While crafting a will may seem like a daunting task, its proactive significance cannot be overstated. If a person makes a valid will, everything is relatively simple. The will directs exactly who is to benefit from the estate and eliminates any uncertainty. As a legal document, your will serves as a decisive outline for the distribution of your assets, the guardianship of children, and the preservation of your estate.

This article explores the important reasons for creating a will in Bermuda.

1. Ensures Your Wishes Are Honoured

A will lets you decide how your assets are distributed, ensuring your wishes are followed. Beyond assets, it allows you to convey sentiments, personal values or funeral preferences to your loved ones.

2. Avoids Legal Complications

Having a will reduces the risk of disputes or confusion among your loved ones after your passing.

3. Names Guardians for Children

You can appoint guardians who will care for your minor children if something happens to you. You can leave a letter of wishes, addressed to the guardians, with your will setting out your wishes for your children on key issues such as schooling, welfare and religion. Although the guardians are not legally bound to follow your wishes, it is likely that they will if your choice of guardians was made carefully.

4. Appoints an Executor/s

A will allows you to select someone you trust, known as an Executor, to manage your estate and carry out your wishes. Careful consideration should be made as to whom you name as Executor. An Executor can be a family member, friend or in some cases a professional. Executors are responsible for dealing with all aspects of your estate and carrying out the wishes in your will. When managing an estate, appointed Executors may need to liquidate assets, sell property owned by the deceased, and manage other financial affairs.

5. Prevents State/Government Decisions

If you pass away before making a will, matters of succession on intestacy in Bermuda are governed by the Non-Contentious Probate Rules 1974 and the Succession Act 1974, which determine how your assets will be distributed. Your loved ones may not benefit in the best way possible. By making a will you can avoid this undesirable outcome.

6. Charitable Giving

A will enables you to include charitable gifts, supporting causes you care about even after you are gone.

7. Accounts for Blended Families

A will can address the complexities of blended families, ensuring fair treatment of all beneficiaries.

8. Provides for Unmarried Partners

Unmarried couples can use a will to protect their partner’s interests, as the Succession Act 1974 does not recognise them.

9. Updates Are Possible

You can revise your will to reflect changing circumstances, such as marriages, divorces, adoptions, disabilities, deaths or new family members.

10. Offers Peace of Mind

Creating a will provides peace of mind, knowing that your affairs are in order and your loved ones are taken care of.

Conyers can assist you in preparing a will that reflects your unique needs and circumstances. Contact the author or your usual Conyers contact for more information about the process.

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