In life, one of the worst things that can happen is having a loved one pass away. But sadly, there’s something that can make this traumatic event even worse.
Not having a will.
We call this “doing nothing in disguise.” The mistake is that of denial, of having your head in the sand, so your will doesn’t get completed (or updated.)
This is a mistake that we see again and again. Families come to us after they have lost a loved one and have to deal with the consequences of their family member not having a will.
It’s easy to understand why a lot of these people did not have a will. Death is not a topic most normal people want to think about.
Creating a will is something that most people feel they “should” do, but too many people put it off and make excuses about why they haven’t sorted it out yet.
Here’s the honest truth… if you don’t have a will, then you are hurting your family.
How she missed out on her dream holiday home.
We had one case where a client’s brother had died of cancer in his early fifties, and he didn’t have a will. The client was his sister, and she had been nursing him before he died.
There were some serious consequences of her brother not having a will, which caused her a lot of pain and stress.
This brother had two partners in the past and had a child with each of them. It was unclear whether these relationships were ongoing or had ended.
This made it hard to figure out who would be inheriting what.
This brother also owned a holiday home that his sister loved visiting. He promised her that she could have it when he passed on. He may have said that, however as he didn’t have a will, she wasn’t going to get it and unfortunately she missed out on the holiday home.
Then there were the funeral expenses. Since nobody had been designated to organize the funeral, the sister was the one who ended up with that responsibility. She wanted to give him a send-off, but if she spent a whole lot of money, she might not get it back – as the ex-partners could try and take more than their fair share from his estate.
She was already dealing with the grief of losing her brother, and then the pain compounded because her brother didn’t have a will. Most people don’t get a warning about when they are going to die, which is why getting your will done matters so much.
Failing to plan is planning to fail, as the saying goes. Make sure you have your will sorted and up to date if you don’t want your family to deal with any unneeded complications after you pass away.