Jumping into the realm of estate planning can feel like diving into a labyrinth, especially when choosing to write will online. But with tools like Wills Trust LPA, it’s like having a guiding star. Before hitting that submit button, though, there’s a handy checklist every UK resident should keep in mind to ensure their will stands unshakable.
1. Clear Identification of the Document
Start by stating that the document is your last will and testament. This might seem straightforward, but explicitly saying so eliminates any ambiguity.
2. Personal Details: The Basics
Date of birth
These details ensure there’s no mix-up between you and someone else with a similar name.
3. Revocation of Previous Wills
By stating that this new will revokes all previous wills and codicils, you’re ensuring that there’s no confusion about which will is the valid one.
4. Appointing an Executor (or Executors)
The executor is the person who’ll ensure your wishes are carried out. Choose someone trustworthy. Often, folks opt for close family members, but professionals or solicitors can also be considered.
5. Asset Distribution
Real Estate: Details of properties you own and who they should go to.
Personal Belongings: Jewellery, artworks, heirlooms – be as detailed as you wish.
Financial Assets: Bank accounts, stocks, bonds, and other investments.
Digital Assets: From online bank accounts to social media profiles, don’t forget the digital realm.
6. Guardianship for Minor Children
If you have children under 18, it’s vital to appoint a guardian. This is the person you’d trust to raise your kids if you’re not around.
7. Funeral Arrangements
While it’s a sombre thought, detailing your wishes regarding your funeral or body disposal (e.g., cremation or burial) can provide guidance for your loved ones during a challenging time.
8. Alternate Beneficiaries
Life is unpredictable. Specifying alternate beneficiaries ensures that if your primary beneficiary cannot inherit, your assets still go where you’d like them to.
9. Witnesses and Signatures
In the UK, you need two witnesses to sign your will after you’ve signed it. They must be over 18 and shouldn’t be beneficiaries or closely related to any beneficiaries.
10. Keep It Updated
Births, marriages, asset acquisitions – as life twists and turns, it’s good to revisit your will to ensure it mirrors your current situation.