Having a will is like the elephant in the room sometimes. I’ve known I need one since I first bought my own property, and then doubly so since I had children. My eldest is now 10 and we still don’t have one! Since I’ve been working in a nursing home it’s been more on my mind, there’s so much to consider as we get older. Also since my health has been on the rocks, you never know what’s going to happen. I know I won’t care, I’ll be dead, but my loved ones will need some clarity. If we both die in a horrible accident, who will have the children?
The important thing is to keep communicating. We’ve spoken to my sister in law and brother in law and they would become the children’s legal guardians should we both pass away. We live close by and the families are close in age. They share the same values as us so I know they would be the right people for the job. I imagine my parents would also have a big input. It may be morbid to think about but it’s so important.
I have life insurance, so if I should die a percentage or all of the mortgage would be taken care of and vice versa. We are also covered if my husband gets critically ill through his work as a civil servant.
How to make a will
There are various ways to make a will. There are kits you can buy quite cheaply online or in high street stores, but you need to follow the instructions and get them witnessed. I bought one years ago when I bought my flat, but never got it witnessed. You will also need to remember to update your will as your circumstances change. Think about if you were to lose mental capacity through dementia or brain injury or a stroke, what would be your wishes? Would you want to donate your organs if you were on a life support machine but brain dead? Yes we’re going there.
Alternatively you can get a solicitor to draw up your will and witness it for you. This is called the executor of the will. Now this can get expensive, depending on who does it for you. It’s also easy to get confused on all the different options. How about an app that does it all for you?
I gave the Smart Will app a try. It’s made by Sanders-Fisher solicitors and they walk you through the process. It didn’t take me long at all and it was far less scary than you think. It literally took about 10 minutes to go through the options. They’re all multiple choice and not hard to answer. I didn’t choose any gifts or charities to donate to, that might take longer if you have particular items to go to different people for example. I figure the house is the main asset, any personal items can go to whoever wants them in the family. It also allows you to talk about what kind of burial or cremation you would like, and gives you an option to ask for particular music for your funeral. There’s a section for you to record a video message for loved ones, which I will do at a later date. It’s so much more convenient and cheaper to make versus doing it via a solicitor.
I definitely recommend it as an option for you if you need to make a will. Have you made your will yet?