Legal Lead & Head of Customer Education
October 8, 2021
If you Google the phrase "what is a Will?" it is very likely that you will find several pages or articles that give a definition similar to this one :
"A Will is a legal document outlining the administration and distribution of assets after a person's death". In layman's terms "a Will is what decides who gets what and how much ". Both these statements would be quite accurate because that is exactly what a Will is.
Losing a loved one, or even the thought of losing someone important to us is something very few people like to think about. It's natural to feel sad at the thought of never seeing a friend or family member again and because of this, people often associate Wills with death, loss and sadness. This is why many people may want to skip this task altogether or simply do the bare minimum to ensure that they have "something in place".
However we'd like you to take a deeper or more comprehensive look at what a Will can become.
While a Will only takes effect after the testator's death, it is a document that has the potential to affect the lives of many people who live on after the testator (We previously defined testators here). For the parents of minor children it is the opportunity to assess who in your life you would want to be the guardians of your children. Having to outline this request in a legally binding document should prompt an assessment and discussion by the parents with their friends and family about the care of their children. Talking to aunts, uncles or other non family members and assessing the suitability of their homes and lifestyles for raising children that are not theirs biologically, is a serious and thought provoking process that should be considered carefully.
A Will can also be a motivating factor to fulfil your goals and aspirations. Remember that you wanted to own a house and a piece of land in the country? Where are you in that process? Are you the owner of any property that you can pass on or are you still in the planning stage? You've always wanted to have a business to pass on to your children, your partner or to someone else, but you haven't started it yet. Why is that? Your Will can get you going on the things you've always wanted to accomplish.
Those familiar with our platform know that in the W&T process for Will-making we have several headings to help you organize your wishes.
Creating a Will can also serve as a financial assessment. Compiling, naming and quantifying all your assets allows you to gain a full picture of your current financial status. Those stocks you thought were doing well may now be worthless, that bank account you left 'untouched' may be depleted by bank charges and so on. Nothing is a better reality check than seeing the numbers in black and white and knowing your net worth.
This process can also show you where you may need to cut back. For example, when you start listing your personal assets like clothing, you may realize that you have fifteen (15) pairs of sneakers and forty-five (45) neck ties, you may need to do a closet cleanse to give away some of your clothes.
At Will and Tomorrow we see the creation of your Will as one of the important first steps in the estate planning process. Use our downloadable prep list to help to give you a "bird's eye view" of your estate. Then use the prep list to start making your own Will right away! Click here for the prep list and get started today.
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