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What information do you need to make a Will?

woman notes information you need to make a Will
SUBJECT: Wills
AUTHOR: Graham Southorn

Every Will should be bespoke and personal to you but there are standard elements that go into every Will.

What follows is a list of information you need to make a Will. It might take you a while to think about, but it beats starting from scratch when you sit down with a Will Writer or solicitor. Note that not all of the following may be relevant to the Will you’re about to make:

Executors
You must name one or more executors to carry out the terms of your Will. They have to be over the age of 18. Common choices are spouses, partners, adult children and trusted friends. Executors can still be beneficiaries of your Will. If you don’t know anyone suitable, the Will Writer or solicitor can advise on appointing a professional instead.

Trustees
If there is a Trust in your Will, you need trustees to manage it. They can be the same people as your executors. You must name at least two trustees.

Beneficiaries
These are the people you wish to benefit from your Will. The ways in which you can benefit them are as follows:

  • Leave them specific amounts of money, property or possessions
  • Leave them a percentage share of your overall estate.

You can do one or both of these in the same Will. However, it’s worth checking to ensure that there is no adverse consequences as far as inheritance tax is concerned. Similarly, the ownership of property will determine whether or not you can pass it on in your Will.

Guardians
If you have children under 18, you can appoint guardians to look after them if both natural parents have died. Factors to consider include their age, where they live, and their personal and/or religious values. Ask if they are comfortable with the role before naming them.

Charities
To leave money to a charity, please supply the charity’s correct name, address and registration number, which you’ll find in the charity register: https://www.gov.uk/find-charity-information

Funeral wishes
You can state preferences for your funeral, though this is not mandatory nor legally binding.

Secure storage
You can store your Will at home or use a professional storage service if you prefer. Professional storage ensures that your Will never goes missing and that your executors know where it is kept and how to access it.

A Will Writer or solicitor will ask for more

The information to make a Will listed above. But a Will Writer or solicitor will ask you for further details, including:

  • Your personal and family circumstances
  • Your assets and how much they‘re worth
  • Your aims and concerns

By asking these questions, a professional can determine that the Will you get is one that suits your needs. It won’t cause your family to have to pay inheritance tax unnecessarily and it will help prevent possible claims against your estate.

If you’ve already thought about these questions – great! Click the button below to arrange an appointment.

For further information, download free factsheets on Wills, Trusts, Inheritance Tax, Lasting Power of Attorney and more.

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The information contained in these articles is for general interest purposes only. We take every precaution to ensure that the information is correct at the time of publishing but errors can occur. Given the changing nature of laws, rules and regulations, there may be omissions or inaccuracies in the information. Bristol Wills & Estate Planning Ltd is not responsible for any errors or omissions or for any results obtained from the use of this information. You should never rely on the information in these articles as a substitute for professional legal advice, whether from Bristol Wills & Estate Planning or any other legal service or professional.

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