Making a will

A will is a legal document that lets you decide what you want to happen to your money, property and possessions after you die. It is different to your letter of wishes because it is a formal document, so it means whatever is written in your will is legally binding. You should include information about who you want to inherit your estate.
You can write your will yourself or you can employ a solicitor to do this for you. It is advised that you get some legal advice so that your will covers your entire estate. Your estate is everything that you own, including your assets like your home, bank accounts and personal possessions, as well as any debts, such as your credit card balance or loans.

When you make a will you will need to choose an executor. These are people who make sure what you have asked for in your will is what happens, so they will be responsible for distributing your money and property after your death. Choosing an executor is an important decision and you can get advice on this from your local Citizens Advice Bureau.

Your will won’t be legally binding unless it has been signed by two witnesses. Both witnesses need to be in the room and sign at the same time. You must choose witnesses who are not going to be beneficiaries of the will (that means they must not get anything from the will). This might seem quite complicated but you can find more detailed information available from the organisations listed below that can help you to make a will.

Links on wills

Gov.uk
www.gov.uk/make-will/overview

Citizen Advice Bureau
www.adviceguide.org.uk/england/relationships_e/relationships_death_and_wills_e/wills.htm

The Law Society
www.lawsociety.org.uk/for-the-public/common-legal-issues/making-a-will/

Date last updated: 
20 Jul 2016
Date due for review: 
20 Jul 2019

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