A will can be a complex legal document that you need to make sure carries out your wishes when you pass away but many struggle with where to start and the process in making will. We have put together a simple will making guide on the steps to be taken to make a will.
Step 1 – Your Estate
The first is step is to understand what assets and debts you have within your estate. This is also a good time to sort out your finances and take legal advice in regards to your estate and how it is best structured, this can also help with the amount of inheritance tax that may need to be paid.
Assets in your estate usually include:
- Motor vehicles
- Any other important possessions
Debts that you may have that are part of your estate are:
- Credits cards
It is important that you know exactly the value of your estate and what debts it has as these are a fundamental part of what is included within your will.
Step 2 – Dividing Your Estate
Once you know the value of your estate you can then decide how you wish to split that to your beneficiaries. You need to decide who will benefit from your will and what parts of your estate they will receive. You can also decide if you wish to gift certain possessions such as jewellery to a specific person.
Step 3 – Choosing Executors
Choosing the executors for your will is a decision that you should not take lightly. Executors distribute your assets as set out in your will and make sure your wishes are carried out. There can be quite a bit of work for executors depending on the size of your estate so you need to make sure it is someone you trust. Beneficiaries in your will can also be executers of your will. Executors of a will can be anyone your choose but usually are a:
- Family member
- Trusted close friend.
Step 4 – Writing a Will
The next step now that you have made the important decisions above is to get your will made. You have three main options when it comes to writing a will;
- Use a solicitors will writing service, this is the best way to get get your will written if you want to make sure it covers every aspect and will be completely fit for purpose when it needs to be executed, giving you peace of mind.
- Write your own will, it is possible to write your own using online DIY services.
- Some registered charities in England and Wales do offer free will writing services for a basic will.
The main differences between these options is the cost, using a solicitor to write your will is the more expensive option. We have wrote a blog that gives you a guide on the costs of making a will.
Step 5 – Signing Your Will
One of the final steps is to sign your will once it has been written up and you are completely happy with it. Make sure you understand every part of the will and if you had it written by a solicitor don’t hesitate to ask them any questions if you are unsure. It is also important that signing your will is witnessed correctly.
Step 6 – Storing Your Will In A Safe Place
It is important that your will is stored in a safe place and that the executors of the will know exactly where it is and how they can access it. There are a number of places you can store your will safely:
- With a solicitors
- At a bank
- Securely at home
- With a probate service