A Will is the only way to make sure everything you've worked hard for is passed on to the people you care about. Writing a Will allows you to make important decisions after you’ve gone, for example how your loved ones are taken care of, or whether you want to remember a charity that’s close to your heart.  

Having a Will in place ensures that your wishes are followed and your assets distributed as intended, giving you and your loved ones peace of mind and security.

If you’re still in two minds about whether or not to write a Will, here are 10 reasons that might help you decide.

  1. Decide what happens to your estate

    Writing a Will is the only way you can choose who you want your property, money and possessions (known as your estate) to be passed on to. Without one, then it's up to the government to decide. 
    A Will is a legally-binding document that lets you decide how your estate is distributed after you've died. Having a Will that clearly outlines your final wishes also makes things much easier for the loved ones you leave behind.
  2. Decide who will look after your children

    If you have children, a Will allows you to choose who should take care of them in the event of your death. Without a Will, the Family Courts will choose from family members or a state-appointed guardian. 
    Parents can also ensure their children are provided for financially. This could include putting aside money for their education or to buy a home. Setting up a Trust to provide for your children will give you an element of control over when your children receive the money, and what it gets used for.

  3. Protect your unmarried partner

    Unless you have specifically stated so in your Will, an unmarried partner is not entitled to inherit anything from your Estate, regardless of how long you have been together. 
    By writing a Will, you can ensure your partner will receive their fair share of your Estate and you can stipulate the right for them to occupy the property, even if you leave the house to your children.

  4. Put the people you trust in charge of your affairs

    Making a Will allows you to decide who you would like to settle your affairs when you have passed away. Through your Will you can nominate Executors who will ensure all your affairs are in order, including paying off bills, cancelling your credit cards, and notifying the bank and other relevant businesses. If you die without a Will (known as dying 'intestate'), the court will decide how to divide your estate which can also cause long, unnecessary delays.

  5.  Minimise your Estate’s Inheritance Tax liability

    Another reason to have a Will is that it allows you to minimise inheritance tax. As well as the gift itself being tax-free, charitable gifts can also reduce the amount of inheritance tax that the rest of your estate will pay. If you give at least 10% of your taxable estate to charity, the inheritance tax rate for the rest of your estate drops from 40% to 36%.

  6. Leave a lasting legacy

    Often people want to support a charity with all or part of their estate. Maybe you benefited from the charity and want to give something back or perhaps you just strongly support their cause. Writing a Will provides you with the ability to make gifts allowing you to leave a lasting legacy that reflects the personal values and interests you held during your lifetime. Gifts in Wills make up a large portion of charity income (around 20%) whether you leave 1% or more, your donation helps them to plan for the future and continue the work that they do for those who need it most.

  7. You can change your mind if your circumstances change

    A good reason for having a Will is that you can change it at any time while you’re still alive. Life changes, such as births, deaths, and divorce, can create situations where changing your Will are necessary.

  8. Take care of your pets

    People often worry about what will happen to their much-loved pets if they were to die. You can stipulate in your Will who you want to look after your pets and any allowances you want to make available for their care and upkeep.

  9. Take the pressure off loved ones

    Sharing out an estate can be a big responsibility particularly at a time when loved ones are grieving. Having a Will means your family can have peace of mind and be reassured that your possessions are distributed as you intended.
  10. Protect your digital assets

    Nowadays, your assets don’t just include property or money but also your digital accounts and online purchases such as music, photographs or websites. Things like emails and social media accounts also form part of your legacy – do you want the information destroyed, protected, or do you need to provide passwords to your Executors? Your digital footprint forms part of your possessions and can disappear into the void if it is not accounted for in your Will.

Ready to create a Will?

There are many reasons to make a Will. If you’re inspired to start the process, find out more about writing your Will for free during November. 

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