What is a Will?
A Will is a legal document in which you specify what you would like to happen to your estate. You can also give instructions about the type of funeral you would prefer. Your estate consists of:
- Your house (less any outstanding mortgage or other loans secured on it)
- Household and personal effects
- Your car
- Proceeds from any life assurance policies and pensions where there is not a named beneficiary (or the plans are not written in trust), less any outstanding loans such as credit card balances, household bills and funeral expenses
- Cash and savings
How to draft a Will
There are a number of different ways in which you can draft your Will.
Do it yourself
We would strongly advise you not to write your own Will. Although you may feel what you want is straightforward, it is important to use the correct language to ensure your instructions are carried out. Unfortunately many home made Wills make matters more complicated and expensive for the bereaved after a death.
Therefore we recommend that you:
- Do not use any pre-printed forms or pre-prepared packs
- Do not select a company that does not use a solicitor to draft your Will
Use a solicitor
They will agree to a fixed price for drafting the Will, but make sure you choose a firm that specialises in Wills and probate.
Use a bank
Although the fees for drafting a Will are often reasonable, the cost of the bank acting as executor can be more than a solicitor. However, if you already have a close relationship with your bank, you may prefer to use their service.