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Making A Will – The Checklist

We’ve covered why everyone should make a will, and how important it is that it is kept up to date, but do you know what you should put in it, or even where to start when it comes to setting out your wishes for the future?

Don’t worry; it can feel daunting, even overwhelming, but with this handy checklist you can make a good start. And if you have any queries or questions, just contact us for more indepth advice.

  1. The first thing to do is to find as many of the documents that relate to your estate as you can. Take a good look through them and work out exactly what you have regarding assets, property, and potential value. These documents include mortgage deeds, bank account details, savings account details, and investments.
  2. Next you need to check through your personal documents, such as birth certificate, marriage certificate, insurance details, and funeral arrangements. It’s also a good idea to list any preferences you have for solicitors and lawyers, and to name your advisers, financial or otherwise, who may need to be contacted in the event of your death.
  3. Decide who you would like to act as your executor, and ensure that they agree to carrying out the role.
  4. Your estate: how do you wish to divide it up (if at all)? Who will the shares go to? Or do you want to put some or all of the estate into a trust, to be allocated at a later date?
  5. Bequests: who would you like to inherit your precious possessions, or certain sums of money?
  6. If you have young children, or are a carer, who will you name as guardian to them when you die? They must agree to do it before they can be named officially.
  7. Do you have an alternative plan should one of the beneficiaries in your will die before you do? Ideally, you should update your will to reflect this, but it is possible to write a note explaining that if X has died, then Y must inherit. This could be done in the form of a codicil.
  8. Finally, is everything that you wish to happen once you have died written down in your will? This can be anything from what music you would like played at your funeral, to ensuring that your animals are looked after, to the more intriguing ideas of Houdini!

No one enjoys thinking about death, least of all their own. But making a will, and ensuring that it is correct, will give you peace of mind that everything will continue as you wish it to once you have gone.

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