneficiaries
- A will serves as a reflection of your legacy and life interests passed on to generations after you
Making a will
Basically your will gives you the power to decide the aftermath of your possessions and manner in which they are distributed to beneficiaries after your death. Below are few steps to note when writing your will
- Draw up a list of assets with the attached net worth
- Resolve how you want to share your estate
- Optionally you may designate a specific portion of your assets to charity
- Appoint a preferred executor
- Write your will
- Sign your will
What age should I write my will?
At the end of World War 1 in 1918 a law was enacted to allow young people create their wishes in case of a demise since they may suffer exposure to violent crisis, but ideally the least legal age for will writing is 18 years of age.
Can I write my will in the UK?
Yes you have liberty to write your will yourself in the UK but you should also refer to a professional for in-depth knowledge on how to make a will legitimately valid. Optionally you may choose to make adjustments or updates to your will in the future. This official will modification is (known as a ‘codicil’)
What is a testamentary will?
A testamentary will or trust is a will document created to serve as an alternative to allocation of estate assets which allows optimal regulation for the time and sharing of assets amongst its beneficiaries. It is usually created on the day the testator dies.