Writing a Will Isn’t as Scary as You Think
You might be surprised to know that over 55 per cent of individuals do not currently have a last will in place. Getting one written is easy and it protects those closest to us, which is why no one should be without some form of written will. It is not difficult to have one written in person or online and get it completed in less than a few hours.
Now, under intestacy laws a person’s property simply goes to the “next of kin” without a will, which would mean that property would automatically transfer to the current spouse, children or other remaining individuals in a family. It is vitally important to create a will so that property can be disbursed in the most appropriate way that that we want and see fit. A will essentially allows us to assert our intent for dividing property among heirs in a legally enforceable way, particularly important when the subject of divorce crops up.
Discussing Guardianship and Funeral Arrangements in a Will
When a will is written, you can include all sorts of information to express your last wishes to the world. Some people don’t know that you can even outline funeral preferences in a will. You can specifically talk about your cremation preferences, burial preferences and any other unique funeral arrangements that you may want created in your name. Wills can also be used to talk about any “last measures” that you want taken in the event that you are hospitalized and sadly unable to communicate. These would include providing you with food and water in the event of a coma or other dire situations. You may also want to think about any legal guardians who you want to appoint for your children, as this information can also be put into a will.
Disbursing Property in a Will
When disbursing property in a will, you may want to make specific gifts to friends, family members and others. When you make a specific gift to another person, all you need to say is something along the lines of, “I leave my antique jewellery box to my mother, Jane Smith.” It is important to clearly state the name of the individual who is to receive the item, and you should also clearly describe the item that is being passed on.
Creating a Residuary Clause
Having a residuary clause in a will is also important for disposing of any remaining property that has not been accounted for in a will. There may be expensive jewellery that has been forgotten to be disposed of for example. For these instances, there should be a specific person in mind who you want to receive your remaining assets and property. To create this type of clause, all that is required is to write something like, “I leave all remaining property that has not been listed or accounted for in this will to my spouse, Juliet. If she does not survive me, then I leave all such property to my daughter, Emma.”
Including these simple clauses in your will can save a world of heartache for family members after you pass away. Family members will then clearly know what your intent was by looking to your will provisions.
Jonathan Gordon is a freelance copywriter who writes for a variety of websites, including a number of specialist family law solicitors.