I have nothing to give away, I don't need a will. This and similar rebuttals make the rounds when discussing what happens to you and your earthly belongings.
But a will isn't necessarily all about distributing your assets. Of course, deciding who gets to keep your cherished collection of obscure vinyl records or your attic full of shoes only worn once can be one important aspect of making a will. But there are many other reasons, that are just as, if not more important.
Look after your children with a will
If you have young children, a will can ensure they are looked after if something should happen to you. Without a will, and with no other person that has parental responsibility (ie. both parents have a fatal accident), the local authority has to step in and appoint a legal guardian. Yes, your local authority decides who you're children are looked after by. If they find your closer relatives incapable or unable to take your children in, they may even be placed into foster homes.
Imagine the impact on your, newly orphaned children this would have!
If you write your will, you can appoint guardians, who you wish to take care of your children, should the worst happen. You can choose anyone you want, providing, of course, that those people are willing to take on the job. Some couples have informal "reciprocal" agreements in place, as well as naming guardians in their will.
Ensure your pets are looked after
Similarly, what happens to your pets, should they outlive you? Can you be sure that your parents can look after your 100 lb Newfoundland? If they can't, do you want him to go into just any animal rescue or do you want to choose one that you know? Or do you have a friend that would care for the dog, but doesn't have any funds to keep a pet that size.
With a will, you can determine who will look after your pets. You can even give them along with a cash legacy, to ensure they are cared for appropriately.
A will makes sure your wishes are known
Finally, if you have friends, neighbours or distant relatives, they are most likely not going to receive anything at all if you die without a will. Making one can ensure the people you love get what you want to give them!
If you want to write a will or need advice - contact your local will writer in South London!