Do I really need a will? 5 reasons over 35s should take control of the future of their estate
Let’s be honest, our own mortality is not something we want to give a lot of thought to, particularly when we’ve still got (relative) youth on our side. But death, whether sudden or through illness, is a potential reality, no matter what our age or stage in life.
Hello from the other side
You might consider that there’s not a lot you can do about what happens in the living world after you’re gone. Hey, it’s not your problem anymore! But the reality is that those decisions suddenly fall to those left behind. In the aftermath of your passing, there are a lot of decisions to be made, by loved ones that may not be in the right headspace to have to be making them. Not to mention that they could be subjected to lengthy and costly delays while the courts decide on your behalf instead.
That is, of course, unless you have already taken control of what might happen in the event of your untimely passing with a will, sparing loved-ones anguish and ensuring your own wishes are fulfilled.
What is a will?
A will is a legally binding document that controls how your assets are distributed, who controls your estate, and what happens to the things (or people) you love the most. This is especially critical if you have dependents.
Do I really need one?
Don’t think you’ve got enough assets earth-side to be concerned about who receives your small-figure savings? Well, a will is still relevant. Even if you don’t have a lot of wealth or physical assets, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a say in what happens after your death, such as your funeral or burial arrangements, or who looks after your cats, inherits your shoe collection or deletes your browser history.
Does it still sound like paperwork you could do without? While everyone’s situation and priorities are different, here are 5 reasons that might just convince you to take care of it sooner rather than later:
You have a say in how your estate will be distributed: Not everyone wants to leave their estate to immediate family, or to have it distributed equally. If you die without outlining your wishes, you potentially leave behind a contentious situation for your family to decide the who/what/when of what happens.
You don’t want to leave your children’s future to chance: In the absence of another guardian, without a will, the courts will appoint a family member or state-appointed guardian. It’s important to assert your wishes on who should take responsibility for raising them - for their sake more than yours.
You’ll decide who tidies up loose ends: If your death is unexpected, there will be plenty of tasks that will need to be taken care of - things like paying bills, cancelling credit cards, automatic payments, memberships or subscriptions, closing bank accounts or dealing with other everyday administration. Through a will you can appoint someone trustworthy and honest to ensure it all gets taken care of.
You can disinherit those you’d rather didn’t benefit: For whatever reason, there may be person(s) who you’d rather didn’t benefit from your estate, who otherwise could. Without stipulating this, your assets could end up in the hands of those you’d rather leave out and create challenges for those who are otherwise entitled.
You can leave a legacy: Whether you have direct beneficiaries or not, you might decide that instead you’d like to gift part or all of your estate to an organisation that aligns with your values or passions. This is particularly common for those with few blood related relatives or dependents.
Circumstances in life change - births, deaths, marriages and divorce - which can impact our priorities. It’s important to have a binding record of who you hope to benefit from your estate or have access to your affairs that align with your current situation.
Don’t leave this realisation too late - no matter your age. Even covering off the basics is better than nothing at all, and getting started doesn’t have to be a costly undertaking. Book a complimentary consultation with KeyStone, we can come up with a personalised insurance plan to take care of the unexpected in life. For a limited time, you can have your will written for free* when you take out insurance with us. Save your family additional stress at an emotional time, and ensure those you love the most won’t be faced with litigious and potentially heartbreaking situations by outlining your wishes before it’s too late to have a say.