My clients often tell me that making a Will is something that has been on their “to do list” for quite some time. It may span more than one or two lists of New Year’s Resolutions!
After months of procrastinating, I recently updated my own Will to include an asset protection trust. It took a major life change to trigger the process, so I completely understand my clients’ reticence and applaud them all for taking action. For me, it was my youngest son’s 18th birthday and the realisation that I no longer need to appoint guardians in my Will, but my children may need to do so in the foreseeable future!
The law and the negative impact that dying without a Will have been clear to me for nearly two decades! The issues that were not clear and stalled my own progress were the non-legal matters; the emotional decisions that every client must make. These require consideration and discussion. The thought process made clear the struggles my clients face before they come in to see me to make their Wills. The emotional side of making your Will should not be understated. It can be a sensitive and thought-provoking time. But it shouldn’t be an uncomfortable experience – there is a real sense of peace that comes from knowing plans are in place and our personal priorities are addressed. Guidance and providing clear choices are part of our instruction taking process. There is no pressure from us. You don’t have to have all the answers at the first meeting.
Making a Will takes you on an emotional journey. My husband assures me that our marriage is for life, but if I die before him he hasn’t ruled out the idea of being with someone else. So, creating a trust in our Wills that protects our children and avoids them being disinherited if either of us were to remarry is simply sensible financial planning. I might not like the thought of my husband moving on after my death, but with some perspective I can see that it’s just common sense. A wise person once said there are only two certainties – death and taxes. My new Will deals with both!
Moral of the story? It is import to make a Will and update it on a regular basis as significant life events change your priorities. The key is to focus on the important decisions not to get hung up on the hypothetical situations that may never occur. If you are thinking about making your Will or just want to know what would happen if you die without one, get in touch. Our advice is always free of charge – you can’t make choices without knowing your options.
Authored by Donna Hames, Paralegal and Director at Carisma Wills Limited