Home > Wills > Making Your Own Will

Making Your Own Will

By: J.A.J Aaronson - Updated: 2 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Making Own Will Testament Testator

A will is a vitally important document. It can be the key element in the safeguarding of your assets, and in ensuring that your dependants’ futures are secured. As a result, the writing of this document is a process to which one should devote some considerable attention.

A worrying proportion of Britons do not have a Will, and one of the major reasons for failing to write one is the generally-accepted idea that having a professional put one together is expensive to the point of being unaffordable. However, while this puts off many people from writing a will altogether, some enterprising individuals instead choose to carry out the process themselves.

Pros and Cons

Writing your own will is certainly not the most highly recommended course of action. There are a fairly considerable number of affordable alternatives, including many free schemes if you are a pensioner. However, aside from the cost, you should always think of the importance of the document. Your will is likely to determine almost entirely the disbursement of your estate after your death, and could also include arrangements for things like guardianship of your children. Similarly, most individuals lack the legal knowledge to carry out tasks like Establishing A Trust, which can be vital when looking to mitigate your Inheritance Tax Liabilities.

Finally, there is a legally established form which a will should take. In order to minimise the possibility of confusion, or, in extreme cases, the will being declared void, the document should adhere to theses standards. Again, the vast majority of individuals do not have the knowledge to ensure that this happens.

If, however, you do choose to write your own will, there are numerous sources of help. The most popular of these is the will-writing packs that can be found in many stationers. These can help enormously in ensuring that the document adheres to the relevant legal standards, which is a vitally important consideration. These packs should guide you through the process step-by-step.

Similarly, there are a number of online will-writing services that can be accessed for a small fee. You should be careful when choosing such a service, as some are more reliable than others. Any British legal trade association should be able to give you some guidance as to which of these is a safe bet.

Helpful Hints

If you are intent on carrying out the entire process yourself, it will almost certainly help to begin by drawing up a simple table. This table should have three columns; one should be headed Asset, another Estimated Value, and the third Intentions After Death. Your table should have a series of rows, the titles of which may vary slightly depending on the individual. However, a basic table would include House, Cash, Personal Effects, Property, Shares etc. Filling in each of the boxes in this table will give you a clear idea of your assets, and should make the process of writing the document simpler.

You should also consider establishing a trust or series of trusts, if you think that your assets will have a total value that exceeds the Inheritance Tax Nil-Rate Band. This is covered in more detail elsewhere on this site, and should be given serious thought if you wish to minimise the tax bill that is passed onto your beneficiaries.

Finally, there are some very important rules regarding signatories of a will. The document must be signed by the testator (the individual who is making the will), unless they are physically unable to do so, in which case a signatory may be appointed. The signature must also be witnessed by two other people. These witnesses must sign and date the document, and give their address. This must happen at the same time as the signing by the testator. It is also vital to note that the witnesses may not also be beneficiaries; if this occurs, then the part of the will in which assets are bequeathed to the signatories will be considered void.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
My parents made a will before they went into care. They left their estate equally to their two children (me and my brother). I am married with 3 children. He has a longtime girlfriend. If I die first before my parents, does their entire estate go to my brother or does my wife (and children) get my share? Cheers Willco
Willco - 22-Jun-11 @ 12:44 AM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Midaila
    Re: How Will My Second Job Be Taxed?
    Hi if I work from to different agency one job is about 12 hrs and 2nd job 16hrs per week and pay rate is £7.8 an hr.how much…
    22 May 2019
  • Katie Harding
    Re: How Will My Second Job Be Taxed?
    Hi if I earn £153 a week from 1 job and £76 from a second job what tax will I pay? Thanks
    19 May 2019
  • Sue
    Re: How Will My Second Job Be Taxed?
    Hi I’m presently working as a agency nurse but work can be unpredictable so I am thinking of taking on a second job Will I…
    17 May 2019
  • aasma
    Re: How Will My Second Job Be Taxed?
    I have got 2 jobs one job is about 22 hrs and 2nd job 18hrs per week and pay rate is £10 an hr.how much tax I have to pay.
    17 May 2019
  • coolchan
    Re: How Will My Second Job Be Taxed?
    Hi, if both my jobs are under the pa threshold do I still have to pay 20% tax on one of them?
    16 May 2019
  • Mrs Stanton
    Re: How Will My Second Job Be Taxed?
    I work 12.5 hrs a week as cleaner at 8.21hr and been offered a different job doing just 3 hrs a week at 8.21 he will s second…
    16 May 2019
  • lel
    Re: What Does Road Tax Pay For?
    Can I challenge my road tax bill ... the roads in Cornwall are very badly mentained ... they are worn out ... patched up badly ...…
    13 May 2019
  • MAX
    Re: How Will My Second Job Be Taxed?
    Hi I currently earn £25000 a year in full time employed . I have been asked to deliver leaflets which will pay £45 a week…
    6 May 2019
  • Craig6623
    Re: How Will My Second Job Be Taxed?
    Hi, I am currently employed full time and I am earning a base salary of 16000 however I am due to leave at the end of next…
    30 April 2019
  • Yorkie
    Re: How Will My Second Job Be Taxed?
    Hi, I'm in full time employment and in my employers service dept. I earn a decent wage, on the edge if being a higher rate…
    9 April 2019