A will is a document which outlines how your assets are divided amongst your beneficiaries after your death. It is important to understand the purpose of a will and all of its elements. Rawlins Davy have been assisting people with the difficult process of will preparation for many years. To make things easier for you, here is some helpful knowledge and the best will preparation practices.
Why do I Need a Will?
If you die without a will, you do not have choice over how your assets are distributed. There are certain rules which dictate the distribution of your assets if you do not have a will, meaning your assets may be distributed in a way you didn’t want. Unmarried partners cannot inherit their partners assets if it is not stated in a will, which can cause financial strains for the living partner. Having a will also ensures arrangements for children’s inheritance can be made.
Will Checklist – What to Include
Here is a checklist of what a will should normally include:
- Your assets: You should make clear of the money and assets you own in your will. This should include savings, pensions, shares, property etc.
- Your Beneficiaries: A list of beneficiaries includes who you wish to leave your assets to. This can include family, friends and organisations such as charities.
- Your Children: If you have children under the age of 18, your will should include details of who will be their chosen guardian.
- Your Executors: Executors are responsible for the administrative duties to ensure the will is followed though. This should be someone you trust to follow the instructions of your will. You can point up to 4 executors.
Ensuring a Will is Valid
Part of your will preparation should include making sure it is valid. There are a few factors which invalidate your will, so make sure you avoid these following issues. A will must be made by a person over the age of 18. The will also has to be made voluntarily by someone of sound mind and understanding. Furthermore, the will needs to be signed by the person making the will, as well as all of the witnesses.
A will needs to be kept safe until it is needed. You can store your will at home, with a solicitor or at a bank. You can also store your will at the Principal Registry of the Family Division of the High Court, a District Registry or Probate Sub-Registry
Using a Solicitor to Write Your Will
Using a solicitor makes sure that your will is valid and concrete. Rawlins Davy can ensure that you have covered everything you need. It is easy to make mistakes in your will that can cause problems when the time comes for it to be used.
Complicated wills should be made through a solicitor as well. These are just a few situations which can be complicated to sort without professional help:
- Property: When you share a property with someone you are not married to or in a civil partnership with. It is also advised to use a solicitor if an overseas property is involved
- Business: When there is a business involved in your will, using a solicitor is advised to help with the process
Need Help with Your Will Preparation?
Rawlins Davy have been helping people with will preparation and estate planning for many years. Our wealth of experience and knowledge means you are guaranteed a professional service to help you through the process. Contact a member of our friendly team to discuss planning and creating your will.