Though you can make updates to your will, and if circumstances change a lot, you can make a new will entirely, it is best to know what to include from the start. This will simplify the process and ensure that your will is carried out as efficiently and as effectively as possible.
When writing your will, follow this checklist:
1. Find Any Previous Wills
If you have any previous wills, you will want to locate them. You can create a new will, but previous editions need to be accounted for.
2. Up-To-Date Personal Details
When creating your will (or updating it), you will want to ensure that all of your personal details are correct, up to date, and free of spelling errors.
3. Choose Your Beneficiaries
The next step is to choose your beneficiaries. Go through the list carefully to ensure that you don’t forget to include some people. You can name people to split up your estate to, and who to give special gifts to.
4. Make Special Decisions for Children
If you have children under the age of 18 or similar responsibilities, you will then want to outline who you want to take care of them. This shouldn’t be a surprise. Get confirmation from your friends or family and then include that agreement in the will so that there is no reason to contest the issue.
5. Make a Note of Your Debts
When creating your will, it is important to work out your debts. If you have debts, these will be taken from your estate first. You can even write out a clause that states you wish the executor to sell your home to pay off debts and to distribute other assets to your beneficiaries.
Tip: Work with The Inheritance Experts to work out how to minimise the impact of the Inheritance Tax.
6. Make Funeral Arrangements
Similarly, you should also work out funeral arrangements in advance. This way, you can ensure your will is carried out and that you have worked out how you intend to pay for it (rather than forcing your loved ones to bear the cost).
7. Choose How You Wish to Divide Your Estate
Once you have worked out how you intend to deal with debts and funeral costs, you will want to outline how you wish to divide your estate.
8. Make Provisions
It is also important to make provisions. If all your beneficiaries die before you, for example, you can name a charity to donate your estate to.
You can also add additions that explicitly exclude people who would otherwise have a reason to contest your will.
9. Make a Lasting Power of Attorney
To ensure your will is carried out, you will want to make your will a Lasting Power of Attorney.
10. Store Your Will Safely
Last but not least you will want to store your will, any previous editions of your will and all codicils of the will safely. This way, there is no doubt as to which will is the one your executors are to carry out.
Though you can create a Will and Testament on your own, it is always best to create it with The Inheritance Experts to ensure that your will is carried out correctly.