Writing a Will
A lot of people think writing a Will is time-consuming, complex and expensive, and means wading through a lot of legal jargon. And this is reflected in the 30 million UK adults who do not currently have a Will.
Writing a Will may be the last thing on your mind, between juggling all that life throws at us. But there’s no escaping how important it is that our loved ones and the causes we care about are taken care of after we die.
FareWill make it easy to write a Will, and all from the comfort of your own home. Turning what can be stressful into something straightforward and accessible.
Before writing your Will, here are some top tips to consider, kindly shared with us by FareWill*.
Top five tips before writing your Will
1. Why is it important to make a Will?
• If you’re a parent
Writing a Will is the best way to have a say over what happens when you die. This is incredibly important if you have children under 18, as it allows you to state who you want to be their legal guardian if anything happens to you. Without a Will, the courts could be left to decide who looks after them.
• If you’re a homeowner
Writing a Will allows you to set out how you want to divide up your estate, including any property or accounts you own. You can make an inventory of your assets and choose exactly how much you want people to inherit, helping to prevent any family disputes when you’re gone.
2. What happens if you die without a Will?
On average, it costs families around £9,700 when their loved one dies without a Will. This is usually made up of assets they can’t find or don’t know exist.
If you die before making a Will, any assets that can be found will be divided up following the rules of intestacy. These are a set of traditional laws that define exactly who gets what – but they may not follow exactly what you would want.
3. Do I need a solicitor to write a Will?
Many people assume they need to see a solicitor to write a Will. But if your requirements are fairly simple and straightforward, you could end up paying more than you need to. You may need to make a Will with a solicitor if you require specific advice on a complex situation – such as high-value business assets or inheritance tax planning.
4. What information do I need to write a Will?
• Appointing legal guardians
If you have children under 18 or are a pet owner, you’ll be able to appoint legal guardians in your Will. This allows you to decide who would take care of them if you weren’t around.
If you were to die unexpectedly before writing a Will, this decision would be left up to the courts. Though it’s very unlikely that your guardians will ever be called upon, it’s still important to choose the right person (or people) for the job.
• Making an inventory of your estate
Millions of people in the UK are put off writing their Will because they’re worried they’ll need to track down paperwork for all their accounts, property and savings – but this isn’t actually the case. With FareWill, you’ll be asked to create a basic inventory of your estate.
For this, you’ll simply make a note of each of your assets – e.g. ‘Santander Current Account’. This is so your executors know where to look when they’re dealing with your estate.
5. Choosing your executors
Another thing you’ll want to think about before writing a Will is who you want to choose as your executors. These are the people responsible for following the wishes set out in your Will.
The most important thing to consider when choosing executors for your Will is whether they’re confident dealing with the paperwork and finances involved.
Leaving money to charity in your Will
Legacy giving is one of the fastest areas of growth in fundraising today, with donations expected to reach £3.9 billion a year in 2024. It’s vital for charities like Vision Foundation, as gifts made in Wills let us plan for the future and continue to support the people, projects and organisations which depend on our service.
Leaving a gift to charity in your Will is simple and makes a huge difference. Vision Foundation has partnered with FareWill, the UK’s largest and best-rated Will provider, to offer our supporters the chance to have their Will written for free.
*Adapted from FareWill’s article, ‘Everything you need to know about writing a Will’ from www.farewill.com