Some Help with making a will
Making a will is the only way you can be sure your wishes will be followed after you die. It also means less confusion and heartache for your loved ones in their time of grief. It also offers the perfect opportunity to reflect on what’s been important in your life, or what you’d like to see supported in the future.
If you don’t make a will, part or all of your estate may end up going to people you never intended to benefit because the law will dictate how your estate is distributed.
If you have no next of kin and no will, your estate will pass to the State. And if you do have relatives, they may disagree about what should happen with your estate. Your will clearly explains your intentions and ensures they are carried out.
The people who handle your affairs after you’re gone are called executors. They can be professionals, friends, family members or any combination of these. It’s usual for two people to share the task of executing your will.
Gifts can be anything you own including specific items, money, property or a percentage of your estate.
So before making a will you need to make some important decisions about what you wish:
Who will look after your children?
If you have children under the age of 18 you’ll need to decide who you would like to take care of them if you die before they reach the age of consent.
Including your loved ones
Of course your loved ones come first. So you will need to include your children and perhaps nieces, nephews and close friends. You can also provide for your pets.
Including Mission Aviation Fellowship
If you’re lucky enough to be able to look back and say you’ve had a good life, wouldn’t it be nice to know there’s a way to help those who haven’t been so fortunate. Through giving to MAF you make it possible to bring the life-transforming Gospel of Jesus Christ, as well as life-sustaining services, to some of the poorest and most remote, isolated people on earth.
How would you like your assets distributed?
You’ll need to think about who is to receive what and how.
Different types of bequests
There are four main types of gifts you can leave in your will, including those you may leave to charity.
This is the remainder of your estate after first leaving gifts to your loved ones.
- Percentage or fractional:
This is a gift expressed as a percentage or fraction of your estate. Dividing your estate by percentage or fractions gives longevity to your will because the gifts aren’t influenced by inflation or changes in the value or make-up of your estate.
- Pecuniary or Specific:
This is a specified gift which can be money, property or stocks and shares.
- Whole estate:
This comprises your entire estate and is usually left by those without family or other preferred beneficiaries, or those wanting to achieve something very significant with their gift.
If you have a very complex estate and wish it distributed in a complex manner you will need to seek professional advice.
What funeral arrangements you would like?
Your will also offers the opportunity to say what you’d like to happen at your funeral. This can greatly help your loved ones in their time of grief.