The British have always had a reputation for being reserved and shying away from discussing uncomfortable topics. While this isn’t always a bad thing, in some situations, difficult conversations need to happen. Your will and wishes for what you want to happen when you aren’t around anymore is not a nice discussion for anyone, but it is such an important one to have. It is about time that the topic of Wills is no longer considered morbid or taboo, and instead becomes a normal part of preparing your affairs for after death.
Why Do I Need A Will?
Having a Will in place means that the right people will be in charge of handling your affairs, and your loved ones will be cared for when you are gone. Despite their dramatic importance, research from YouGov revealed that only 31% of people have actually drafted a Will, although 82% think it is vital to have one. That is a huge number of people who are fully aware of how crucial having a Will is, and yet, still haven’t put the documents in place. If you pass away without a Will, the law will decide what happens to your estate, and that could leave your loved ones in a difficult situation.
Why Should I Talk About My Will With My Family?
It isn’t enough to simply have a Will in place. You also need to discuss your wishes with your loved ones. Failing to communicate what you want to happen after your death can leave relatives trying to figure out what your plans would have been, which often results in disagreements and upset at an already difficult time.
Talking about your Will isn’t just a conversation about your wishes, but it is also an important financial conversation to have with loved ones. Money is another subject that a lot of us are uncomfortable discussing but being open and honest about your estate and your will can help your family plan their futures. The last thing you or your loved ones want is to be left unaware when it comes to inheritance and knowing what to expect from your estate can help with huge life decisions and financial planning.
Research has shown that nearly half of adults in the UK have not had a conversation with their family about their Will. The same number of people are expecting to receive some inheritance from a family member in future, and 40% have already made decisions on what it will be spent on. The hard truth is that loved ones cannot properly plan their futures without having some information about the inheritance they could be receiving one day. Not only that, but many young people are using prospective inheritances as their failsafe for spending in future.
There is a real danger that families are actively making future plans based on anticipated inheritance and discussing your Will and estate in detail can help them be better prepared financially. It is not uncommon for a will to have a different provision than what loved ones are expecting and having honest and frank conversations about this is critical for everyone involved.
How To Talk To Your Family About Your Will
Your will and probate is not an easy topic to discuss, and probably not the best conversation to bring up over the dinner table. It is often best to give your loved ones a heads up that you want to discuss your Will and wishes so that they have a bit of time to get to grips with the idea. Share with them the reasons why you need to have this open and honest conversation, and make sure they understand how important it is. Try not to think about the conversation as a solely financial one, and instead think about it as a time to discuss what is important to your family and yourself.
There are a few things you want to make sure you communicate to your loved ones. Firstly, finance is probably one of the most difficult parts of the conversation, but one that needs to happen. Let everyone know how various aspects of your estate will be distributed, and also talk about who you have chosen to be executors of your Will. You should have a conversation about your possessions and how you would like those to be handled once you are gone.
Finally, you need to let your loved ones know about any funeral plans you might have. Discussing this might seem morbid and painful, but it can save your family some difficult decisions further down the road.