Why have a will? Even if you don’t have much to leave behind when it comes to material things, having a will is one of the most important things you can do. I lost my father early in my life (I was 11) and luckily both sides of the family get along really well and there were never any issues. But he didn’t leave a will, and even if my mom knew what his intentions were and what he wanted to leave for who, she was not in the best state of mind when he passed away. It would have been easier if he spelled it out in black and white, unambiguously what he wanted to leave for who.
You probably had a few people talk to you about it (or maybe not) – I’ve had a few family friends bring it up every time we meet, it’s become an annoyance, and frankly I avoid talking to them for that purpose. I like to do things on my own term; but realising how important it is, even later in my life, has made all the difference. I still avoid talking to them because they are boring people if that’s all they talk about!
Most people will say I don’t have much to leave in terms of money, or things, but it can be as simple as saying who the guardians are going to be of your kids, even if there is an understanding before you pass away. Emotions will run high and people will start to overstep if you don’t make sure things are all clear.
If you don’t have kids or much else to be taken care of once you leave, a will is good to prepare simply to say you don’t have anything to give away – as simple as that! It has it in black and white, there is no confusion, and everyone is clear on what you do (or don’t) have; and what you want to do with it.
Lots of free will preparation websites and templates you can find online depending on the jurisdiction you live in. Also worth making a health decision consent form (and probably even more important to you since you’ll be alive or a version thereof) – where you give authority to people to make treatment decisions for you. Don’t panic you can stipulate when it comes into force, so no one is going to make medical decisions for you arbitrarily. This is another big one and is almost as important as the final will.
Making a will is a favour you do for those you leave behind, giving them clarity, keeping their conscious clear and avoiding unnecessary bad blood when they are already reeling from a difficult time. If you haven’t lost anybody close to you it’s hard to prioritise this as a top concern. But take it from someone whose experienced a close death early on, it’s really one of the main things I make sure I do knowing what I’ve gone through. Hopefully you don’t need it anytime soon, but it wouldn’t hurt to have it ready when the time comes, which can be a sudden shock.
How soon is too soon do you think it is to write a will?