Writing a will is one of those tasks it’s easy to put off. Let’s be honest – it’s not the kind of thing anyone looks forward to doing.

But whether you think it’s morbid, or you don’t want to face up to your own mortality, or you’re more put off by the prospect of booking an appointment at your solicitors, it’s something you really should face up to sooner rather than later.

None of us plans to depart this life any time soon, but it happens to everyone eventually. And sometimes suddenly and unexpectedly. Should the worst happen, not having a will can leave your loved ones facing all sorts of difficulties on top of their loss.

Here are five reasons to book an appointment to write your will today.

Decide who will inherit your assets

The main function everyone knows a will serves is setting out who will inherit your money, property and possessions when you are gone. If there is no will, a deceased person’s assets are known as intestate, and they are distributed according to a fixed set of rules. If you are married or have a civil partner, your spouse gets everything. If not, it’s divided equally between your children. Then grandchildren and so on down the line of relatives.

This is often not how people want their estate to be distributed. Even if their spouse or children are still alive, they might want to set aside a fixed portion to their grandchildren, for example. Or leave something to a sibling or favourite niece or nephew. Or bequeath something to charity. If you have a partner you are not married to or in a civil partnership with, they get nothing under intestacy laws.

The only way to control who gets an inheritance from you is by writing a will.

Save your loved one’s time and money

People you care for can miss out if you don’t write a will. They can also face a legal minefield claiming their inheritance. Intestacy rules are cumbersome and complex. Cases often end up in court as family members make competing claims over who is entitled to what. It is divisive and unseemly. It can all be avoided if there is a will in place.

Leave instructions for accessing assets

Another reason to write a will is to ensure your assets are accessible. Would your children or even your spouse know where all your bank accounts and investment portfolios and properties are to be found? You can put all of this into a will. And provide the authorisation for your benefactors to claim these assets which will avoid more legal wrangling.

Name guardians for your children

Every parent’s worst nightmare is that their children should be left unprovided for should something happen to them. If something happens to both parents, it will be left to the courts to decide who has custody of any children under the age of 18. More potential for legal wrangling, more potential for outcomes that go against your wishes. You can avoid both by naming a guardian for your children before they turn 18 in your will.

Provide instructions for your funeral

Finally, more of a personal reason, but one that matters to a lot of people. You might have a very clear idea of how you want to step into the great hereafter, whether it’s burial or cremation, where you want your ashes scattered, specific instructions for the funeral etc. But do your nearest and dearest know any of this?

By setting it down in your will, you can help them out. Organising a funeral is a difficult task at a very difficult time. Having clear instructions about your wishes is helpful. And you could also set aside funds from your estate to pay for it.

Ready to get your will written? Get in touch to book an appointment.