What do I include in a will?
A will writing professional advises what’s best to include in a will to suit your particular circumstances and wishes. However, it’s always a good idea to have some prior knowledge of what would normally be included, so you can plan your will effectively, in your own time.
Of course the first thing you need to think about when drawing up a will is who should get what. Among your assets, include property, cash, savings, pensions, policies, shares and all your personal possessions including jewellery and collections.
If you have children under 18, you certainly want to know that they’ll be well taken care of, should the worst happen. It’s never a pleasant subject, but it’s worth discussing arrangements both with the child if appropriate, and the selected and agreed guardian before including this in the will, too.
The person who will be in charge of ensuring that the wishes in your will are carried out and that everyone receives what they should is known as the executor. You can choose who should take on that role (remembering that it’s always best to ask beforehand).
If you make your will well in advance, your advisor may be able to help you find ways now to minimise the amount of inheritance tax which will eventually fall due on your estate. These could include gifts and transfers.
Once you’ve made your will, you should be advised to change it every three years or so, to reflect any change in circumstances. This must be done formally through either a codicil or preparing a new will altogether, signed and witnessed. Simple additions in pen or strikethroughs will not be classed as official and will be ignored.