A will or testament is a document by which a person decides what will happen to their belongings after they die.
Nobody likes to talk about death, but accidents happen and making sure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes rather than to the law should be high in your list of priorities.
So, why should you make a will?
- If you have a partner but are not married, they won’t inherit automatically
- If you are divorced, you might want your ex wife or husband to inherit your assets
- If you do not make a will, a judge will decide how your belongings will be shared out
You might want to get an experienced solicitor to write your will, however, you may save a few hundred pounds by drafting your own will, as long as you are over the age of majority and can bear legal responsibility for your actions.
If you want your last will to be legally binding, it is important that you follow these instructions:
- Start by identifying yourself by name, surname, date of birth, current address and social security number.
- State that you are of sound mind and are of legal age. Also, make an explicit statement that nobody is forcing you to make your will.
- Specify that “this” is your last will, revoking all previously executed wills and codicils.
- Name someone you trust as executor and, if you like, an alternate executor, should your first choice refuse to carry out your directions or simply not be available at the time
- Empower your executor to sell any real estate and bequeath your personal items to specific people.
- Name all your beneficiaries and include their details.
- If you have minor children, you should appoint a guardian, or the court will name one
- Appoint a residue beneficiary, who will inherit all the assets you have not included in your will
- Place your signature at the end of the testament. A minimum of two people are required to witness the writing and signing of your testament. Make sure their details and signatures are on the document.