Writing a will

With the new year around the corner, it is the perfect time to get your affairs in order. One such item is making a will, which although may seem like a saddening subject, there are many good reasons for making a will.

Reasons for making a will

  • Making a will can simplify the process for family and friends to make arrangements and manage your estate when you die.
  • If you do not write a will then the estate will be shared out in a standard way, under the rules of intestacy, but you may want particular people to receive more of a benefit.
  • Writing a will may also reduce the Inheritance Tax liability that may be due based on the value of the property and money in your estate.
  • Consider that your children or other family may depend upon you financially and if you want to leave anything to a person outside the immediate family.

Making a valid will

Once you have decided to make a will, you need to take into account that the will must be legally valid. The following must be considered.
  1. The person making the will must have the mental capacity to make a will and understand the implications of making a will with specific and carefully worded terms that are clear. It is important to make it clear who will be benefit from any money, property and possessions.
  2. Consider who will administer the estate and follow the terms of the will correctly. This is called an executor. You have the option of appointing a Solicitor, family or friend to represent you to carry out your wishes. The appointed executor will do their best to ensure your wishes are followed, by following the legal process during the administration of the will. There may be occasions where the executor cannot carry out your wishes, e.g. if a beneficiary of your will dies before you.
  3. It will be important to state how you want your estate to be divided in the event of your death.
  4. You must not be or feel coerced by other people when deciding who will receive your legacy.
  5. A valid will must be signed and dated by you in the presence of two adult independent witnesses and then signed by the two witnesses in your presence.
  6. The witnesses cannot benefit from the will and all witnesses must understand the importance of being a witness to the will.
  7. It is important that you establish what you would like to leave by establishing your estate (property, savings and investments etc.) - the detail of your assets will determine the complexity of the will.
  8. If your situation is more complicated – for example, if you have a second family or you want to leave money and gifts to lots of people – you’ll need to plan more carefully.
Making a will is not the most simple of tasks but it is incredibly important, if you are in need of any legal advice when it comes to making a will please feel free to contact Health Assured. Telephone number 0844 8922 493 Email casemanager@healthassured.co.uk Portal www.healthassuredeap.com

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