How to Write a Will – Typical Content
Learning how to write a will is one of the most important things anyone can do to ensure their wishes are properly fulfilled when they die. Once this important decision has been made, attention needs to be turned to writing the will.
The advantages of writing a will
Given the obvious advantages that you get when you write a will, it’s amazing that so many people haven’t written a will. Whether you write your own will or get professional help, a valid will clearly states your wishes for the disposal of property and money. With a will in place you can be confident that your loved ones won’t face the worry, delays and financial costs associated with intestacy (dying without having written a will). Given that the cost of preparing a legally valid will starts at nothing (yes, free!), there’s no excuse for not writing one.
How to write a will – typical content
A properly written will enables someone to legally give away the following when they die:
- Their estate as one ‘lump’
- Their property or the use of their property
- House contents
- A business (or businesses)
- Residue after all other gifts have been made and outstanding liabilities settled
Because the format and wording is important, the best way to write a will is to use the services of a professional advisor or a reputable online will writing service.
DIY or professional will writing services
Writing your own will is perfectly legal. However, for maximum peace of mind the consensus is that you should appoint a professional with years of experience of how to write a will. There are several different sources of this expertise:
- Will writers
- Online free will services (backed by experts trained in how to write a will
- Online paid-for solicitor-checked wills
A free online will writing service is fine for simple wills. Where things are complex, writing wills quickly becomes more specialised. This is where a visit to a professional or the use of a solicitor-checked online will-writing service is advisable. For the latter, always use a reputable online service such as The Well Planned Funeral.
The value of an online will writing service
Online will writing services offer several advantages:
- An online will writing guide and other resources
- Lower fees (due to lower overheads)
- Links to other online funeral planning services
Finding a suitable service on the Internet takes only a quick Google search for a term such as ‘online wills’. A well-planned site will then lead you smoothly through the will-writing process. If your will is being solicitor-checked it will usually take a couple of weeks; if you choose an ‘instant’ online will, you’ll be printing it for signature moments after inputting your details.
What to do when you’ve written your will
If you’ve been to a solicitor or a will-writer, they’ll usually store a copy of the will for you. In England and Wales (but not Scotland) you can also store a copy with the Registry and Probate Sub-registry. You should also keep a copy safely with your personal papers, and to make things easier for your next of kin you could store a copy online.
The latter service should come as standard with a good online will-writing service. Some will-making sites also offer excellent planning resources and valuable advice on how to arrange a funeraland related subjects.