How to write a will that is legally binding with Andre Robb from Will & Tomorrow Written by Shekinah Ade-Gold for Budget Leaf
Why is it important to create a Will, and what are the benefits of this?
“It is important to make a Will because doing so means you have a legally-binding document that speaks for you when you are no longer able to do so for yourself. Anyone over 18 years who has relationships that are important to them or has assets that they have been amassing should consider making a Will, since it is one of a few ways to ensure that what you have worked for ends up going to those you want it to.
Some benefits of making a Will are:
1. Peace of mind
2. Succession planning
3. Ensuring protection
4. Provision for those in your care (minor children or other dependents)
Is violence common among family members when a relative dies without leaving a Will?
“I wouldn't say violence is common at all. There have been occasions of violence and because they are as dramatic, they capture the public's attention. What happens more often, and even then I would not call it the norm, is disagreement among potential beneficiaries when someone dies intestate (that is the word for when a person dies without leaving a Will). Disagreements tend to add to the length of time it would take to get to a resolution, making these matters drag on for a while!”
Is making a Will a difficult process to accomplish?
“Making a Will is not difficult and how making a Will is done with ‘Will and Tomorrow’ proves this! With us, you just need to want to make a Will and the rest is easy. You create an account, answer the questions in the Will-making Steps, pay for your Will, we review your document to make sure all is set, then you get to review the document and finally it is ready for printing and signing by the testator (this is the person making the Will) and their witnesses.”
Are the wills you create legally binding worldwide, or just in Jamaica?
“There isn’t a short answer to this question. Here’s one way of thinking about it. Currently, ‘Will and Tomorrow’ only helps Jamaicans living in Jamaica to make their Wills. This is because the process of being able to carry out the wishes included in a Will involves what is called ‘probate’. Wills made in Jamaica are subject to the probate process in Jamaica. In cases where assets exist outside Jamaica, the Will would need to be probated in that other country, subject to their rules, etc.”
How do you advise starting this conversation with a loved one, such as parents, grandparents, etc.?
“Starting a conversation about Wills and more broadly, estate planning, is as simple as reminding the person you are talking to that having a Will in place is about showing love and doing what you can to make your family’s lives easier. That’s the foundation. Then, I think it is good to remind folks that making a Will is not a harbinger of anything bad, so they don't need to be afraid of it. And finally, show them ‘Will and Tomorrow’, go to our resources page, read together one of our articles, download our Will-making Prep List and just start making notes of what will eventually be included in your Will.”
How can our readers contact you for more information?
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