“Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today". That advice has never been truer than when it comes to making a will.

If you have an accident, a stroke or are diagnosed with dementia, tomorrow is often too late and you may not be able to make a will.

Here are eight reasons why you shouldn't delay.

It provides choice

One of the most important factors in making a will is choosing who you would like to inherit your property and money (your estate). If you don’t make a will, legislation specifies how your estate is distributed.

One of the most common misconceptions is that a spouse/civil partner will inherit everything. In many cases this doesn't happen and part of the estate will go to children or remoter relatives.

Less expense

It's actually more expensive to deal with the administration of your estate if you don't have a will. An executor has to be appointed through the court and, if it is not a spouse who is appointed, the executor has to be insured. Dealing with both these matters is not only expensive, but also delays the distribution of your estate.

Look after your children

Who will look after young children if the worst happens? You can appoint a person in your will to act as guardian to your children, should you die before they reach 16. When appointed, the guardian will take on your parental rights and responsibilities.

Many parents, when entering into a new relationship or remarrying, worry about how to provide for children from a previous relationship. Making a will ensures that your wishes are carried out.

Provide for vulnerable adults

You may have a family member who is a vulnerable adult or has a learning difficulty. It's important to make a will to provide for that individual's care and to ensure that the money they inherit from you is protected.

Create provisions that suit your family situation

You know your own family better than most. You may have family members who will need more assistance in the future than others. You can make a will leaving an equitable inheritance, where each child receives what’s fair, given his or her circumstances.

Secure the future of your croft or farm

Many crofts have been in the family for generations and it's often the crofter’s wish that this tradition continues. There are often complications when there is no will - and disputes arise over who should inherit.

Planning for what happens after a death is essential to protect a farm's assets, the farm business and to ensure that it is passed to the right person. It's important that all members of the family involved in the farm business have a will, not just the current owner.

Discussing a will often brings up other matters too that need addressed, like inheritance tax, agricultural tenancies and partnership agreements.

Keep your business in the family

Succession planning is one of the biggest challenges for a family business, made all the more difficult if one of the owners dies without leaving a will. Planning ahead and making a will can help smooth the transition between the deceased and the future owners of the business.

Peace of mind

Finally, knowing that you have provided for your family in the way that you feel is best, offers certainty and peace of mind.