Read your will to beneficiaries before death

It is a good idea to read your will to your beneficiaries after you have written it in order to avoid potential disagreements later on.

This is the advice of writer Hank Coleman, founder of the Own the Dollar website, who said sharing the details of your will prior to your death will also allow you to explain why you have made certain decisions.

He suggested getting everyone involved together at the same time to go through the document, rather than reading it to beneficiaries separately.

Mr Coleman pointed out that children or grandchildren may be left different sums in a will and it is important that they understand why in order to prevent arguments or hurt feelings.

"There may be compelling and valid reasons such as a special needs grandchild or large debts that may need to be communicated effectively to the heir who receives less," he explained.

"It will be a delicate and tricky conversation that may be uncomfortable, but it is a conversation well worth having."

Meanwhile, research by not-for-profit sector research consultancy nfpSynergy has shown that 20 per cent of people who have not yet drafted a will would consider leaving money to charity.

Posted by Gemma Roskell

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Published on: August 17, 2010

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