View A Selection of 'Terms And Conditions' Templates To Download From:
Articles Of Interest:
There can be a great deal of unanswered questions with regard to making a will. A lot of people are unsure as to whether it is really necessary at all and even more people are put off doing anything by the prospect of paying large legal fees. Combine this with the fact that the whole subject is not something that most people are particularly willing to talk about in the first place and you can see how it is no wonder that over two thirds of people in the UK do not have a will at all.
To begin with, it is worth just clarifying that there is no law saying that you must have a will in place. It is entirely voluntary, but can make things much easier for those left behind when you die. As well as the fact that a great deal of money and property goes to the state each year because people have not made wills, there are many legal battles and family disputes due to the wishes of the deceased not having been made clear. A will and testament does not have to be long or complicated, it is just a legal statement of how you wish your assets to be distributed after your death. This simple act can save a lot of strife at a time when relatives are already grieving.
There can naturally be a degree of uncertainty about the question of making a will that is legal without using a solicitor. While some solicitors seem to make things unnecessarily legalistic and complicated, it is nevertheless true that there are certain things that have to be included and phrased in a certain way in order to be legally binding. This does not, however, mean that you have no option but to go to a solicitor and pay the usual fees for them to draw up a will specifically for you. An increasingly popular option is to use a will template, which has been created by solicitors, but can be downloaded online extremely cheaply.
There are various outlets for will templates and off the shelf wills, and you can get quite a range of different ones aimed at the many different circumstances that people find themselves in. A good will template will come with full guidance notes on how to complete it and what to do to make sure that it is accurate and legally binding. This sort of will is perfectly adequate for the majority of people in fairly normal circumstances. The only time you would be advised to follow the more traditional approach of talking to a solicitor is when you either have a particularly large estate, or have complicating or unusual features in your situation or in how you wish to distribute your estate.
The main purpose of the will is to express what you want to happen to your estate and assets, so your will needs to cover all property, any savings or other accounts, shares or pensions that you have and any other possessions. Some people like to leave specific possessions to named individuals. Your will needs to include the details of those people that you wish to leave things to, in other words your beneficiaries.
You will need to specify who the executors of your will are. This is very important as this is the person or people who will be responsible for putting your instructions into place after your death. This needs to be someone you can trust to carry out your instructions as you intended. A will would also need to cover any specific instructions on looking after any children who are under the age of 18.
In order for your will be be a binding legal document, you need to be at least 18 years of age when you make it. You have to be of sound mind and not making the will under any pressure from any other person. To be binding it just needs to be in writing, so can even be hand written, and you need to sign it yourself and have it witnessed by two other people. These witnesses should not be beneficiaries of the will.