If you are going to write a will, it’s important that you list all of your estate to ensure that it goes to the right people. Your will is personal to you and your wishes. Understandably, it is going to be one of the most important documents that you write during your life. With the help of a solicitor, you and any executor you appoint can validate your final wishes and make sure that any testimonies are adhered to. No matter how large your estate is, it is always safer to have a will prepared than not.
That’s why Gowing Law Solicitor’s professional will-writing team are here to support you through this difficult process. They are sympathetic and kind. No matter how many times you want to re-write your will, our trained solicitors will be here to help you get the perfect last testimony. Check out our will-writing page for more information about how we can help:
Why do I need to write a will?
As you get older, you may start to accumulate assets and new estates (aka. belongings or things you own). You can handle these easily throughout your life, but when you have a growing family, close friends and loved ones, you may start to consider who is going to own these estates once you have passed away. It can be a bit of a morbid topic to consider but there are consequences if you leave it too late.
If you die without leaving a validated will, then all of your properties will be shared out according to the “rules of intestacy.” Under these rules, only close relatives, spouses or civil partners will inherit property. That means you will have no say in how your estates are divided.
It’s important to write a will in order to have full control over your possessions. A will can give you a degree of personalization over who gets what, as well as who does not get certain properties or belongings. If you do not create a will then your assets get divided by the law. It’s as simple as that.
How do I write a will during the pandemic?
The UK lockdown has recently been lifted. With it, it has become a little easier to construct a will even if you are socially distancing from other people. There are a number of ways that both you and your solicitor can work together to make sure you can produce a valid will. Although you still cannot sign a will electronically, there are a number of ways you can move forward to protect your family during a pandemic.
As you can see, there are a number of different ways that you can produce a will without being in contact with other people. All appointments can be undertaken remotely to ensure you are protected. So, don’t worry about the timing of your will. A will can be produced even during a pandemic!
What should I consider listing in my will?
When you write a will, it’s important to list as many of your assets and debts that come with your estate. Be completely honest and consider what has monetary and personal value to you and your loved ones. That way you can get a genuine value about your estate and how much it could be worth. First of all, think about who you want to benefit from your will and who will be your executor, aka. Who will carry out your wishes. Beneficiaries may include:
- A spouse/civil partner
- Very close friends
- Your children
- Your parents
- Close family members
Once you have done this then it is time for you to consider what you want to write in your will. Consider your estates, property and your most valuable possessions. You will also need to consider who would most likely benefit from them or be able to keep them fruitful, i.e. if they are an investment or some form of commercial property. Take as an example, you are the founder of a successful business, therefore your will may include information about who you want to be the next CEO of your company. These are all important things to think about. That’s why we would be more than happy to suggest some important assets, like savings and valuable objects, to get you started. Here are our top five suggestions.
1. Expensive Personal Items
Naturally, if you have personal items or antiques that have an expensive retail value, such as jewelry, art or interior objects within your home, you should list these as a priority within your will. These sort of possessions can hold sentimental value and let your loved ones remember you. You may also recommend for items to be sold or given away to charity to help raise income. Either way, think carefully about what sort of items you own. Consider their selling price, as well as who would like them in particular. You may have a priceless collection of antique clown statues, but some of your family may like them more than others. Be personal with your will and think about your family members in general. That should give you some indication about who would be happiest with what.
Although pets are not personal objects, you may also want to consider who would look after them in the event of your death. That way they will always have a home and be looked after.
2. UK and Overseas Property
If you own any type of property, be it your own house or perhaps commercial property abroad, you need to have it listed in your will alongside any expenses or debts that could have been included in it. You will also need to list whether or not you are paying off your mortgage on a property. Even if you are a share-holder for a certain property, it is best to list it on your will to give an honest perspective about how much you own. You should also consider commercial property or business buildings that you own.
3. Bank Savings
Throughout your life, you have been working to create a substantial amount of savings to support you, your family and any close friends you may have. That’s why you may have a lot of savings put away or you could have opened up savings accounts for your loved ones to receive when they turn a certain age or perhaps are in need of financial assistance. Make sure to list any important stipulations that may come along with monetary savings. You should also list any building society accounts or national savings, such as premium bonds.
4. Investments: Stocks and Shares
If you have been lucky enough to invest in some strong stocks and shares, you may want to pass these on to your friends, family or even to close business partners who can carry on with your good work. You may need to explain your shares and stocks to the person you intend to pass them along to. That way they can get a good idea of any warning signs they need to watch out for if they dip or rise. Remember, it’s important that you don’t just give them to someone who doesn’t know how to maintain them. If you want to bring them into your business, you may want to give them a quick description on what they should expect and the things they should be aware of. That way they can keep your investment going strong, or simply take it out to enjoy its fruits.
5. Insurance Policies
No matter what sort of products you buy, it is always wise to buy insurance to go along with them. That way you can make sure to get a pay-out if things go wrong or they get damaged. The same thing applies to you and your life. As you get older, you accumulate more and more things and your family will begin to grow. That’s why you may have taken out some form of life insurance to help you protect them if you were to suddenly pass away. Make sure to state any additional insurance policies on your will to make sure they know which insurance firm owes money and for what reason.
How do I validate my will?
Now that you understand what you should include when you write a will, you need to find a way to have it validated. Theoretically, you could write a will on any type of paper. However, if you are going to have it validated, you are going to need witnesses. These witnesses are going to need be two adults that can both sign and date it. The witnesses also need to be completely separate from the will. This means that they cannot benefit from your will or have anything left behind for them. However, they can act as the executors of your will.
Is there anything else important that I should include in my will?
Now, it does sound a little silly to state this now, but an important aspect to include in your will is the type of funeral you are going to hold for yourself. It sounds obvious but you would be surprised about how many people forget about this aspect of their will. It would be wise to include at least a paragraph about:
- The type of funeral you would like held
- Whether you want to be cremated or buried
- How you feel about organ donation
- Where you want to be buried
- If you want there to be a theme for your funeral (i.e. not black)
Although instructions about a funeral do not need to be legally-binding, they can serve as a guide for your executors. They can also help your loved-ones through the grieving process if preparations have already been made. Make sure to share these instructions with your loved ones to ensure they are given enough time to consider their options about how they can best adhere to your wishes.
Who can help me to write my will?
It’s important to realize that you have many options when it comes to finding the right help with will construction. It is usually best to contact a solicitor if you want help to write a will. Legal specialists in will-writing can help you understand your legal rights and know how to deal with your property, possessions and finances. Just make sure that they are licensed before you start constructing your will. This can be under the Solicitors Regulation Authority or The Law Society. However, if you want additional advice we would recommend seeking it from professional will-writers, charities or banks. They offer services that can give you additional support. They may even provide resources. These resources can help you deal with your estate or help you draft up your first will. However, you will need a legal specialist to help you validate the will!
Gowing Law Solicitors can help you write a will!
Here at Gowing Law Solicitors, we understand that the subject of death is very sensitive. That’s why our specialist will-writing team will be here to support you through this difficult part of your life. Our single wills only cost £75 and joint wills cost only £95. We also offer free advice and consultations to get you started. That way you will know everything you need to know before you even begin your will!
Contact Gowing Law Solicitors now to discuss your will by calling 0800 0418 350, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by contacting us through our direct messenger. One of our team members will then be in touch to help answer your questions.
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