Do you care what happens to your property and possessions after your death?
Your last will and testament lets you decide what happens to your money, property and possessions after your death.
If you make a will you can also make sure you don’t pay more Inheritance Tax than you need to.
You can write your will yourself, but you should consider taking legal advice to make sure your will is interpreted in the way you wanted.
You need to get your will formally witnessed and signed to make it legally valid. Again, a solicitor isn't required by law for this.
If you want to update your will, you need to make an official alteration (called a codicil) or make a new will.
What Should You Put In Your Will?
You should set out:
- who you want to benefit from your will
- who should look after any children under 18
- who is going to sort out your estate and carry out your wishes after your death (your executor)
- who your executors are
- what happens if the people you want to benefit die before you do
When You Need Legal Advice
You should get advice from a professional if your will isn’t straightforward, eg:
- you share a property with someone who isn’t your husband, wife or civil partner
- you want to leave money or property to a dependant who can’t care for themselves
- you have several family members who may make a claim on your will, eg a 2nd spouse or children from another marriage
- your permanent home isn’t in the UK
- you’re resident in the UK but have overseas property
- you have a business
How To Make Sure Your Will Is Legal
For a will to be legally valid, it must meet the following criteria:
- made by a person 18 or over
- made voluntarily
- made by a person of sound mind
- in writing
- signed by the person making the will in the presence of 2 witnesses
- signed by the 2 witnesses, in the presence of the person making the will
- the two witnesses, their spouses or civil partners must not benefit from the will
However you do it, take action today and secure your wishes by writing your will.