Five steps to making a will

It's something many of us avoid but making a will is worthwhile and it can be easier than you think.

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.

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.

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.