5 Important Things to Include in Your Will

5 important things to include in your Will
By Jamie Pouwhare

Not sure what to include in your Will? We have put together a list of 5 important things to include in your Will.

Making a Will is the last chance you have to ensure your wishes are clear and will be respected when you are gone. So it is important when you are drafting your Will that you get it right and include everything you need.

Executor

It is important to include in your Will who you wish to be your Executor. Your Executor should be someone who is honest, reliable and trustworthy. You are entrusting your Executor with the important task of carrying out your wishes after you die. Your Executor will be responsible for collecting and distributing all of your assets to the people you have included in your Will. It is usually a good idea to have a family member or a good friend who knows you and your family well. The duties of an Executor can be complex and demanding so it is important that you choose someone who is prepared to carry out the administration of your estate

You can name more than one person in the Will to act as your Executor. It is a good idea to have a back-up plan when choosing your Executor. There is a possibility if you choose only one Executor that they may not be available when you die. If you choose two or three Executors then you can choose whether they either make the decisions on their own or they have to make them together with the other Executors.   

Beneficiaries

Your beneficiaries are your loved ones who will inherit from your estate. Although choosing your beneficiaries may seem like an easy task, there are some things you need to consider.

It is important to think carefully about who your beneficiaries will be because there may be certain people in your life who you have a legal obligation to look after. This is usually someone who has depended on you at some point in your life. Leaving someone who has depended on you out of your Will can cause significant issues in the future. So it is essential you get the right advice when making these decisions.   

Specific Gifts

You may own items which are sentimental to you like jewelry. Or you may have family heirlooms like war medals that you want to pass down to future generations. You can easily ensure that this happens if you name the items as specific gifts in the Will.

It is important to get the right advice when naming specific gifts in your Will. You need to be sure that you name the gifts carefully so there won’t be any confusion after you die.

When leaving specific gifts, you should understand that these gifts take priority over the remainder of your estate you are leaving to your loved ones. It is important you consider the implications of this when deciding whether to leave a specific gift of cash to your loved ones. If you do not have enough cash when you die to meet this obligation then your loved ones may be forced to sell other property you leave behind, like your home, in order to make the gift.

Getting the right advice will prevent any unwanted consequences from your wishes in your Will.

Children’s guardians

The thought of not being around to look after your children and watch them grow up is heartbreaking. The sad reality of life is that accidents can, and do, happen. Ensuring that you have a say in who looks after your children if the unthinkable happens, for most people, just goes without saying.

As a parent you have the option of appointing a person to be responsible for the long term care, advancement and education of your children. You would normally only do this if you are the last surviving parent of your children.

It is important when choosing a guardian to consider their relationship with your children and whether they would get along. You should also think about where they live and where you want your children to live. You may have someone in mind like your Mum or Dad but you should think about the guardian’s age and whether they would be capable of looking after small children.

Taking care of children can be expensive so it is important you take into consideration the cost that might be imposed on your guardian.

Funeral arrangements

When you are making your Will it is also possible that you include the arrangements for your funeral. This can include you preference for which type of service or wake you wish to have and also your preference for cremation or burial.

You should consider whether your Will is the right place to put your funeral arrangements. After all the last thing on your loved ones’ mind in the first few days after your death is locating your Will. So it is important even if you do decide to include this in your Will that you tell your loved ones of your wishes