Fingers crossed that you’re a good 25-30 years away from the moment your will is needed. However, we should all make sure we have one that is updated regularly. Life changes often, as do our circumstances and the people around us. You don’t want to leave your loved one with difficult circumstances after you die.
A well-written will can make all the difference isn’t hard to put together. So, how do i create a will? Here are 5 tips to get you started.
1 – Don’t write it yourself
Although it’s tempting to save money here – chances are that you’re not qualified in ‘legal speak’. This means that your will is vulnerable to misinterpretation or manipulation, which can cause massive distress. You should also steer clear of asking beneficiaries to help you draw up your will, as this could be seen as unfair bias if there are any disputes later on.
2 – Ensure it is witnessed and legal
For your will to be considered valid in the eyes of the law, you need to meet the following criteria:
- be 18 or over
- make it voluntarily
- be of sound mind
- make it in writing
- sign it in the presence of 2 witnesses who are both over 18
- have it signed by your 2 witnesses, in your presence
- Your witnesses cannot be beneficiaries of the will (nor can their married partners).
For more information on this step, see gov.uk.
3 – Keep it safe and secure but tell family members where
Keep the will somewhere safe, such as at your solicitors, and let your family know where. This means that it cannot be tampered with or found before it is needed, but they will know where to go when it is.
4 – Update regularly every 5 years or after major changes
It is easy to forget your will once it’s been created. However, you really should be reviewing this every few years or after major life events. Do you want to be leaving everything to your ex-husband from 20 years ago?!
5 – Seek financial advice if you’re to leave a monetary legacy that exceeds the inheritance tax threshold.
Inheritance tax can leave your loved ones with massive bills to pay, and could see the family home being lost. Make sure you consult a financial adviser, as there may be ways to mitigate the tax on your estate.
For more information, see the gov.uk site.