Will writing isn’t exactly something that randomly pops into anyone’s mind. It’s something that people didn’t know is useful until they are at their deathbeds. Having a will can be useful especially when you wish to distribute your assets and belongings to your next of kin. It will also make life easier for your next of kin after you have passed away.
Generally, people write wills before they pass away. However, there are some situations where you will really need to sit down and write one. When people write wills, it’s usually to distribute the following to their family members (usually) and to anyone whom they wish to include in their wills:
- Monies and any monetary funds
- Other invaluable items you own (eg: heirlooms, book collections, jewelry, etc)
If you do not come up with a will, the way your assets and monies are handled will not be the way you wanted. Therefore, it’s great to write a will before anything happens to you.
When Will You Write a Will?
Here are a few situations when you will need to write a will. It’s great to update them every now and then. This is because things change in your life periodically. So it is only normal that your will gets a review every now and then.
1. Your monies, properties, and other assets to be distributed to your next of kin
This is the most common reason why people write wills for. Will writing generally will help people decide a lot easier how to distribute your wealth and other assets once you have passed away. However, before your assets get distributed, your debts will be paid off first before everything else is given to your next of kin.
Do take note that if you have a lot of debts, sometimes the money and assets you have aren’t enough to pay it off. That means even though if you have a will written, your next of kin and nominated beneficiaries will not be getting anything. Sometimes, your assets may be enough to pay off all remaining debts. That simply means whatever your beneficiaries get won’t be much.
2. Having children who are still dependent on you
When you passed away, you may be survived with children who are not of legal age yet (or not). Whatever money and assets that are left behind will be distributed to your young kids. The money given to them will be useful as they can use it for their education and living expenses.
However, take note that even though you’ve had nominated someone else other than your kids to get the assets and monies, some of it will still go to your children for the very same reasons mentioned above.
The only difference is that your kid’s guardians will need to bring an authorization letter in order to withdraw money. This takes time as there is bureaucracy surrounding it. The guardian may not get the money immediately most times as it may need courtly justifications for it.
3. You are married and may have kids
Yes, it’s best for married couples to have a will written before anything happens to them or between them. Imagine if you have a lot of assets and monies in your own account. When you pass away, your assets and monies will go into intestacy. Intestacy is when you pass away and your properties’ values are greater than your debts owed. Sometimes, according to Investopedia, intestacy only includes part of the property. That is when the state or country’s laws dictate how the wealth will be distributed.
Like we have mentioned before, if you have any outstanding debts owed, whatever you have in your assets will be used to pay it off first. Nobody can escape debts. Whatever is left of your assets will only then be distributed to your spouse and your kids.
4. You have a positive net worth
Positive net worth in the simple English language means when what you have in savings and investments is more than what you owe. You may have heard of people or the media saying “he/she is worth US$150mil”. It means the person’s assets (bank accounts, properties, investments, etc) adds up to US$10mil. This US$10mil is calculated by using gross incomes to deduct any money owed.
Not everybody has a positive net worth. However, we should put it out here that even though you have $10,000 in access of ownership across all your assets after your debts have been deducted, it is still considered a net worth. Having said that, it’s still great for you to write a will.
You will definitely want to have a will ready around death for clarity purposes, with clarity being the operative term here. You can never be too sure upon death if you have any assets to your name. Regardless of whether if you have any, just have a will written before you really go. After all, positive net worth still means something.
You Don’t Need a Will (Yet) When…
Not everybody needs to have a will at the same time. Take into consideration that you are an underage person (under 18 years old). You will most likely not have much to your name, or less likely you have anything significant to own. At this point of time you do not need a will yet. You can talk to will writing services in advance to see what your options are in the long term.
You may not need a will yet if you are broke or owe debts. Since that you are already in the negative, it’s less likely you will need to write a will or consult will writing services. However, when you’ve gotten out of debt and incurred positive net worth, then start looking into will writing services. As mentioned above – you wouldn’t want to give your family a hard time trying to take back whatever you own, do you?
You may not be married and/or have kids. It’s quite likely you are young and carefree, probably not have much to your name. Whatever you have on you are probably not worth much or has much significant value. Having said that, you can choose to live in bliss for now. However, in the long run, as your net worth and investment portfolio grows, it’s great to have a will written before you go.
The bottom line is that will writing is important as you grow older and have more responsibilities. We are pretty sure that you do not wish to leave your next of kin with nothing and make their lives difficult when you pass away. Having a will certainly can make things easier for your families when you are no longer around.