Beyond the Basics: Unusual Reasons to Make a Will

Most of us know that it is important to make a Will to ensure that our estate is passed on to those we want to inherit in the most efficient way possible.  However, there are other more unusual reasons to make a Will and we look at those and the things to consider when making a Will.

The most common reasons cited for the importance of making a Will include:

  • Ensuring you provide for your loved ones
  • Avoiding disinheritance traps
  • Managing tax and other liabilities
  • Reducing the risk of family disputes in the future
Setting out your funeral wishes

Let your loved ones know your funeral wishes!  Include basic preferences in your Will (burial, cremation, service type, music) to offer comfort even if executors aren’t obligated to follow them.  For even more detail, create a Letter of Wishes alongside your Will. Choose a preferred charity for donations, or specify how you’d like trustees to handle assets in a trust.  The Letter of Wishes offers flexibility.  Update it without a new Will and use it for additional wishes, like who you’d prefer to handle specific assets. This extra document provides reassurance and clarity for your loved ones.

Protect your digital legacy

The rise of digital assets means you need to secure their future. Record your digital assets in your Will to alert executors to their existence. Crucially, omit passwords and cryptocurrency keys! Store these securely and provide executors with the information they need to identify and access the assets later.  Consider digital vaults: Many offer a “legacy contact” option. This allows a designated person to access the vault with proper paperwork after your passing.

Making decisions about your social media accounts

Your Will can handle more than just valuables!  Tackle non-financial online matters like social media memorialisation (allowing loved ones to continue viewing content) and online photo storage access. Designate who can access these accounts after you’re gone, ensuring they have the necessary authority.  Use a Letter of Wishes (separate from your Will) for appropriate non-financial details. This keeps your Will focused on distributing valuable assets. Your Will writer can help create a comprehensive Will that reflects your wishes, and a Letter of Wishes can handle the rest.

Leaving sentimental items

As well as leaving your property, savings and investments to your chosen beneficiaries, you can also use your Will or an accompanying Letter of Wishes to leave less valuable items to friends and family. This is your chance to select something that you feel might be meaningful to give to loved ones to remember you by.

Looking after your pets

While you can’t directly leave money to your furry (or feathery) friends, a Will lets you arrange their care. Since pets are considered personal property, you can bequeath them to a specific person. Choose a beneficiary you trust and discuss your wishes beforehand to ensure they’re happy to take on the responsibility. You can even name a backup person in case your first choice is unable.  The Will can also allocate funds to your chosen caregiver, giving them the resources to properly look after your pet. Condition this money on pet ownership so they can use it for your beloved companion’s needs.  Thinking of welcoming new pets in the future? Your Will can be worded to include them, as long as your chosen beneficiary is still willing to take on the additional responsibility.

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unusual reasons to make a will

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