What Should I Include In My Will?
T o save time and costs in coming to see us you should try to sort out what you feel you want to do in your Will. Creating a Last Will and Testament is vitally important as it ensures your wishes will be fulfilled after you have gone. If you die without one, your estate will be distributed according to the laws of intestacy, leaving your loved ones to face a legal minefield at a time when they are trying to grieve.
But many say they are uncertain as to what should be written within the document, especially if their estate is not worth a significant sum. However, this should not deter you as a Will can include a wide range of stipulations, such as:-
Guardians – if you have children under the age of 18, you can appoint a guardian who will be legally responsible for them, should you pass away. If you fail to do so and you are the last living parent, the courts will appoint a guardian, meaning it might not be the person you wanted.
Beneficiaries – no matter how much your estate is worth, if you die intestate, your money, possessions and property will be distributed according to the law. Therefore certain loved ones may find themselves without the provision you had intended. This can lead to bitter family feuds and significant financial trouble. You can also make bequests to parties other than friends and family, such as a favourite charity.
Explanation for exclusions – if you wish to exclude someone in your Will, you can do so and explain your reasoning. This might be, for example, because you have made other provisions for the person in question, he/she has more wealth than the other beneficiaries or you simply do not want that person to inherit anything.
Clause revoking previous Wills – if you have previously drafted a Last Will and Testament and you make a new one, you must include a clause to state the former Will is revoked. This will avoid confusion after your passing and will prevent your current Will from being deemed invalid.
Funeral arrangements – if you have any specific wishes regarding your funeral, you can express them in your Will.
Signature – once created, your Will must be signed by two witnesses. Your witnesses must not stand to inherit anything, or be married to anyone that is.
We can advise you further as to what should be included in your Will. Having our expert legal help will also guarantee the document is drafted in the correct way, ensuring it is not found to be invalid after your death.
For more information about this article or any aspect of our Wills, Probate & Trusts services (including Care home fees recovery and powers of attorney), please call us on 01676 530514. We will be delighted to help you (there is no charge for initial telephone discussions).