Children – If you have children under the age of 18 you could use your Will to appoint a legal guardian. If both parents die the guardian could take over responsibility for your children. If you don’t appoint a guardian, anyone can apply to the family court to become a guardian. Making a Will could help you choose who looks after your children if you die.
Property – If you buy or are gifted a property, this is certainly a good time to consider making a Will to ensure that your wishes regarding your property are carried out on your death. This is particularly important if you live with someone, a partner, spouse, who doesn’t own the property, or owns a share of it with you, but you want to ensure that they are able to remain in the property for as long as they like if anything happens to you. You can include rights in your Will to allow for this.
Funeral wishes – Explaining our funeral wishes isn’t a conversation many of us don’t get around to having with loved ones, particularly when those loved ones are young. You could include your wishes for your funeral arrangements in your Will, or in a document to be best to be kept with your Will, to let your loved ones know what you wanted and to help reduce the stress involved in making these decisions.
Specific gifts – If you have certain items that you would like to leave to individuals, then to ensure that this happens you need to include them in a Will. Likewise, if you would like to leave cash sums to people or charities you need to make provision for this in a Will.
Digital assets – Digital assets include photos, email accounts, social media accounts, music collections, film libraries, gaming accounts, cryptocurrencies and many more. A Will allows you to appoint a specific person to deal with these assets and decide what should happen to them.
Pets – You could use your Will to nominate who you would like to look after your pets after your die. You could also include a cash gift to that same person to help with any expenses incurred in looking after your pets.
Statistics show that more millennials than ever before are writing Wills – 27% of adults aged 18 to 34 now have Wills compared to only 18% in 2019. Rather than focusing on what age you should be to make a Will, it is more important to consider your personal and financial circumstances and your overall wishes regarding your estate and ask yourself if these wishes could be carried out effectively on death without a Will in place. The client I saw today was a very switched on young lady, who knew that she wanted to protect her loved ones if anything happened to her and knew the only way to do this was to prepare a Will.
© Atkins Dellow LLP 2022
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