Guide to making a Will

I want to make a Will, but how do I do it?

In our straightforward guide to making a Will we have outlined how a Will should be drafted and explained some of the rules that must be followed.

How Wills are structured

  • Only an adult can make a Will
  • All Wills must be in writing, unless in an emergency situation (active duty)
  • A Will can be either typed or handwritten
  • Executors must be appointed in the Will, these are the individuals who will deal with the assets of the Estate
  • We recommend that at least two Executors are appointed, as if one cannot act for any reason the remaining one can administer the Estate
  • An Executor can be a beneficiary of the Will

What you can do in a Will

  • Guardians of minor children can be appointed in the Will
  • If minors are to benefit under the terms of a Will, those assets must be held in Trust
  • Legacies (cash gifts) and specific items can be given in a Will
  • After the deduction of tax, legacies and debts, the net assets of the Estate are known as the Residuary Estate
  • The Will should be clear as to who is to benefit, and the nature of the assets gifted
  • Trusts can be incorporated in Wills to ensure that your assets are preserved for your family

Execution of Wills

  • The Testator (person who has written the Will) must sign and date the Will in the presence of 2 independent witnesses
  • Once the Testator has signed, both witnesses must sign
  • Each witness must sign his/her usual signature and give his/her full name, address and occupation
  • It is essential that each witness signs in the presence of the Testator and the other witness
  • Witnesses to a Will cannot benefit from its terms, it is therefore important to have independent witnesses

After Wills are signed

  • There is no one central register in the UK, it is therefore important to arrange safe secure storage
  • We recommend that you also utilise Willdata who operate a national registration service, which records where your documents are held and who the Executors are

If you want to put a Will in place, or are concerned that your existing Will is not fit for purpose. Call on 01483 564833 to arrange a free initial appointment.