Despite the warnings that they may hear from time to time, around 60% of the UK’s population have not yet made a will. That is a sizeable majority and while that does include children and young adults, it certainly also includes many coming towards the end of their life and who have loved ones they would want to provide for in the event of their death.
It is worth remembering the reasons for making a will in the first place. If you don’t make one then any decisions you would wish to make on how to divide your assets would be taken away from you. Surely, if you do have assets, something to pass on to family or friends, making a will should be a priority before it is too late.
Ways of writing a will
- You can use a solicitor
- Use the services of a will writer
- Get a DIY kit to do the work yourself
It is worth noting that if the will is not drawn up correctly it could mean it is invalid. So it is worth remembering the pitfalls that can occur if you do want to do the whole thing yourself.
Using a DIY kit may be cheaper and some also use a will writer for this reason. However, again remember the warning that a will not properly written may not be valid. It is also worth knowing that will writing as an industry is not regulated by the Law Society so there are risks in choosing this course. If you do want to use the services of one, choose one which is a member of the Institute of Professional Will Writers. However, if your arrangements may be complicated it is always a good idea to use a solicitor, regulated by the Law Society.
What to include
- You should compile a list of everything you own, including all bank or building society accounts, insurance policies etc.
- You should also detail all that you owe, so mortgages, loans etc will have to be listed.
- Make a note of everyone you want to benefit from the will.
- Decide who the executor should be….
The role of the executor is an important one and one that should be chosen with care. It is also potentially a long lasting role, especially if trusts are included in the will. So it is essential that you ask potential executors before appointing them. They should only do the job if they are happy to do so. They do have the right to refuse to take the role on.
Overall the benefits of making a will are clear, especially to those who do have assets which can be passed on. It is the only way to make sure that the people you would want to benefit would do so, rather than having that decision being made according to the laws of intestacy. It is especially important if you are in a relationship but are unmarried. In this situation, unless you provide for your partner in your will, they will probably receive nothing unless they decide subsequently to take action in court which would be time consuming and expensive.
There are many good reasons for making a will and not one disadvantage, so if you haven’t already done so, don’t delay.