Writing a Will is something you sort out when you’re old and about to die, right? And you don’t really need one if you’re married anyway as surely it’s all pretty much a done deal? Correct?
When my wife and I bought our house, our solicitor took me to one side.
“I now want you both to think about Wills,” he said.
I didn’t really see the point of going to the trouble. If I died without one, all my worldly assets would simply pass to my wife and child (we only had the one at the time). If my wife died, well, everything would pass to me and our daughter.
It all seemed very simple. I was also slightly suspicious the guy would receive some kind of finder’s fee or commission for recommending us to a Will writing specialist, and surely this is good enough reason to then dismiss such an idea? So, I admit I planned to totally ignore his advice.
However, in just a few seconds, he proved me very wrong and, if I were to be entirely honest, showed me up to be a bit of a fool.
An eye opener that hit home
How did he achieve this? With the following very simple statement;
“It’s all very well if one of you dies, but what if you both die?”
This was a scenario I hadn’t even considered. Even so, it was enough to silence me and made me realise we needed to get Wills written. I shuffled off with my tail between my legs and noted duly we should get our house in order.
Nobody’s perfect. It was in fact another four years until we went through the emotionally demanding process of writing a will. It was every bit as strange as I imagined and yes I can absolutely see why other people like me put it off - but we got it done.
Doing it for the kids
Deciding what should happen to the physical assets was the easy bit. It was making decisions about who would look after the children in the event my wife and I passed away that was difficult. This was truly horrendous to plan for - but I guess at least we now have a plan. To think we’d have just left the kids in limbo does install a certain sort of guilt.
It was horrible making these decisions and having to face my own mortality, as I knew it would be. Thinking about what might happen to the kids without a will in place, however, really is the stuff of nightmares -and once you think about it, you then can’t stop. Now I know we have their best interests covered, emotionally and financially, whatever happens.
It cost us a few hundred pounds, but it was an investment that’s given both my wife and I enormous peace of mind. If you don’t have a will, I thoroughly recommend doing something about it… especially if you’ve now read this and your mind is ticking over… Just do it - you will feel better to have things organised.
This article has been commissioned by retiresavvy and any opinions voiced are the author's own.
If this article has raised more questions than answers for you – find out what happens when you die without a Will and steps you can take here.
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