There are some important things to consider before you start making a Will. We have listed a few of these that you might want to consider and discuss with your loved ones prior to getting started.
Who do you want to carry out the distribution of your assets on your death?
Appointing an Executor
An executor could be a Statutory Trustee Company (such as Trustees Executors Limited) or a responsible person who is over the age of 18. Any person you choose needs to be able to follow the instructions in your Will and explain the collection and distribution of assets to other beneficiaries.
If you appoint an individual as the executor of your estate, we recommend that you consider appointing a substitute executor in case your first choice is unable to carry out the role of administering your estate, you will want to put some thought into who this might be.
Do you want to include any directions regarding the way in which you would like your body laid to rest?
This is a personal decision, and we will prompt you throughout the process, but you might want to consider this before starting your Will process.
If you have children under the age of 18 you will want to consider if you would like to appoint guardians and who that might be?
A guardian has the power to make important decisions about the way in which your children are raised, including which schools they may go to, where they may live and what type of medical treatment they may receive. However, your children will not necessarily live with your appointed guardian.
Please ensure you talk to the person or persons you wish to appoint as guardians for your children to ensure they are happy to take on that role and understand your wishes.
Do you wish to make any specific gifts in your Will?
You have the option of making a few specific gifts of certain items or cash, or of making a general gift of all personal items and household effects (including vehicles).
Specific gifts include cash gifts or chattels to an individual or a charity. You may make up to five specific gifts in the online Will process.
These should be simple gifts that only form a small percentage of your estate in total. The bulk of your assets should be distributed under the Residue section of your Will.
How do you want to allocate the residue of your estate?
Residue means all your assets not dealt with by way of gifts under your Will, repayment of debts or payment of taxes or other duties.
Are you about to get married?
If you marry after your Will is made, that marriage will cancel your Will completely, requiring you to make a new one. If you do not make a new one, then your assets will be distributed as determined by the Administration Act 1969. To avoid this, you can make your Will in contemplation/anticipation of your marriage which means that your Will is still valid after the ceremony.