Paul Hensby takes a lighthearted look at the contents of a Will ... and how you can have the last laugh on circling relatives.
Your nearest might not be your dearest... and when they know what you have written in your Will, they will realise you had the last laugh.
It’s then they wished they had visited you more, teased you less, taken your advice when you gave it and helped you when you really needed it.
Of course, most family members and close friends will have shown you love, respect, affection and admiration, which is why they deserve to benefit from your Will.
However, in the unlikely chance of this not being the case, consider leaving money to:
- charities whose objectives you support;
- the hospice or friends of the hospital in which you have been cared for;
- the medical research organisation relevant to your illness;
- people who have cared for you;
- people less well-off who you have known and you feel are deserving;
- your favourite sports club;
- your favourite arts club - theatre, gallery, music society;
- your church or faith organisation(s) that have provided spiritual and material support;
- your community centre, village hall or local facility in need of funds;
- friends of your local park, or an open space which you've enjoyed;
- your school or the school at which your children/grandchildren have attended or are attending.
Think also of the benefits of setting up a trust fund that will administer money that you leave, and making one of the instructions that the money is not given to named beneficiaries until they reach a certain age (usually 18 or 21), and until the trustees are content that the beneficiaries are responsible enough to be given the money.
Remember, your Will can be challenged, so it is worth getting advice from a solicitor or Will writer when writing your will or amending it. They probably won’t encourage you to be too expansive when writing your will, but consider the following…
'As dogs have shown unquestioning loyalty to me throughout my life, unlike most of my family members, I leave £X amount to the RSPCA.'
'As the large amount of money I’ve given to my grandchildren has not improved their behaviour or attitude, the money I had considered leaving them I leave instead to (whoever), whose friendship and loyalty to me was unconditional.'
'I chose my friends. Unfortunately, I had no choice with my family. As my friends have shown loyalty, support and tolerance towards me throughout the length of our friendships, I leave (named individuals) £X amounts. To my family, I leave fond memories to share in future years.'
Think also of other messages your will can contain, such as instructions for funding of a family reunion, a celebratory party, or events that you think will entertain, shock or surprise those nearest, if not dearest, to you.