This is the 200th post that we have made. We have discussed various topics over the months and at the heart of the posts is that although some people liken making a Will to going to the Dentist – something that we begrudgingly do; planning for your future by making a Will, assists your loved ones and should be part of your financial plan that includes life and income protection insurance, advance care directives and powers of attorney.
Australians are pretty good at making Wills with 59% having a Will and a further 22% expecting to make one – the interesting situation is that in the UK for example 58% of UK adults, including 27% of those between 60 and 69, haven’t made a will. In the U.S. nearly 60% of people don’t have a Will. With this in mind what are the impediments that need to be overcome to make what is in most cases a fairly simple and straightforward document.
We usually make Wills at a particular life stage such as getting married, having a child or buying or selling a house or other asset. Therefore its not surprising that older people and those with assets most commonly make wills. Unfortunately not all Wills reflect current intentions and/or circumstances.
People give various reasons for not having a Will:
- I’m too busy
- I’m young and healthy – let me think about it when I’m old.
- I have never really thought about making a Will
- I don’t want to think about it as it’s tempting fate to discuss something that is related to my death.
- I don’t own that much so why go to the expense of making a Will
- If I don’t make a Will the intestacy rules mean my Wife/Husband/Partner/Children will get my stuff any way so it’s not worth the expense of making a will.
The American Bar Association has listed the five D’s regarding planning for your future – this includes making and updating Advance Care Directives, Powers of Attorney and Wills:
- Death of family or friend
- Receive a new Diagnosis
- Experience a significant Decline in health
- Reach a new Decade
it is important to review these documents on a regular basis to make sure that they reflect your current wishes.
A Will makes sure your loved ones are looked after at a difficult time. It is not only about the distribution of your assets but also assists to clarify your funeral arrangements, name the executor of your estate and who will be guardian to your children.
When you consider that a Will is a planning document it makes sense that when you make a Will you consider financial planning, powers of Attorney and advance care directives. Also just as you revisit financial plans overtime you should make changes to your Will to reflect your changing circumstances.
The reality is your future starts today: take control of your future and make a plan.