When should you write your Will?
It’s interesting that we get asked this questions quite a lot – maybe not the exact question, but certainly the question around the timing of writing a Will.
The ‘legal answer’ is “before you die or lose your mental capacity”.
However, since it’s quite difficult for most people to accurately predict when those events will happen, then the ‘practical answer’ really is “Right now – today”.
Unfortunately, it’s been my experience that writing a Will is probably one of the most procrastinated tasks in life – and I hear too often, “we always talked about doing a Will, but just never got round to it”. You can guess that those conversations usually take place after someone has passed away and the family comes to me to ask for help with the legal paperwork – but that happens, that’s life isn’t it?
The sad reality is that I’ve helped clients when someone in their family has gone to work and never come home, or just gone out for a walk and never returned. Misfortune doesn’t just happen to other people, it can happen to anyone and potentially happens to everyone (it’s just a question of when).
While these are only two examples of when I’ve had to help people deal with the consequences of their loved ones not having a Will, these stories and others like them are repeated over and over again all over the world. That’s the human condition. Every tragedy or accident that you might see or hear about on the news affects more than the person who suffers the tragedy or accident. Everyone is connected to someone in some way some how. What affects that person also affects others around them. It’s those others that Wills are written for.
Who are your ‘others’? Your spouse, your children, your family and friends?
If you’ve come to the realisation that you need something in place to give you (and them) some confidence or peace of mind that they’re going to be cared for when you’re gone, then you know it’s time to write a Will.