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Writing a Will

24
May

2019

Two thirds of people in the UK have not made a Will yet and more than half the UK population will never get round to making a Will. Writing a Will is one of the most important things you ever you to protect your family.

By taking the time to write a Will, not only will you be taking steps to protect your loved one but also minimise their Inheritance Tax and other death tax.

Writing a Will enables you to:

  • Clearly define who should benefit from your Estate
  • Appoint people who you trust to deal with your affairs
  • Minimise your Inheritance tax

Making a Will might seem like a daunting task, but it does not have to be. Here we have included a sample of a Will which details what you need to think about when drawing up your Will.    

It is important to note that this is for illustration purposes only in order to demonstrate what should be included in a Will. As a Will is a legal document, we would recommend you get professional advice.

Last Will and Testament 

This Will is made by me [FULL NAME] of [HOME ADDRESS]

For the purposes of the last Will & Testament of [FULL NAME], the following definitions apply:

  • Beneficiary: – Anyone who receives something from the following Will.
  • Bequest: – A gift left in a Will.
  • Estate: – All money and property owned at the time of death.
  • Executor(s): – The person or persons appointed to carry out the instructions in the Will.
  • Guardian(s): – The person selected to look after children under 18.
  • Residue: – The sum left from an estate when all debts, charges and gifts are deducted.
  1. Revocation

    I, [FULL NAME] revoke all earlier Wills and declare this to be my Last Will and Testament.

  2. Appointment of Executors

    I appoint as my Executor and Trustee: [FULL NAME, RELATIONSHIP] of [HOME ADDRESS].

     If [FULL NAME, RELATIONSHIP] is unable or unwilling to act or dies before proving my Will, then I will make the following appointments instead

    I appoint [FULL NAME, RELATIONSHIP] of [HOME ADDRESS] to be my Executor and Trustee.

  3. Funeral Arrangements

    I wish my body to be buried at [LOCATION], I have in place a prepaid funeral plan from [FUNERAL PLAN PROVIDER, POLICY NUMBER]. The funeral plan outlines the arrangements for my funeral.

  4. Guardianship Appointment

    If [FULL NAME, RELATIONSHIP] dies before me. I appoint [FULL NAME, RELATIONSHIP] of [HOME ADDRESS] as guardians of any of my children under eighteen years of age.

  5. Money Bequest

    I make the following gifts of money free of all taxes and death duties:

    £100,000 to each of my grandchildren: [FULL NAME 1] [FULL NAME 2] [FULL NAME 3]

    £50,000 to each of my godchildren:  [FULL NAME1] [FULL NAME 2]

    £10,000 to my friend: [FULL NAME 1]

  6. Specific Bequests

    I make the following gifts of personal property free of all taxes and death duties:

    I give [FULL NAME, RELATIONSHIP], my [SPECIFIC ITEM]

  7. Administration of Estate

    My Trustees should use my Estate to:

    Satisfy all bequests outlined in my Will.

    Deal with the remainder ("my Residuary Estate") as I now direct.

  8. Gifts of Residue

    I give all of my residuary Estate to my Trustees to pay all the expenses of my Estate and all my debts, including any mortgage and taxes due, whether as a result of my death or otherwise. My Trustees shall then hold all such remaining property for [FULL NAME] of [HOME ADDRESS] absolutely if [HE]/ [SHE] survives me by [60] days.

In order for a Will to be valid, it needs to be signed and witnessed. The process of signing a Will and having witnesses confirm that they have seen you sign is called attestation. It is important to note that witnesses cannot be a benefactor in your Will.

Important considerations when signing your Will:

  • Make sure your Will is dated, as without a date noone can be sure that it is your latest Will.
  • Sign your Will at the end of the document as there should be no words after the signing and witnessing.
  • You need two witnesses to attest your signature in order to prevent fraud, so the testator and his two witnesses need to all be present in the same room, at the same time and for all three to watch each of the other two do his/her signing.
  • Witnesses should write their names and address clearly as when a person witnesses a Will, the most important aspect is that he/she can be found after your death.

Once signed and witnessed your Will is complete and legally binding. It is important that your Executor has a copy of your Will or knows where to locate it. You must also keep a photocopy in case the original is lost or destroyed.

Funeral Planning Experts suggests only writing your own Will if it is very simple. If you feel that you would benefit from getting some professional advice we can put you in touch with a local Will Writer. 

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