Guest blogger Sheree Sartain writes about wills and why you should keep yours up to date.
I have a will, it was written about twenty-five years ago and names a solicitor, based somewhere in London, as executor.
I’m not sure that the content of the will really reflects my current situation and I’ve been meaning for sometime to have it redrafted. Contemplating writing my will – again – is no easier than it was the first time but doing it online helps.
Twenty-five years ago the process wasn’t as straightforward or as cheap as making an online will is today.
First time around I had to take the morning off work and visit the solicitor at his office.
These days, online will making services offer you the opportunity of writing a will when you like and from the comfort of your home.
Why, then, is having my will re-written something that I’ve been putting of for ages?
Sorting out my will is just one of those things that never seem to come to the top of the pile in my list of ‘things to do’.
Afterall, why do I need another will?
Perhaps it has something to do with facing my own mortality or maybe other things just get in the way.
Whatever the reason I have been putting it off for long enough.
According to the Law Society of Scotland we should all make a will because:
making a will is one of the most important things we can do – after all it determines how our most personal possessions and hard-earned savings will be shared among close family and friends.
Recently, a friend died quite suddenly. They, like so many of us today, had married more than once and their family was made up of children from different relationships, ex-spouses and partners.
For months afterward, anytime I saw anyone from his family I was told another episode in the unfolding drama about the ‘estate’, the search for a will, the arguments between step-siblings, step-parents and step-children and anyone else that had an interest. It wasn’t pleasant and some of the people involved are still not speaking to each other.
What distressed me most about the whole situation was that the man who had so sadly died was quickly forgotten in the ensuing legal spat and the arguments within the family brought out the worst in everyone concerned.
The last thing I want is for someone to have to sort out legal affairs that I could take care of so easily while I’m alive.
Writing a will can make sure that your views are known about issues such as who should inherit your property, how your children should be cared for and special arrangements you’d like for your funeral.
These are all things that I want to take of and although it’s a bit late for a New Year’s resolution, I’m going to get it done just as soon as I finish writing…
Sheree Sartain is a sociologist, researcher and social media consultant living and working in the Scottish Highlands.