We’re now well into the first month of 2019, the weather is getting colder, Christmas and New Year is but a distant memory and perhaps for some of us those New Year’s resolutions we made have faded too. This year however we implore you to make just one resolution and stick to it. In 2019, get organised and write a will. We’ve written a few times before on the reasons to write a will and even on the reasons not to write a will, but over the past few weeks we’ve taken several calls from members of the public whose loved ones have sadly passed away without a will in place. This article will address some of these calls, as well as the issues surrounding them.
Dying without a will means to die intestate. When you die intestate, set laws will decide what happens to your estate – that’s your property; possessions; money, your “stuff”. We’ve adopted a new phrase for 2019; ‘no will, no control’. If you don’t have a will you do not get to decide what happens and not only to your estate, but also with regards to funeral preferences or guardianship for any children under 18 for example. What this means for the people you leave behind is a lot of stress, burden and heartache that otherwise could have been avoided.
It’s always sad to take a call from someone who has lost a loved one. For the team at the Society this is a regular occurrence, both at head office and at our storage facility The National Will Archive. Usually these calls are from family members or executors trying to locate the Will, however sometimes the call is because there was no will and understandably, they are upset and sometimes concerned or even angry that they aren’t going to receive what they expected or were promised from the deceased’s estate. Having a will can alleviate this as it allows you to gift exactly what you want to who you want, it gives you control.
Making a will isn’t the end of the process though. If you die and the will can’t be found, it could be treated as if the will never even existed and as such you die intestate. Make sure that your will is kept somewhere secure, and that at the very least your executors know where it’s kept. Many of our members can offer you their own storage options, some directly with us. All documents in our store are scanned, checked for errors and issued with a storage certificate and ID cards so that when the time comes it can easily be located.
A will may just be one of the most important documents you’ll ever have so make sure that this year you show your loved ones you care enough to provide for them after you’re gone.
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