- Posted 19 Aug
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Thinking about what will happen to your loved ones if you die is a topic most people want to avoid, but it is important that you make a plan and then take steps to legalise it.
Your home is likely one of your most important assets so you’ll want to specifically include it in your will.
You may believe that your spouse or your children will automatically inherit your property if you die, but that may not be the case if you do not have a will.
“Intestate” is the legal term for dying without a will in place, and this can cause added hassle and expense to the people you leave behind. The courts may redistribute your assets in a way you did not intend, or your assets might be tied up in court challenges for years.
A will provides clear instructions of how your wishes should be carried out after you are gone. You can use a will to appoint a guardian for your minor children, name the executor who will handle the distribution or ongoing management of your property, and detail exactly how your assets should be divided.
Creating a will
The obvious way to avoid the legal problems of dying intestate is to make a will as soon as possible. Anyone over the age of 18 who is of sound mind can legally make a will, so there is no reason to be without one.
The cheapest and easiest way to create a will is with a will kit, which uses standard templates that you fill in. Will kits are effective for simple situations such as leaving all your assets to your immediate family. You’ll also have the option to designate a guardian for any minor children. You can find a will kit by doing a quick Google search.
The other option is to work with a lawyer or trustee organisation to create a custom will. This is a more expensive option, but you may want to consider it if your circumstances are more complicated.
Once you have created a will, you’ll need to keep it updated when your life situation changes. Getting married or divorced, having additional children, or acquiring new property are all reasons to update your will. The goal is to keep the information in your legal documents as current as possible.
Explaining to you family
While no one wants to think about loved ones dying, it is important to have a conversation letting your family know what to expect. Once you’ve created your will, explain your wishes to your family and let them know how your property will be shared among them. This ensures that the people most important to you have a clear understanding of your wishes.