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Guide to Making a Will

Download the Will PDF Guide here - see our other free PDF guides here

Guide Contents

What is a Will?
Making your Last Will
Activating a Will and applying for probate
Dying in Intestate
More help and information about Wills

What is a Will?

A Will is a legal document which communicates how you wish to distribute your personal belongings and wealth (otherwise known as your estate) once you have passed away. It is not a legal requirement in the UK to have a Will but if you don't have one your Estate will be distributed according to the Administration of Estates Act. This means that your personal belongings and wealth maybe distributed differently to how you would have liked.

Items detailed in a Will... Comments
Items of value

These items include things such as:

  • money
  • property
  • savings
  • shares
  • pensions
  • insurance policies
  • jewellery
Practical instructions Where dependents are involved, clear instructions should be given as to who is to provide care.
Beneficiaries These are people who will benefit from your estate. You should include details of who you would like to receive your belongings and how much will they receive.
Executors These are people who will carry out your instructions, usually a friend or relative but could be a solicitor or accountant. It is normal to have between 2-4 people.

It's not compulsory to use a solicitor to draw up your Will but it is advisable.

It is a common misconception to think that because you live with someone they are the ones who will inherit your worldly possessions.

If you are not legally married and not in a civil partnership, then this is most definitely not the case! In the eyes of the law your partner would be required to make a claim to the Provision for Family and Dependents Dept and the application would be assessed from there. If you do not have any family or if your family could not be traced for whatever reason, your estate would end up in the hands of the Government if no Will was in place.

These are just some examples of why it is so important to get your finances in order and make a Will.

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