What is a last will and testament?
A last will and testament is a legal document that outlines how a person's assets and property will be distributed after they pass away. Basically, it represents the most up to date version of your will, which guides asset distribution after you die. It can also include instructions and guardian details for the care of dependents, pets or minor children. Other inclusions might surround guidance on funeral or other end-of-life arrangements to be carried out after you pass.
Crucially, the last will and testament does not take effect until you- the creator aka testator- passes away. It’s also important to note that to be recognised as legally valid, this document must also be signed and witnessed.
Why does a last will and testament matter?
Peace of Mind
Fundamentally, a last will and testament ensures your wishes are carried out after you pass away. Without a will, the state will decide how your assets and property will be distributed, which may misalign with your personal wishes. Writing your will avoids this uncertainty and takes back control in guiding the distribution of your assets. What’s more, a last will and testament offers a definitive guide to care for any minor children or dependents who you might leave behind. Ultimately offering certainty against the uncertainty of death, and immense peace of mind throughout your life.
2. Reduces Family Stress & Guesswork
In outlining your detailed wishes on everything from guardians to funeral arrangements, a last will and testament also offers to reduce family stress at an already difficult time. If you’ve gone through the process yourself, you’ll know first-hand how unbearably stressful can become to second guess every decision made. Planning ahead avoids this turmoil for your loved ones. Allowing you to safeguard a small aspect of their mental health, at a time where you won’t physically be there to support.
3. Smoother Probate Process
Furthermore, having a will and last testament can also make the probate process smoother for your loved ones. Probate is the legal process of settling a deceased person's estate, and is often drawn out, complex and financially taxing on loved ones left behind. In removing any ambiguities, a last will and testament can also help avoid family disputes about the distribution of assets. Ultimately making this transfer of assets smoother and less stressful for all involved.
How to create your last will and testament:
When creating your will you’ll need to think about:
Appointing an Executor
Appointing a Power of Attorney
Ensuring it’s legally valid
The first step in writing a will is to gather information about your assets and property. This includes information about bank accounts, real estate, vehicles, and personal property.
Next, you should consider how and who you want to distribute these assets to, as well as any instructions for the care of minor children and end-of-life decisions. Crucial appointments to communicate at this stage are guardians for these dependents, as well as executor of your estate to carry out your wishes. You should also consider whether you'd like to appoint a power of attorney, to take your decision making if you lose the capacity to do so in life.
Once you’ve outlined all the necessary information to make these decisions, you can write your will. Safewill offers the easiest, most reliable and flexible will-writing service on the market; where you’ll be supported by experts at each step of the way, as you write and update your will from the comfort of your own home. What’s more, to keep your will aligned with your wishes, Safewill makes it easier than ever to make these important updates. And, as it’s an online will, writing your will with Safewill further removes the concern of losing the most recent version.
To Wrap Up
Creating a last will and testament is an important step in planning for the future. It ensures your wishes are carried out after you pass away, and that your loved ones are taken care of. By understanding what a last will and testament is, why it matters, and how to create one, you can take control of your future and gain peace of mind knowing that your wishes will be carried out.
Get Started With Safewill Today
Safewill provides the easiest and most affordable platform to write your will and safeguard your wishes, today. We offer expert legal support at each step of the way and make it easier than ever to get you that all important, and legally binding, will and last testament document. What’s more, we even remove the barriers to making important updates with a flexible service which works around your schedule.