This week I wanted to focus on the benefit of writing a Will. This is because I often come across people that say writing a will is a morbid thing to do, and that talking about what happens when you die is all doom and gloom.
In reality, writing your will doesn’t need to be a negative experience, and in fact most of our clients say that they feel more relaxed and grown up once they have done it. Writing your will can be as positive or as negative as you choose it to be. This week, I would like to talk about the benefit of writing a will and all the positive effects it can bring to you and your family.
One of the main, and potentially the most important benefit of writing a will is achieving peace of mind – knowing that you have made your wishes known and put measures in place to protect your assets and secure a future for your loved ones.
I was having a conversation with someone quite recently that said they haven’t made a will yet because they want to enjoy their life first. They seemed to feel that writing a will is something you do when you are much older, have done all the ‘living’ that they want to, and can start to think about death.
But whilst it is not the most conventional ‘enjoyable’ activity, writing your will can be quite good fun! After all, it’s a great opportunity to have the last word! I’m sure there are many of you that would like to have a final say about what happens to you and your ‘things?’ For example, you can choose to leave specific gifts to your friends and family, these could be cash gifts, items of jewellery, antiques or even a family heirloom. People have also taken this opportunity to not only have the last word but also the last laugh. A man called Anthony Scott wrote the following in his Will “To my first Wife Sue, whom I always promised to mention in my Will, Hello Sue.”
The opportunity to put specific conditions in place is also a benefit of writing a Will, one of the more traditional ones is to specify an age at which your children will be able to inherit from your estate, whereas Henry Budd took a more unusual approach and left £200,000 in trust to his two sons, on the condition that neither of them grew a moustache.
Another unusual benefit of writing a will is that it enables you to feel like you can say or do things that you might not have the courage to whilst you are alive. An example of when this has happened is when one man left a small sum of money to his employer so that he could buy a book on manners, and a mother left the sum of £1 to her daughter, for all the love and kindness she had never shown her. Perhaps there are things that you would want to say or do, without fear of consequences, and writing your Will can provide you with this opportunity.
You can also use your Last Will and Testament to specify any funeral wishes that you may have. You may find it difficult to discuss this with your family members whilst you are alive, which often results in them not fully knowing what your wishes might be. It can lead to arguments between your loved ones, over which song you would like, whether you would want to be buried or cremated, and even what flowers you would choose. The benefits of writing your will means that you can make these plans without having to have those difficult conversations.
You may decide that you would like a traditional funeral, perhaps you have a favourite place you would like to have your ashes scattered, and you may already have a favourite song or hymn that you would want to be played. In present times, more and more people are moving away from tradition and having a much more personalised funeral. Fewer people want everyone to wear black clothing, and it is becoming more popular for people to wear bright colours. You might have a favourite colour you would like people to wear, or perhaps you would prefer people to wear fancy dress, or the shirt of your favourite football team.
The benefit of writing a will is that you get to choose! You may not want hymns to be sung but prefer to have the songs of your favourite band playing instead. One of our clients wants to have the theme tune to Monty Pythons’ Life of Brian. The great thing about planning your own funeral is it can be exactly how you want it to be, and it can also save your loved ones a lot of stress when they will already be grieving.
Talking about death and funerals is never going to be the most exciting thing you will do in your life, and it may not be the most pleasant conversation you will have, but it could turn out to be one of the most important ones, and with all the benefits there are to writing a will, there has never seemed a better time to do it.
If you have any thoughts or feelings about what you would want to happen to your estate or have any practical jokes you may wish to play on your loved ones, if you want to write down your funeral wishes, or if you just want to have the final word and the last laugh, get in touch with us today by completing the contact form, and start getting all the benefits that writing your will can provide.