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Writing a will

There are several options available to people wanting to write their will. You can use a will writing service, pay for the services of a professional (for example, an accountant) or write it yourself.

Will writing services, while cost-effective, can sometimes be risky. There’s no guarantee the writer will have the relevant legal knowledge and neither are they regulated, so if something goes wrong your options may be limited.

However, writing it yourself is even riskier. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you run the risk of creating an invalid will. Needless to say, going solo should only be done if you have legal experience or if your affairs are straightforward.

Irrespective of who ends up writing your will, there are some key things you need to think about before starting the process. This list is by no means exhaustive, but…

 

What assets do you have?

Making a full list of all the assets included in your estate should be the first thing you do. This includes cash, investments, property and any possessions of value. Work out how much your assets are worth to arrive at a total asset value for your estate.

 

Who will be your beneficiaries?

You can leave assets to anyone you choose. Most people think first about their dependants: your partner, children and other close relatives you may have been financially supporting over the years.

Also consider how these assets will be transferred to them. Will you put them into trust, will they be paid as a lump sum or will they receive them as a regular income (life interest)?

 

Who will be your executor?

Your executor will be responsible for administering your estate after you die. This includes distributing your assets according to your wishes, paying any outstanding debts and taxes and handling all the paperwork related to your estate.

We can’t overestimate how important the job of being an executor is, so it must be both someone you can trust and someone who will be able to handle the responsibilities.

Contact us on 01628 631 056 or by emailing geoffk@knightandcompany.co.uk if you need any guidance.