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Friday, 23 September 2011

Why It Is NOT Morbid To Make A Will

We were talking about Wills earlier and how you not only need one at any age but also what happens if you don’t have one or if you don’t change it to keep up with ongoing changes in your life.  This came to light recently as a whole family were going on holiday together (3 generations) and what would happen if there had been an accident in which none of them survived and who would the estates go to, as everyone down the line was in the accident.  They found it would actually all go to the grandparents that weren’t going on the trip as they were the closest relatives of the youngest child which everything would have gone down to.   Not that the set of grandparents didn’t get on with the other grandparents who were not going on the trip but the brothers and sisters of the grandparents in the accident would have got nothing and it would all have gone to a different family altogether.  It is bad enough when someone has not made a Will at all but sometimes it is just better to think of making one as an insurance policy rather than think of it as a Will that only old people need.  It is not tempting fate.  It doesn’t make you wish your life away but it does ensure that any possessions you have or your children go to where you want then to go to.  I think it should be made a necessity for everyone when they either buy a house or have a child.

We have been watching a television programme about people making Wills and it has brought up all sorts of problems.  The programme helps people who own land or a company decide which is the best way to leave their estate, as most of them want their farm or business to continue.  They help them mull over the options and discuss it with the family.  Oh boy does it open a bag of worms!  All the children expect different things and so for the business to continue it completely wipes out any chance of a cash share for any of the children who would prefer that when the parents pass over.  Sometimes for the business to continue it most definitely upsets at least one of the children.  It makes interesting viewing because you can see it from all the different points of view and the decisions are very hard to make.  I can see it is a lot easier for people without land or a business to split their assets in the Will.  The stupid thing is that it can cause a big split in the family while the parents are still alive as the children know what is going to be in the Will.  Normally children would only possibly fall out over what they get or expect to get when their parents actually pass over rather than from the point the Will. 

The worst part I suppose is if parents of young children haven’t made a Will and so the question of who looks after the children comes up as the parents have made no arrangement for that eventuality, and it could be that they end up with relatives that they would never want them to live with, so it is always best to make provision for such a circumstance.   Some of the families on the television show were having a really hard time in working out how to split their assets amongst the children.  It is relatively easy for a “normal” family when the only assets are the house and other more minor things like the car etc. but when you have a company or a farm it becomes much more complicated.  A “normal” family would probably just give the children equal shares so the house would be sold and the money split between the children (after the last parent passes over).  If the family with a farm or a business isn’t bothered about the farm / business after they have gone and the children don’t work on the farm / at the business then the same thing would apply as the farm / business would be sold and the assets split.  What happened with the families on television though is that the parents wanted the farm / business to continue afterwards and one or more children worked there.  As they didn’t want it to be sold then how could it carry on with one or more of the children working there when the other children would gain nothing from it and would rather have their share in cash.  The ones who worked there couldn’t afford to buy them out and the parents wanted the farm / business to continue.  This caused a lot of problems as you can imagine.  But it does bring to light how important it is to make a Will.

And on that note, here is todays trivia snippet:

Right-handed people live, on average, nine years longer than left-handed people.      

I read this today and it made my chuckle so I have included it here:

1981 & 2005 - Two Interesting Years:

Interesting Year 1981
1.  Prince Charles got married.
2.  Liverpool crowned soccer Champions of Europe.
3.  Australia lost the Ashes.
4.  The Pope died.

Interesting Year 2005
1.  Prince Charles got married.
2.  Liverpool crowned soccer Champions of Europe.
3.  Australia lost the Ashes.
4.  The Pope died.

Lesson to be learned:  

The next time Charles gets married, someone should warn the Pope.

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