How to Write a Will
There are many aspects involved in the process of writing a Will, each of which contribute to the challenge that the entire procedure poses. The time at which a Will is created may not always be right but it is often the lack of knowledge and resources that makes matters worse for them.
At Legacy Wills, we believe that before getting into the legal aspects of writing a Will it is advisable to get acquainted with the correct procedure of how to write a Will in UK. There are some preliminary steps that need to be taken before proceeding ahead with the formalities such as getting it registered or using it in a court of law.
Step 1: Carry out an Evaluation
The testator (person making the Will) should first ensure that they have a complete list of their assets and debts. A careful assessment of the assets and debts in question should be carried out to ensure that there is no inconsistency in the actual estate and one that will be left behind as legacy. It is also advisable to carry out regular evaluations of the estate to be in touch with their true valuation.
The Assets can include:
- The real estate investments made by the testator including their primary residence
- Liquid assets such as savings kept in bank accounts or other such investments that can be easily converted into cash (jewellery, antiques etc.)
- Insurance policies such as an endowment policy or life insurance
- Funds including a lump sum payment on death such as pension funds
- National Savings such as premium bonds
- Other investments such as stocks and shares
- Motor vehicles and other personal belongings
The Debts can include:
- Credit card balance
- Bank overdraft
- Equity release
Step 2: Divide your Estate
The next most important step in the process of creating a Will involves deciding the division of all your assets and debts. It is also possible for you to specify exactly how much proportion of your estate should go to a particular beneficiary, such as a quarter of the estate each to your children and half of it to your spouse.
The beneficiaries of an estate and how much they stand to gain by it should be decided in advance by the testator of the Will. Any other person with a vested interest in the estate should not influence this decision.
It is also possible to include a clause that states what should happen to an estate if a beneficiary were to pass away before the testator does, this is called future proofing your Will.
Step 3: Leaving a Legacy to Charity
Besides making your friends and family a beneficiary you also have the option to leave behind a proportion of your estate to a charitable organisation. If a portion of the estate is to be given away in charity according to the Will it becomes necessary to include every detail about the charitable organisation such as their full name, address, contact number and their registered charity number.
Step 4: Choosing your Executors
The person who carries out the instructions laid down in a Will after the death of the testator is known as an Executor. The testator is free to appoint any person as the executor of the Will. However, an executor should always be carefully selected, as this task can be quite complicated even if the estate or instructions in question are easy to handle. The difficulty of this job can be best understood in situations such as:
- If an asset or estate, complete or part of it, has to be sold to distribute money, it is the responsibility of the executor to ensure that the asset or estate is sold at the maximum value possible. For this the executor needs to predict which is the best-suited time to make the sale.
- It is also the responsibility of the executor to ensure that the right amount of Capital Gains Tax, Inheritance Tax or Income Tax, whichever is applicable, has been paid to the concerned authorities.
Step 5: Write your Will
Once the decision has been taken to divide your estate and you have selected an executor for your Will, you can then address the next question of how to write a will in UK. This can be done in a number of ways such as:
Making your Own Will
Every person reserves the right to create their own Will provided it is legally valid. Like any other legal documents, a Will must be drafted in the correct legal language that does not leave any scope for future disputes and the right people should sign it at the right places. Making your own Will has often been projected to be an extremely tedious and complicated task but in reality there are many benefits of creating your own Will.
At Legacy Wills we understand the circumstances in which a Will is often created and to make things easier for the testator, we offer several easy to use templates, using which you can create your Will saving both time and energy in the process.
Professional Will Writers
It is also possible to get a Will written by a professional Will writer. A professional Will writer shouldn’t be confused with a solicitor as they are not as qualified as a solicitor to handle matters related to Wills and probate. The Professional Will writer can often guide/recommend on having certain professionals to help deal with your estate if you are unable to choose your own executor. At Legacy Wills, each of our consultants highly specialised in. With their expertise they can assist you at every turn and corner and ensure that the entire process is completed without any hassle.
Getting a solicitor to create your Will is considered to be the best option when it comes to writing a Will. Even if you do not entrust the solicitor with the responsibility of creating a Will, you should at least take their guidance while writing it.
Besides the options listed above there are several other ways through which you can create your Will. There are charitable organisations that offer free Will-drafting services. There are also many banks that are now offering this service. However, it is possible that banks may charge an exorbitant price for this service compared to all the other options mentioned.
At Legacy Wills, we understand the challenges faced by a person when they decide to write a Will. Our expert will writing services are aimed towards making the entire procedure easy and cost efficient.