What things do I need to consider when writing a will?

Close-up image of enterrepneur reading agreement before singing it

Writing a will can seem daunting when you are considering what is going to be done with everything that you leave behind when you are gone. However, with the right legal support, you can be assured that everything that you would want to be carried out will be carried out to the best possible standard.

When do I need a will writing service?

It is always important to leave a will behind, even if you think that your wishes are known to those who you would be leaving behind. A 2018 survey carried out by Macmillan Cancer Support found that nearly two-thirds of adults in the UK have not prepared a will. In a worst case scenario, this could mean that their final wishes may not be carried out as they would want. A will writing service can help you to correctly draft a will.

If you have a particularly large family, then it may take more considerations and a longer amount of time to calculate and determine who will be left what. Some of the main considerations will be:

  • The value of your estate

This includes how much money you have in bank accounts and pension funds, any property and/or land that you own and any investments that you have made.

  • Who you would like to benefit from your will

This could mean that you leave people a certain percentage of your money, as well as certain possessions such as jewellery or property.

  • Who will look after any of your underage children

Any children that you leave behind who are under the age of 18 will have to be assigned a legal guardian in your place.

  • Who you want to execute the details of your will

This will be the appointed person who will sort out the estate and carry out your wishes in your absence.

What is intestacy?

In the event that you fail to leave behind a will, then you will be considered as dying ‘intestate.’ Intestacy solicitors will be helpful in guiding a loved one through the process of sharing out their estate according to the rules of intestacy. There are rules about who can inherit through intestacy. Those who can inherit are:

  • Married and civil partners – as long as they are actually married or in a civil partnership with the deceased at their time of death
  • Informally separated partners
  • Children of the intestate person – the whole estate if there is no married or civil partner, or, a share of the estate if it is valued at over £250,000 and there is a surviving spouse or civil partner
  • Children whose parents are not married or haven’t registered a civil partnership
  • Parents, brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews of the intestate person, but only in certain circumstances.

Those who can’t inherit under intestacy rules include:

  • Divorced or dissolved civil partners
  • Cohabiting partners
  • Children of the intestate person if the latter had a married or civil partner – unless the estate is worth over £250, 000 in which case they will receive a share.
  • Close friends
  • Carers

Do I need to worry about probate?

Probate UK is another consideration that those left behind may have to deal with. Probate is the name for the legal process that is necessary to go through in order for your loved one to deal with your estate once you have passed away.

If you pass with a valid will, then your loved one will be able to apply for a Grant of Probate which will make the process much more straightforward.

Writing a will is more important than most people realise. With the right legal support, it can be a process that is much more straightforward than you might think, and it can be a huge weight off your mind to have everything sorted.

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