1. Work out the value of your estate
Make a list of your assets and estimate their value (for example your home, valuables, and savings). Then do the same with what you owe. Take the second away from the first, and you’re left with what’s called your total estate value. For further help, order our Will Planner to help guide you through the process.
2. Decide who you’d like to benefit and how
Now you know how much you’re worth, it’s time to decide who you’d like to remember in your Will – friends, family and favourite charities – and how you’d like to divide your estate between them. Just 1% of your estate will make a difference if you choose to leave a gift in your Will to Samaritans.
3. Choose your Executors and your solicitor
An Executor is someone who will help carry out the terms of your Will. People often choose a family member and a solicitor to ensure their wishes are secured.
4. Keep your Will safe
Most people like to leave one copy in the care of their solicitor, and keep their own copy in a safe place (to make things easier at what can be a difficult time, make sure your Executors know where to find it).
5. Review it regularly
People’s lives can quickly change – marriages, divorces, children, grandchildren or house moves. So it’s a good idea to check your Will is up-to-date every five years or so. This helps to ensure that your Will is still validated and legally binding.
Updating your existing Will
If you have already written a Will, you can simply add an additional document. This new document is called a codicil – an addition, amendment or supplement to your existing Will.