Planning for the future

It’s not something we like to think about, but planning for death is an essential part of life. Yes, it might seem daunting at first, but there’s plenty of support at hand to help you plan for the future, and create a Will.

Many of us have a rough idea of our wishes for after death, but finding the time to make an appointment with a solicitor to put the plans in place can be a barrier.

However, having a Will is essential to make sure your wishes are carried out after your death and there’s plenty of support available to find out your options.

ADVICE

“The primary purpose of a Will is to let your family know what your intentions are after you die,” explains John Roberts, director of Austin Lafferty, a solicitors and estate agent with offices across Glasgow and Lanarkshire.

“If you don’t have a Will, there are rules in Scotland, called rules of intestacy. Those rules determine how your estate will be distributed if you don’t have a Will. Most people would rather decide themselves what happens to their estate.”

Your Will includes your wishes for after you die: funeral arrangements, and what you’d like to happen to your estate. Usually, people include assets they own, such as their property, car, savings, shares, bank accounts and any sentimental items or family heirlooms.

EXECUTOR

You might be unsure whether you need a Will, especially if you don’t own your own home or have any savings.

“One main benefit of having a Will is that you have an executor: the person that ensures your wishes after death are carried out,” John continues.

“They step in and start making decisions, so it makes [the process] a lot simpler. The executor should be someone you trust. It can be a friend, a relative, your child, your friend, your neighbour, or even your solicitor.”

It’s a big responsibility to be someone’s executor, so you should always discuss the role with your chosen person beforehand, to make sure they are aware of what will be involved.

CHARITY

One of the main barriers to creating a Will can be the cost, which starts at around £140. However, various events take place throughout the year, such as Will Aid.

Around 1,000 solicitors take part in these charity events, where you’ll be able to have a professional Will written for the price of a donation to charity.

Creating your Will now is the main way to avoid stress and additional spending for your family and isn’t as daunting as you might at first think. With plenty of support and organisation, you’ll be able to ensure your family is well taken care of when you’re gone.

Advice on making a Will is available from Austin LaffertyCitizens Advice Scotland and Law Society of Scotland.

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