A will is a vital document for every adult to have in place. However, too many people assume they do not need one. Some do not recognize just how valuable a will can be; others think they have nothing to protect.
In reality, every person has something worth protecting in a will and having one can be far more helpful than you realize.
Assessing your assets
When people think about creating a will, they often think about their most significant assets, like a home, car or business. If you do not own these properties, you might think you have nothing to protect. However, you could have more than you think.
Other types of property you might have include:
- Digital assets, including cryptocurrency, digital photo/music/movie libraries, and virtual property
- Personal items, including clothing, furniture and electronics
- Provisions for your pets
- Cash, pensions and retirement accounts
- Family heirlooms
Wills can address these items and ensure they end up in the hands of someone you love and trust.
Protecting more than property
Regardless of how vast or modest your estate may be, wills also protect the people in your life, from your children and spouse to your parents and siblings. If you do not have a will, they may be left with unanswered questions, difficult decisions and a frustrating probate process that results in actions they feel do not reflect your wishes.
In other words, a will is more than directions for distributing property. It serves as a guide from you and a concrete representation of how you want to be remembered. Even if you are okay with how the law would distribute your assets per the Wills, Estates and Succession Act if you did not have a will, stating as much in a will can give your loved ones some peace of mind.
Further, you can appoint parties to manage various elements of the administration process. Doing so can prevent conflict among your loved ones and increase the likelihood that someone will carry your wishes out properly.
Considering the property and people you can protect with your will, failing to draft one can result in costly, upsetting problems. If this is not the legacy you wish to leave behind, an easy way to remedy this is to create a will sooner, rather than later.