Key Takeaways

  • Write a Will to express your wishes for the distribution of your assets after your death. It can cover not only money but also funeral wishes, care for pets, and guardianship of children.
  • Joint Wills, known as Mirror Wills, are available for couples with similar wishes, offering cost savings.
  • Consider Trust Wills to protect assets from inheritance tax and seek professional advice for their complexity.
  • Store your Will safely and securely, whether at home, with a solicitor, a Will writer, the probate service, or your chosen executor.

What is a Will?

A Will is a legal document that specifies how a person's assets should be distributed after they pass away. It is dated and witnessed to ensure its validity. Through a Will, individuals can express their wishes regarding inheritance and who to pass it to.

Looking For Will Writing Advice?

Are you thinking about writing or altering your Will? 
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Your appointed adviser will contact you to discuss how they can help, you decide how to proceed.

What is Will Writing?

Will writing refers to the process of creating a legal document known as a Will. A Will is a written statement that outlines an individual's wishes and instructions regarding the distribution of their assets, such as property, finances, and personal belongings, after their death. It also allows the individual to appoint an executor who will be responsible for carrying out the instructions mentioned in the Will. Will writing involves carefully considering one's assets, beneficiaries, and any specific requests or conditions to ensure that their estate is distributed according to their intentions. It is an important step in estate planning to ensure that one's assets are managed and transferred as desired after their passing.

Do You Need a Will?

If you choose to make a Will, you are making your intentions known to your family in terms of who should benefit from your estate once you have passed away. Generally, this includes the details of who should inherit the house, the money in bank accounts, and even family pets.

A Will only comes into effect once the Testator has died. A Testator is a person to who the Will belongs. It can be reviewed, revoked, and changed at any time before death.

If you do not have a Will you are known to have died 'intestate' and the inheritance will follow the laws of intestate. These are set by the government.

It is possible to write your own Will. However, It is advisable to get help from a Will writing service, or a professional later-life adviser. There are legal formalities to follow which you will need to ensure have been followed. Failing to do that could result in the Will being invalid. Upon speaking to a Will writer you may not be aware of other complicated matters to take care of, such as how inheritance tax will impact you and your family.

What are the Different Types of Will?

Will writing

Single Will

You can create a Will for your own wishes, it does not matter if you are in a relationship or not, this is available for everyone. The estimated cost is around £150.

Mirror Wills 

Also known as Joint Wills. If you are married, or in a life partnership with similar wishes, take advantage of cost savings by creating a Mirror Will.

Having a mirror Will does not stop an individual from changing their own Will at a later date. If you want something different written in each Will, it may be better to purchase 2 Single Wills. The estimated cost of a Mirror Will is £250.

Trust Wills

Put your Assets into Trust with a Trust Will. This will stop these assets from forming part of your estate value and potentially becoming liable for inheritance tax. Trust Wills are available for an estimated cost of £400. It is worth seeking advice around Trust Wills as they can be complex to write yourself, without a professional service.

What Should You Include In Your Will?

No two people are the same. No two wills should ever be the same. There are a lot of wishes that can go into your Will that you may not be aware of.

When people think about what they would need from a Will, they often think a straightforward basic Will is suitable. The expectation is that all belongings will go to the next of kin. It is not always that straightforward though.

There are a few points to consider that make writing a Will more important than you realise:

  • Are your Children under 18? Who would you choose to look after them?
  • Should your Children's inheritance be kept in Trust until they reach a certain age?
  • What wishes do you have for your Funeral?
  • If you are not married to your partner, are they included in your Will?
  • Will you be able to make a Will in later life should you suffer from mental capacity illnesses?
  • Will the administration of a Will become more difficult as you get older?
  • Who do you want to deal with your Estate?
  • Do you want to leave anything to charity?
  • Who would you want to look after any pets that may outlive you? For Example the family tortoise.

After reviewing the various points discussed, you might have realised the importance of including additional details in your Will that you hadn't considered before. With these extra considerations, writing a Will without professional assistance can become more complex. By having a professional write your Will, you can have peace of mind knowing that your Estate will be taken care of according to your wishes in the future.

Where Should You Store Your Will?

There is no legal requirement as to where to store a Will. It’s your choice, however, you need to find a way to store your Will so that it is safe, and of knowledge to your executor. Register your Will to keep a record of its location.

Common ways to store your Will:

  • At Home
  • With your Will Writer
  • With your Solicitor
  • The probate service
  • With your executor

Getting Started With Writing a Will

To begin, think about what you own and who you want to leave your belongings to. Consider appointing an executor, someone you trust to carry out your wishes. It's a good idea to seek professional help to ensure your Will is legally valid and covers all necessary aspects. Remember, a Will can be updated as your circumstances change, so it's important to review it periodically. Taking this first step will provide you with peace of mind, knowing that your loved ones will be taken care of according to your wishes.

You should consider: what possessions and funds you have? Who you want to benefit from your will? Who should be guardians for any children under 18? Who are the executors going to be?

Other things to consider include, leaving a partner in your Will? Who would you want to look after pets? Do you want to leave anything to charity? What are your wishes for your Funeral?

It's important to keep your will safe and ensure your executors know where it has been stored. Will writers offer services for safe storage.

Yes. You should review your Will at any time. You should review it after any major changes in your life. Any minor change can be done via an addition known as a codicil. Should you find yourself divorcing, getting married, or having children this can all have a legal impact on what happens to your estate if you died intestate.

Without a Will your assets will be distributed following the rules of intestacy. This could mean partners may miss out on inheritance and in some cases, unlike what you may think, a spouse is not automatically entitled to the whole estate.

Legally you can write your own Will. However, it is not always as straightforward as you think. It is a good idea to seek advice from a Later life adviser or Will writer.

The executor of a Will is the party who is responsible for managing the distribution of assets as stated in the Will.

You can follow the government site short quiz to understand what happens if you die intestate



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