Don't make a will before you have read this!

 An excerpt from Lawpack's Last Will & Testament Kit.

Making a will is not a complicated process. For the vast majority of us there is no need to see a solicitor. Making a DIY Will is something we can do from the comfort of our own homes. And without any great expense. But there are some things you should think through and plan before settling down to write your will.

When deciding what your will should contain, you are faced with two main decisions:

  1. Who should manage your property and distribute your property according to the terms of your will (your executor).

  2. How you wish your property (i.e. everything you own) to be distributed after your death.

Before you make your will you need to:

  • List the assets you own.

  • Decide who is to receive those assets.

First, make an inventory of everything you own, whether in your name alone or owned jointly with others. (For more information on 'property' that you may own jointly, and what this means for making a will, see our article called Property That Doesn't Pass Under A Will).

Lawpack's Last Will & Testament DIY Will Kit provides a Property Inventory form which can help you.

Then decide how you wish that property to be distributed. You can make gifts of specific property to particular people, as well as gifts of sums of money to particular people. 

Any items or money that you don't specifically allocate will form part of the 'residue' of your estate (i.e. the remainder of the property belonging to you at death) and you must also decide who is to receive this residue. 

(For more information on specific gifts when making a will, see our article called Making a Will: How To Leave A Gift In Your Will; and see Making A Will: Now You've Left Gifts, What Do You Do With The Rest Of Your Property? for more information on the residue).

If you don't make any provision when making your will for someone who is financially dependent on you, that person may have a claim against your estate. 

This can also apply to a person you are living with including, but not limited to, civil partners, spouses and children. Where this risk exists, you should always consult a solicitor to help you make your will.


Write Your Will with Lawpack:


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Published on: October 25, 2010

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