A will is one of the most important legal documents you can have, and everyone should have one. Properly preparing your will now could save your estate a lot of expense in the future, and make things much easier for your loved ones when your time comes.
Our clients are often surprised at how much they can put into their wills and how flexible a will can be. Here are some examples of helpful clauses to think about when making your will.
Most people have a fair idea of what they want to happen to their pets, but often they will simply leave it to their family to figure out. This isn’t always the best solution and it’s wise to state exactly who you want to look after your pets, to avoid any disputes. You can also gift that person a sum of money to contribute to your pet’s upkeep.
You may have a lot of personal possessions that you want to give to your children, but you can’t decide exactly who gets what. Your will doesn’t have to get specific – it might say, for example, that the children can agree amongst themselves on what they each receive, but if they can’t agree, a method of deciding is put in place whereby the children successively choose an item in order of age, and this continues until all items are distributed.
People don’t often think about their digital assets when making their wills. What about that online poker account, or that extensive library of online games? You need to consider not only who you want to receive these assets, but also how that person will actually gain access to them. This can be achieved by including instructions in your will as to where your executors can find all of your passwords, which may include social media passwords and digital photo collections as well.
Executors and trustees
Some clauses will always be in your will, such as who you want to appoint as your executors and trustees (the people responsible for carrying out your wishes under your will). It’s important to think carefully about who you want to appoint. It’s common to see will-makers appoint their spouses or children, but in some cases it is helpful to think beyond these options. For example, if you own a business it might be better to appoint someone with business acumen to make sure things runs as smoothly as possible after your death. Likewise, if there’s a risk of an argument over your estate, it might be best to appoint someone who is completely independent of the family and who will be able to treat all potential beneficiaries objectively (and is not a beneficiary themselves).
If you would like to speak to someone about your will please get in touch with us. We have a number of lawyers on hand ready to assist you with your particular needs.
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