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The task of writing a Will might seem daunting, but it won't be a long and gruelling process if you have the right guidance. While different services offer different processes, what you need to think about is the same.
Here’s a checklist outlining the key things you need to consider so you have everything you need to make the process simple and pain free.
1. Choose your service.
Choose the right service for you - The National Free Wills Network is a more traditional service involving meeting with a solicitor, whilst Bequeathed allows you to make your Will online at a pace which suits you. Find out more about our free Wills services.
2. Decide who will look after your children.
If you have children who are under the age of 18, you'll need to make provisions for them which includes naming a legal guardian who will be legally responsible for your children. You can also decide who will look after your pets.
3. Choose who will receive your estate.
You can leave everything to one person like your spouse but should consider who you want to inherit your estate if they die before you. Alternatively, you can leave certain gifts or cash to other people or organisations.
4. Be realistic about who gets what.
Even though you have the best interests of your loved ones at heart, equally and fairly distributing assets is not always possible. You can't split everything a certain number of ways. To make it easier, ask your loved ones if there's anything they'd like to be left.
5. Be specific about who gets what.
List your assets and their rough values before deciding how to distribute them. This could include property, bank accounts, jewellery and anything else of value.
6. Appoint an executor.
It's very important to select someone responsible who you trust to deal with your estate and related affairs after you die.
7. Consider leaving a gift to charity.
Once your loved ones are taken care of you may wish to remember your favourite charitable causes, either as a cash gift or a percentage.
8. Record any other wishes.
You'll have the opportunity to include any other wishes that you have such as specific funeral arrangements, but you can always leave it to your loved ones if you prefer. If you've excluded someone from your Will, a letter of wishes can also help prevent successful claims being made against your estate.
9. Find a place for your Will.
When you have made your Will, make sure someone you trust knows where to find it along with any other documents and passwords required for financial situations like banks.
10. Review and update your Will.
After any major life event such as marriage, divorce or birth, you'll want to update your Will. It's a good idea to revisit and update the document every few years to reflect any necessary changes.