Creating a Last Will and Testament | Why

Why Make A Will – a short overview.

A couple of questions about writing a will answered.

  • Should you get professional help to write a will.
  • Why check and  review the value of your estaste (all you own) and beneficiaries.
  • Why are  Executors important.
  • Sorting the papers.
 

It is certainly possible to create a  Will yourself but of course it’s not advisable. It’s far too easy to make mistakes which mean it wouldn’t be valid (if you don’t have a will it’s called intestacy) so it’s would be best to get help from a professional importantly there are number of financial implications which need to be fully understood before you make any final decisions.

For those reasons you should not really consider writing a will yourself but put it together with a third party that can talk about the issues.

In summary these are:-

  • Tax that may be due on your estate.
  • Flexibility to ensure your surviving partner is protected in full (this should take into account existing investments, inheritance tax and pensions along with the need for long term care).
  • Beneficiary protection especially if you have been married more than once.

If you really really want a DIY option, you’ll find Will-writing kits in most stationers, or ready-made templates online and good luck, remember it’s your beneficiaries who will have to sort the mess out and your estate could incur additional legal costs.

There are other options, for example some charities offer Will-writing services in return for a gift or donation from your estate after death (even a small one), so if you have a favourite charity it may be worth looking into what they offer.

Otherwise you should seek help from a professional.

Getting ready to write a Will

When planning to create or recreated your Will, here are some things you might want to consider first:-

  •  your estate
    • Make a list of everything you own and what it’s worth (assets)
    • Deduct any money you owe or could owe at death (liabilities)
    • Include any life assurance policies and pension assets (if not already assigned or written in trust) most pensions are held under trust in any case but it’s worth checking first.
    • Work out the net value of your estate (the difference between assets and liabilities)
  •  your beneficiaries
    • who you want to benefit
    • consider guardians to care for your children and provision for them
    • family and friends
    • charities
    • how do you want them to benefit, percetanges or specific gifts.
    • list those  you don’t want to benefit
  •  Get your paperwork together
    • Make a list of the names and addresses of the beneficiaries
    • Create a folder containing all the important information
  • Appoint your Executors
    • Choose people whom you know well and trust
    • Think about family members, friends and perhaps a professional person (remember they may want to charge for this service)
    • The Will must be signed by you in the presence of two witnesses – not beneficiaries or their partners
    • If you change your Will, any changes must be signed and witnessed as will needs to be in any case.
  • Review your Will when circumstances change
    • If you divorce
    • If your partner dies
    • Your children have children of their own
    • You want to change gifts
  • Keep your Will safe
    • It’s important that those who need to can find your Will
    • Keep your Will in a safe place

Wills are not a particularly complicated item of financial planning but they do need to be taken seriously. If you want further guidance you can contact us below. No obligation, no downside just great advice and guidance.