photo credit: Charles PH
- Remember your friends. Look around your room. There’s stuff in every cupboard, bookcase and chest of drawers. Some of that “stuff” would make a life-long memento for your closest friends or family. If you don’t tell anyone, it could all end up in a charity shop or down the dump.
- Your inheritance. You may not have yet lost a parent or grandparent, but it could happen. You might find yourself suddenly with unexpected wealth. You’ll probably be thinking of your loss rather than making a will when this happens. You can say right now what you want to happen to money when you die (go to family, friends or charity) even if you haven’t received it yet.
- Pets. Your will can say what you want to happen to your fluffy companions when you pass. This could also avoid arguments between family and friends about who should look after your pets when you’re gone.
- It’s your funeral. Your will is the best place to say what you want to happen after you go. Do you want a solemn affair, or a festival of colour? Any songs you want (or absolutely don’t want) on your final journey? Without instructions it’ll be the best guess of your parents/ friends/ the funeral director. They may not realise that you want to go out bopping to Pharrell Williams or rocking to Metallica.
- Your crush/partner. Even if you’re not married there may be some stuff you want your romantic interest(s) to have to remember you. Remember: if you don’t have a will it’ll be your family who decide what goes where. They may not even know the person you’ve fallen for. You can stick something in your will for them (but remember that love is a fickle thing, so don’t forget to update your will if the romance is more “sputter” than “vroom”).
- For charity. More and more people leave a gift to a charity. Without instructions in your will the charity won’t get anything from you. Stick a gift in your will and your charity will be remembered when you’re gone. You can give a cash gift or a percentage of everything. If you want a collection for the charity at your funeral: don’t forget to say so!
- Provide for younger family members. If you don’t make a will and your parents are still around, the chances are that they will inherit everything. You might have some cash stashed somewhere that you’ve saved or from an inheritance. You may feel that it would be better going straight to younger family members: siblings, cousins, nephews, nieces etc.
- Digital assets. Over time you may have accumulated digital “stuff” such as photos, music, social media accounts, or other “intellectual property”. It might not seem like much but it might mean a lot to certain people. You can say what you want to happen to these when you die.
- Property. If you are lucky enough to have bought a home, you need to say what you want to happen to it. If you co-own: depending on how you own the property, you might be surprised where the property ends up. Your share of the property may end up going to your parents/ family rather than the co-owner when you want the opposite to happen (or vice versa).
- Choose who deals with the paperwork after your death. Dying often requires LOTS of paperwork for those left behind. Without a will, this burden lies with your closest living relative. This could be your parents. They might not relish dealing with the reams of paperwork required: they’d have just lost their child, remember. And if you die in a few years, they might be old and infirm themselves. There might be someone who would be a better choice to deal with this burden. A sibling/ friend/ professional firm of solicitors or accountants.
Younger people who are single, without children and do not consider themselves to be wealthy often think that there is no reason to make a will. Wills do more than just divvy out your money and “stuff”. Now it’s quicker, cheaper and easier than ever to make a will. These 10 reasons why you should make a will in your 20s are a real eye-opener:
Nowadays you can make a will online in 15 minutes for £29.50 for one will or £39.50 for a pair of wills. This will give you peace of mind for you and your loved ones.