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A guide to Wills and Estate Planning

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Mika, Staff Writer

Friday, 19 February 2021

Although it is not the most pleasant of tasks, ensuring you have a will or an estate plan in place is a must. Securing a will is a fantastic way of ensuring your family and loved ones are not left in financial difficulty or states of conflict once you are gone. Overcoming the morbid elements of writing a will, will give way to a feeling of doing something thoughtful and caring, something that will be appreciated long after you’re gone. 

So how do you go about writing a will and planning your estate? What are the differences in wills and estate planning, and how do you write them? Let’s take a closer look at the key differences between writing a will and estate planning.  

What is the difference between Will Writing and Estate Planning?

Although on the surface will writing and estate planning seem interchangeable, scratch a little further and there are both subtle and major differences in the two. Although both offer instructions on how your family should deal with your estate after you’re gone, estate planning goes that extra mile further and outlines, in detail, plans for your property, finances and health - even while you’re alive.

A will, on the other hand, is far simpler and can be drawn up with comparatively fewer complications. An executor should be placed in charge of the will - this will ensure all your demands and instructions are followed after your death. Creating a will helps your loved ones avoid conflicts over assets and makes legal processes easier to follow once you are gone. 

What should you never put in a Will?

We often have a good idea in mind of what we would like to leave in our last will and testament, yet what are the things we should leave out? Certain things should be left out of a will, for both legal or practical reasons. For example, any funeral plans should be left out of a will. This is because a will needs to go through probate before it is passed onto your loved ones, as this can be a long process, it is not advisable to leave it in your will.

There are also certain legal points that you should leave out of your will. These include not putting joint account details, business partnerships or things you don’t legally own. 

The cost of creating a Will

One of the biggest fears many have about writing their own will is the perceived cost of creating one. The overall cost in writing a will can vary hugely, depending on a variety of different factors. At its lowest level, people can purchase a do-it-yourself will kit. This style of will is usually written out from a generic template and can be extremely simple to carry out.

If you are seeking a more complicated estate planning or more in-depth documentation, you may end up paying far more. The costs can also rise if you require a lawyer or professional to oversee your estate. How much you spend on your will comes down to personal preferences and in what form you wish to leave behind your will.

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