A will that outlines your wishes in the event of your death is one of the most important documents you will create in your lifetime. It doesn’t matter how much you have acquired during the course of your life; this document will outline what you would like to have happen to the possessions you do have. While some people want to write their own will, it can be a bit complicated so you may need to get help writing your will from a solicitor. Here are some tips for writing your own will.
The most important factor in your will is clarity. The document should clearly map out your intentions and wishes with no contradictions or ambiguity. There are free will kits available to help you in the process, or you can ask for a little advice from a legal agency such as The Will Dispute Lawyers.
Assets are the items most usually associated with your will. You should carefully outline a list of each item and who they are to go to.
Assets include all the items you individually own, such as property, cars, shares or bank balances. Be mindful that if you have a spouse or dependants, they will need to be taken care of financially in the event of your death.
Assets also include items that may have sentimental value that you wish to distribute amongst your family and friends. It may be an heirloom like a vase, jewellery, books or artwork – any item that mean something to you.
It’s worth noting that if there is money owing on property, that liability is transferred along with the asset, so factor this in.
If you have dependants such as children you will need to outline how they are to be taken care of financially. In the event of you and your partner both passing away, you also need to clarify who would become their guardian(s). Further, if you have already created and written your will, as a wise parent, you may need to update it whenever there are major changes in your life. Divorce or remarriage, for example, may necessitate the updating of your will to reflect the new dimensions of your life. Also, a properly updated will can prevent a will dispute among your heirs.
Beneficiaries are the people your items or property will go to. They can include family, friends or even charities. So draw up a comprehensive list of who you wish to benefit from your estate.
Every will requires an executor – someone who will be in charge of distributing your estate. If selecting family or friends to do this task, it is wise to choose two people, in case one is unavailable to complete the task, and ask them whether they would be willing to do this job. You can also nominate your solicitor to carry out this process.
Making It Legal
It is a legal requirement that you sign and date your will in the presence of at least two witnesses over the age of 18 who are not beneficiaries.
You can alter your will by adding items via a document called a codicil. This is a separate piece of paperwork that should be kept with your will. Should more substantial alterations be required, then draft a new separate will; this will render any previous wills invalid.
Having a well-thought-out will is one of the best parting gifts you can provide your family, offering them peace of mind and security at a time when it is needed most.