Writing a will: what you need to know

writing a will

 Between planning your next holiday and restocking your wardrobe, you might not have much time to think about the serious topic of financial planning. But if you want to protect your money, there are certain steps you’ll need to take. For example, although it might not be the cheeriest topic, it’s a good idea to make a will. This will ensure that if the worst happens and you’re not around anymore, your money and possessions will be allocated as you would like. Creating a will may be much easier than you think. To give you a head start, here’s a brief guide to drawing up one of these legal documents.

You can go it alone or seek expert help

If you feel confident enough, you can draw your will up yourself. However, you should only do this if your will is straightforward and you’re sure you won’t make mistakes. Also, if you do create this document yourself, it’s a good idea to get a solicitor to check it over afterwards. After all, it’s easy to make mistakes during this process. For example, you might not take account of all the relevant money or property and you may not be aware of the formal requirements you need to meet. The good news is, it’s easy to access expert help. Specialists like the Law House solicitors have dedicated teams of lawyers that can take the hassle out of drawing up one of these documents.

It’s especially important to seek guidance from legal experts if you share a property with someone you’re not married to or in a civil partnership with, you want to make provisions for dependents, a business is involved or there are a number of family members who might make a claim.

There are certain essentials you must include

 What you include in your will is up to you, but there are certain essentials you won’t want to forget. These include details of all your money, property and possessions, including insurance policies and shares, and the beneficiaries you want to leave these things to.

Bear in mind that in order to be considered valid, your will must be created without pressure from any other party, it must be made in writing and it has to be signed by you in the presence of two witnesses. These witnesses must sign the document too, and they or their spouses cannot be among the people who will benefit from your will. It’s also advisable to make sure the document contains the dates on which it was signed.

You will have to identify executors

As well as specifying the property, money and possessions you want to leave behind, your will has to identify executors. These are the people who will have the task of sorting out your estate in accordance with your wishes. It’s recommended that you select more than one executor and you can choose from family members or friends, banks, accountants or solicitors.

Writing a will might not be your idea of fun, but it’s an important part of responsible financial planning. Once you’ve completed the document, you can keep it at home, in a bank or with your solicitor or accountant. You’ll only need to think about it again if your circumstances change in a way that might affect your will.

Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post.