Your checklist for making a Will
Writing a Will might seem a daunting task, but with the right guidance it doesn't have to be a long and gruelling process.
Different Will-writing services have different processes, but the basic things you need to consider are the same.
Here, we outline the top ten things to think about when planning for what will happen after you're gone.
We are here to help you get started
Watch our video to find out the things you need to consider if you're thinking about making a Will.
You can also find the checklist written out below.
Here's what you need to think about when making your Will
1. Choose your service
Choose the right service for you. The National Free Wills Network is a more traditional service that involves meeting with or phoning a solicitor, while Bequeathed allows you to make your Will online at a pace that suits you. We work in partnership with both these organisations, and we offer a free Wills services.
2. Decide who will look after your children
If you have children under the age of 18, you'll need to make provisions for them. This includes naming a legal guardian who will be legally responsible for them after your death. You can also decide who will look after your pets.
3. Choose who will receive your estate
You can leave everything to one person, such as your spouse or partner, but you should consider who will inherit your estate if they die before you. Alternatively, you can leave gifts or cash to other people or organisations.
4. Be realistic about who gets what
It is not always possible to equally and fairly distribute your assets between your loved ones. To make things easier, ask those you care about if there's anything particular they'd like you to leave them.
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 have been taken care of you may wish to remember your favourite charities in your Will, either with a cash gift or a percentage of your assets. We would be enormously grateful if you would consider leaving a gift to Blind Veterans UK.
8. Record any other wishes
You can include any other wishes you may have, such as specific funeral arrangements, in your Will. But you can also leave these matters to your loved ones if you prefer. If you've excluded someone from your Will, writing a letter of wishes can help prevent them making successful claims 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. You should also tell them where to find any other important documents and passwords required for accessing things like bank accounts.
10. Review and update your Will
You should update your will after any major life event like marriage, divorce or the birth of a child. It's a good idea to revisit and update your Will every few years to reflect any changes in your life.