Making a will is not the most thrilling job you have to complete, but it is essential if you want the peace of mind of knowing that your loved ones are properly provided for in the event of your death. Leaving a will ensures that your assets are distributed exactly as you wish, with no ambiguities. Our guide will walk you through the basics of how to make a will at home.
Making a will at home
Value your estate
Your assets will include property and vehicles you own, pension fund lump sums, investments, jewellery and antiques and any savings you may have. Any debts including credit cards, mortgages and overdrafts will need to be offset against your assets to give you the value of your estate.
Dispose of your estate
For most people, this is the most important part of the process. You can make gifts to individuals and decide how your estate should be divided. It’s also wise to make specific provision for surviving children under 18 and to specify what happens if a beneficiary dies before you.
Name your executors
These may be friends or relatives who you feel will be capable of carrying out your wishes at a difficult time. You can also name your bank or solicitor as an executor. In this case, fees may apply, but a third party will be able to act impartially to ensure that your wishes are carried out as specified.
Writing your will
There is a wide range of different options that are available for making a will UK.
• DIY will writing may be the right choice for you if your estate and its disposal are quite straightforward. However, it is critical that your will is properly worded and witnessed otherwise you may still be considered to have died intestate and your wishes may be ignored.
• Will writing services are often provided by charities who may hope for a bequest, or through your trade union, employer, insurance company or bank. Not all will writers are qualified or regulated and fees can vary greatly. Always ask for a range of quotes and use a will writer who’s a member of the Institute of Professional Will Writers and carries indemnity insurance so your relatives are covered should anything go wrong.
• For many people, using a solicitor is the obvious choice. This may be the most expensive option, but if your estate is subject to inheritance tax, or there are complicated issues around the disposal of your assets, a solicitor is an intelligent choice. Your solicitor will be regulated and fully qualified and will ensure that there are no ambiguities in your will so your wishes are carried out to the letter. A solicitor will also store your will for you so you’ll always be able to access it if you need to make any changes.
At Peter Robinson, we understand how important making a will can be, and will handle the situation with sensitivity and professionalism. Contact us today for help and advice on all aspects related to making your will.