Six Reasons You Should Make a Will
We all remember the touching funeral scene in ‘Love Actually’. In a moving tribute, Liam Neeson’s character makes the eulogy for his late wife. He tells the assembled mourners that ‘there were requests she was pretty clear about. She’s going to say her final farewell to you, ever so coolly, through the Bay City Rollers.’ The song ‘Bye, Bye Baby’ rings throughout the church, her loved ones smile, and it’s obvious to everyone that his late wife had a sense of humour. It’s also evident that she had wanted to do things her way.
It’s a touching scene that shows what’s possible when someone has clarified their wishes after they die. From deciding what song you want to play at your funeral to who receives your assets, making a will is as important as any other decision about your future.
1. Family Harmony
In the scene from ‘Love Actually,’ Neeson’s character finds solace in granting his wife’s wishes. You can also give your loved one peace of mind by making a will.
If people don’t have to guess what you would have wished, there is less room for tension between relatives who have different assumptions. Think of it as not only a gift to yourself but your family.
2. Avoid Unnecessary Inheritance Tax
Inheritance Tax is calculated based on your assets and to who you decide to give those assets to. If you leave your assets to people other than family members, this can impact how much Inheritance Tax you pay.
Suppose you fail to make a will and haven’t stated who receives your estate. In that case, the state-appointed executor determines the distribution of assets. You may therefore lose money that could have remained in the family.
3. Give Sentimental Items to Those Who Value Them
Making a will allows you to be specific. Wills aren’t solely about money. You may wish to make personal choices regarding items of sentimental value. This way, you can make your inheritance unique.
As mentioned earlier, this also improves family harmony. No one wants to make unseemly grabs for personal items after a loved one has died. Divide your assets clearly. In that case, family members don’t need to feel grubby about keeping a sentimental item and remembering you in their way.
4. You Can Choose An Executor
Making a will allows you to choose an executor that you trust. This is one of the benefits of planning for the future. The executor may be a surviving family member or a legal professional with the qualifications and sensitivity to do the right thing.
Working with a professional also informs you of any information about the law that will help you make good decisions.
5. Pets Are Family Too
Most people think of their children and partners when drawing up a will, but pets are also family. Writing a will allows you to decide who will care for your pets when you die.
This is just one example of an issue that people who haven’t drawn up a will can easily miss. Making a will help distribute your assets but can help establish how your pets and children are looked after when you’re gone.
6. Improve Your Quality of Life
Like most things not discussed, making your will a taboo topic only increases the anxiety around it. By getting the subject out into the open and making clear decisions for the future, you may improve your quality of life.
At the end of Liam Neeson’s eulogy in ‘Love Actually’, he tells those assembled, ‘Jo and I had a lot of time to prepare for this moment.’ His character’s wife had died of a terminal illness, which allowed them time to plan. Talking about it had brought them even closer together.
Sure, it’s a movie, but there’s some truth. Having conversations about your will and planning for the future can put everyone at ease. Not least, you.
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