Making a will
A legally valid will means that you get to decide what happens to your money, property and possessions after your death. If you make a will you can also make sure you don’t pay more Inheritance Tax than you need to.
You can write your will yourself, but seek legal advice if your will isn’t straightforward. A list of key important points about writing a will can be found on the government website. They include:
- what your will should include
- executing your will and ensuring it is legally valid
- at what point you need to get legal advice
- how to keep your will safe
Citizens Advice has a lot of useful information about why it is important to make a will, guidance about solicitors, cost and other requirements that are essential in ensuring that your will is valid.
Making a will during COVID-19
During COVID-19, you can still make a will as instructions can often be taken over the phone with a solicitor and the drafted will can be sent by email or post for approval and amendment
It is strongly advised that you seek legal advice if you decide to go forward with a will during this time as there are some aspects of will writing including getting your will witnessed and witnesses’ signatures that cannot be done electronically in line with the current law around wills..
Tips for making a will during coronavirus include:
- Take legal advice
- Read your will carefully and make any changes before signing it
- Execute the will safely and correctly to ensure it is legally valid
- Once your will is signed, check again it has been executed properly in accordance to legal requirements
- Store your will safely
Making sure your will is legal
If you die without a will or do not have a legally valid will, the rules of intestacy will determine how your assets are distributed and who gets what.
For your will to be legally valid, you must:
- be 18 or over
- make it voluntarily
- be of sound mind
- make it in writing
- sign it in the presence of two witnesses who are both over 18
- have it signed by your two witnesses, in your presence
If you make any changes to your will you must follow the same signing and witnessing process.
The government website provides information about making a will