Wills – why write a will?

Wills

Why write a will? Well a will decides what will happen to your money, property, possessions and possibly children when you pass away. Without this your relatives, or in some cases the law, may make decisions contrary to your wishes.

How To Write A Will

It’s advisable to get help in writing a will – otherwise you risk it being declared legally invalid and therefore not applied in the event of your death.

The will needs to contain the following: who will be in charge of your estate (i.e. you name your executor(s)), who will benefit from your will and who will look after any children under the age of 18. You will also need to address the possibility that beneficiaries may pass away before you.

There are certain cases that make writing a will far more complex and in these it is vital that you get assistance. These include if you own a business, if you wish to leave money/property to a dependant that cannot care for themselves, if you are not permanently resident in the UK/have overseas property, if you share a property with someone other than a spouse/civil partner or if you have children from previous marriages.

Keeping Your Will Up To Date

You should review your will every few years or after major life changes. In order to make alterations to a will you must do it officially using a codicil. This must be signed and witnessed in the same way as witnessing a will. Whilst there is no limit to the amount of codicils you can apply to a will, for any major changes you should write a new will. This must specifically revoke the old will(s) and codicils entirely – the old will must then be destroyed.

What To Do Once You’ve Written A Will

Once written you need to store your will safely and tell the executor(s) of your estate where it is. It can be kept at home, with a solicitor, with a private company offering such a service, with a bank or with the Principle Registry of the Family Division. It also must be correctly signed and witnessed in order to be legal.

Prestige Tax and Trust Services can help you write a will so that you can plan for your family & friends future in the event of your passing.

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