When it comes to will writing, and everyone should have one, your solicitor/will writer will go through the essentials with you. That is, the money or property that you leave behind and where/who you’d like it to go to, and if you’ve young children, who you’d like to take care of them.
Your last will and testament is your opportunity to have your last wishes granted, within reason of course, which is bound by law and can actually encompass so much more than the essentials above.
We share 4 things we think everyone should include in their last will and testament. Without stipulating these things in writing, these are decisions that your loved ones will have to make.
Where you’d like to be laid to rest
There are many options when it comes to your final resting place and most people are quite specific about what they’d like, but don’t necessarily let loved ones know. Your will is your chance to share your desires.
Would you like to be buried or cremated? You could have your ashes turned into a diamond, donate your body to help advance science, be turned into a tree, become a part of the ocean, be launched into space or even get turned into fireworks. If you’re looking for inspiration Buzzfeed have 15 unique ideas for things you can do with your body when you die.
If you’ve other specifics you’d like for your funeral, such as particular music to be played, again this is the opportunity to do it. Don’t forget to set aside some money to allow your wishes to be executed, whatever they may be.
What you’d like to be wearing/take with you
If you’ve got something in mind that you’d like to wear or take with you into the afterlife, your will is your opportunity to state your desires. It can be a difficult one to think through but is worth giving it a little thought.
If you don’t cover it in your will but it comes to mind later, be sure to let your family members know and it can be helpful to write it down and date it somewhere they can find it easily once you’ve passed.
Something to bear in mind, if you’re looking to be cremated, any jewellery you wear or take with you, will become unrecognisable. If it has some sentimental value, why not consider gifting it to a relative?
What should happen to your personal possessions
This is typically included in your last will and testament and your solicitor/will writer would usually go over this with you. However, lots of people opt out of stipulating what they’d like to do with their personal possessions which can cause confusion. We’d suggest that if you have items of sentimental value that you stipulate this in the will and even gift these to a family member or friend for them to take care of it for you.
When it comes to your possessions as a collective, you could hand all possessions to a beneficiary or ask the executors to act on your behalf.
What should happen to your social accounts
When you pass away, your social media accounts stay in an open state of limbo, forever imprinted on the internet.
Facebook allows you, through the settings, to decide in advance as to what you’d like to happen to your account in the event of your death. Twitter, Instagram and others, do not. Additionally, it can be extremely difficult and near to impossible to access social accounts once someone has passed away.
You could share your passwords to your accounts with your family so they can access it once you’ve passed away but it can also be safer, and easier, to make a statement within your will that you’d like a family member to act on your behalf to shut down your social accounts. This ensures that your data/photos and other important information cannot be hacked or stolen.
We hope this has provided some food for thought. If you need some help when it comes to wills and estate planning, we’ve shared some of our previous posts below.