Skip Header

What are the benefits of writing a will?

Writing down what you want to happen is a way to offer those you love peace of mind and security for the future. It’s a way of being prepared that not only benefits you, but also the people around you. They’ll have peace of mind knowing they’ve upheld your wishes, and security from any bequests you make them.

If you don’t write your wishes down, then after you pass away, in many cases, the law will determine the most appropriate person to take care of everything you own. Laws don’t always take your closest relatives, friends, or even partners into account, so it’s worth checking what the inheritance rules are for the country you live in.

You can give all the people who depend on you a clear way forward just by making a plan ahead of time, leaving them without extra things to worry about.

Check locally

The country you live in will have its own laws and inheritance rules. Some countries, for example, don’t recognise a trust or a will, or they might have laws that allocate a percentage of your estate to certain people regardless of your wishes. Some countries have rules that mean, if you’re a foreign national, they’ll honour your country of citizenship’s laws over their own. It’s a challenging and complex area, and we always recommend speaking to a qualified legal professional who knows the laws of the country you’re in.

Protect your children and offer them some security

If you have children and you pass away without writing down your intentions, they may not automatically inherit. It really depends on the rules and laws of the country you live in.

You’ll also miss out on certain opportunities, like creating a trust. If you have children or grandchildren that are currently on the cusp of adulthood, at that age where they may not be thinking long-term, you may be worried about the decisions they’d make if they suddenly received an inheritance. You may be able to leave money for them in a trust that has restrictions around when they can access it or what they can access it for. You can set it up so they access the money over time, or set it up to pay for their education if you want, thereby making sure that even if they’re not thinking long-term, you’re looking out for them.

Have the send-off you want

Do you have a favourite song that you’d love to have played, or are you someone who’d prefer a dedicated bench in your favourite park over a traditional headstone? These conversations can be awkward to have in advance, and not everyone is comfortable talking about funeral arrangements. You can make your wishes clear so your family and friends make sure you’re remembered the way you want.

Protect what you’ve worked for

It’s a fact of life that we don’t get along with everyone, and family members are often no exception. Often, if you die without writing things down, some people will automatically have the right to make a claim to your estate, even if you hadn’t spoken to them in years. If you want to make sure that everything goes where you want it to, you need to make your wishes known in advance.

Don’t forget your retirement savings

One asset that you may not realise has real value is your workplace retirement savings plan. You can make your wishes known by filling out a form nominating a person or people who can inherit it. It’s quick and easy to tell your provider who you want to receive your retirement savings. And you can choose to nominate one person, divide them between family and friends, or give some or all of it to charity. For your Fidelity retirement savings plan, you can usually find the form in your PlanViewer account.


Be prepared and safeguard what matters

Whether you are facing a temporary or permanent financial loss, it helps to have emergency savings and protection in place.

Feel good about your money

Discover how to measure your financial wellness, and some simple steps to improve how you feel about your money.