Wills are not regulated therefore you should ensure that it is legal. The simpler your estate/assets the less professional help you may need, this should help you decide whether or not you pay for advice. If you have more complex situation for example; if you are leaving money to a dependent who is under 18, have foreign property or you have been divorced then getting advice is recommended.
Before you start to write you will there are a number of considerations;
- Discuss with your partner about your wishes, make sure you are honest with each other, this should not just be about assets but also guardianship of your children.
- Choose your executors (the people who will look after probate and distribute your assets when you are gone). Not only do you need to be able to trust this individuals you need them to be organised and technology savvy individuals. It can be a timely process dealing with probate, so consider leaving a financial reward for your executors. Finally make sure your executors have agreed and have copies of your will.
- Make sure your will has details about your digital store and what you want to with your digital legacy.
- How often you anticipate changing your will, will influence how you want it written, the younger you are the more likely you will change it a few times.
Where can you get a will written?
- Online wills with solicitor advice - Beyond.life or Farewill (Many charities have teamed up with Farewill to offer free wills)
- Independent Solicitors - Find a solicitor through Institute of Professional Will writers.
- DIY will kits are not regulated, these should only really be used for very simple instructions and/or as a stop gap whilst you get one professionally done. They can be purchased from stationers or Freewill.co.uk or buy online at amazon
- Free wills from charities; charities offer free wills with the expectation that you will leave a donation to the charity, although it is not an obligation there are many out there so check with your favourite charity 2 popular examples are: Dementia UK and Cancer research.
Make sure it is legal
- Your Will must be printed out on paper, a copy that is on your computer is not valid
- Your Will must be signed by you, in the presence of two witnesses, who also sign your Will in your presence
- You must have made it voluntarily and be in sound mind
- These witnesses need to be over 18, neither can be a beneficiary of your Will, nor the spouse or civil partner of a beneficiary of your Will
- These witnesses do not need to read your Will or be aware of its contents.