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. 

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18 Comments

  1. March 7, 2016 / 9:13 pm

    Very informative post! Thanks a ton for sharing all the valuable information with us!

    • March 7, 2016 / 9:29 pm

      Sure thing

  2. Elizabeth O
    March 7, 2016 / 5:51 pm

    As much as some might find this to be a morbid topic, it is important that we address it at some point in our lives. Without a will, an estate can end up being decided by the government or outsiders who might not follow the desires of the deceased.

    • March 7, 2016 / 9:01 pm

      Exactly, that’s why it’s so important to do it early on

  3. March 7, 2016 / 2:23 pm

    Great tips! I’ll have to show this to my family and save it for future reference.

    • March 7, 2016 / 4:03 pm

      Thanks

  4. March 7, 2016 / 5:32 am

    Wow writing a will is not a convo we ever what to have but it is needed. Thanks for the info it is a convo that is necessary to help in inevitable circumstances.

    • March 7, 2016 / 7:10 am

      Absolutely especially since us youngers think we too young for the discussion

  5. March 4, 2016 / 11:31 pm

    This post took me right back to my legal practitioner days. And you covered all the basics. People need to know that its possible to actually gift your life possessions to others while you live and if God blesses you with 7+ years after the gift, its free of All the hassle of going through courts of law at your passing at least in common law. So why wait til you pass on, gift otehrs now while you live and leave the rest to charity. The best life lived. 🙂

    • March 5, 2016 / 12:04 am

      I couldn’t have said it better myself, thanks Julie

  6. March 4, 2016 / 3:04 pm

    Yes, this is a sensitive subject and I must admit it hit close to home. I lost my sister January 12, 2015. I really wish we had created some type of document or will because there was family issues after her passing.

    • March 4, 2016 / 3:24 pm

      Awww bless so sorry for your loss, it’s hard enough losing a family member but having to worry about heir estate and stuff is another

  7. March 4, 2016 / 2:54 pm

    Great post and information! My parents juuuuust had their will drawn up last month and it has brought them so much peace just knowing all of that is taken care of. I need to do mine next. It’s never a fun thing to think about, but there’s no denying it’s going to happen one day, so we might as well make it as easy as possible for the ones we leave behind.

    • March 4, 2016 / 3:22 pm

      Absolutely I hate the idea of thinking about it but like you said it’s better to do it now to make it easier for the ones we live behind

  8. March 4, 2016 / 2:52 pm

    One of the first things we did when we had kids was draw up a will. There are so many horror stories of what can happen when one doesn’t draw up a clear, professionally executed will.

    • March 4, 2016 / 2:53 pm

      That’s a sensible thing to do especially where children are involved

  9. March 4, 2016 / 7:43 am

    One thing that is a really good idea when writing a will is to MAKE SURE you say where you want your homestead to go. I was unable to keep my dads home when he passed because he was in so much debt that it had to be sold to pay the creditors. if he would have willed it to me it would have been considered a homestead and they wouldn’t have been able to touch it.

    Another thing I suggest is making sure you have an intelligent and trustworthy lawyer…. the lawyer my dad had was not good at all… quite frankly he was an idiot. My father passed away 3 years ago and his estate is still not done because of how complicated every thing was. I understand that this is an extreme case but just something to be aware of.

    • March 4, 2016 / 8:03 am

      I agree having a trustworthy lawyer goes a long way in such hard times and I didn’t home about homestead definitely something to think about. Thanks for the tip

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