No matter your age, writing a will is always a good idea should the unfortunate happen. A legally recognised will is the only way to ensure that your wishes are respected in the event of your death. This could be in relation to your choice of burial ceremony and location to how you would like your estate divided between your family.
Preparing a will doesn’t have to be timely or costly; here we’ll give you the steps you need to protect your future.
What Should Be Included
Your will should contain everything that you deem pertinent to your personal situation. If there is something you require to happen after your death, it should be included. On the other hand, if there is something you absolutely don’t want to happen, this should also be clearly stated.
If creating your own will, it can literally be written on a sheet of plain A4 paper. The legality of the document is dependent on whether it has been properly signed and witnessed by two independent witnesses.
That being said, there is an agreed use of language in relation to legal documents so it is recommended that you should at least follow one of the many templates that are available online for a fee. These templates will contain the correct terminology and will come pre-populated with appropriate headings.
When to Write Your Own
Wills can be complicated documents depending upon your circumstances. It is recommended that only the most straightforward requests are handled by a will that has been written by yourself.
Examples of this could be;
- You’re currently married and wish your estate to be solely inherited by your surviving spouse
- In the event of your spouse dying before you, you choose to leave your estate to your surviving children instead
For anything more complicated, a solicitor should be consulted for advice.
When to Appoint a Solicitor
Professional legal guidance should be sought for anything in relation to:
- The ownership of overseas property
- The reduction of potential inheritance tax
- The inclusion of step-children
- Foreign Investments
- You have people dependent upon you who are not directly related
- Any wishes that might be misunderstood due to complexity or legality
The above list is not exhaustive, if you have any doubts then it is best to make sure to avoid problems later down the line.
The benefits of appointing a solicitor are that they are directly responsible in the event of any mistakes. Any mistakes should be directly rectified by your solicitor but if this isn’t possible then seek advice with the Legal Ombudsman.
Other benefits include;
- Your will be safely stored until its required. You won’t be responsible for its loss or for any damage making it unreadable.
- Your solicitor is able to act as your executor. Drafting a will is only the first step – in the event of your death, someone will need to act as executor to handle the practical arrangements of your estate.
Most solicitors will be able to assist you in the preparation of a will. If you’re local to Leeds in West Yorkshire, contact a solicitor in Colton who will be able to provide counsel as required. Make sure that you request a breakdown of fees applicable for each service you require over and above the drafting of the will.
It is never too late to make sure that your interests are being taken care of. If you haven’t already done so, look into have your personal will drafted sooner rather than later.