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Preparing to write a Will

Preparing to write a Will

When planning to make your Will, here are some things you might want to do before you see a Will writing professional.

Think about your estate

  • Make a list of everything you own and what it’s worth (assets)
  • Deduct any money you owe (liabilities)
  • Include any life assurance policies and pension assets (if not already assigned or written in trust)
  • Define a ‘working budget’ (the difference between assets and liabilities)

Think about the beneficiaries

  • Make a list of who you want to benefit
  • Don’t forget to include guardians to care for your children
  • Think about wider family and friends
  • Think about charities
  • Consider how much of your estate you would like each person or group to inherit
  • Note any particular items eg jewellery and pictures, that you want to give to specific people
  • Note those you don’t want to benefit

Get your paperwork together

  • Make a list of your ‘working budget’
  • Make a list of the names and addresses of the beneficiaries
  • Create a folder containing all the important information

Get expert advice

  • Go to a professional organisation to draft your Will
  • Choose a Will writer who is a member of a regulated body such as the Society of Will Writers

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

Review your Will

  • Every 3 years
  • If you divorce
  • If your partner dies
  • Your children have children of their own

Keep your Will safe

  • It’s important that those who need to can find your Will
  • Keep your Will in a safe place