10 Mistakes To Avoid When Writing Your Will…

Thinking of writing a will? Make sure you know the facts before you start…

Our team have compiled the most common mistakes that arise when dealing with wills to ensure you don’t make the same mistakes.

1. Not making your will legally binding

For a will to be valid it must be put in writing by persons aged 18 or over. Be signed in the presence of two witnesses who are both over 18 years old and have it signed by your two witnesses, in your presence.

2. Failing to nominate an executor

An important role that is necessary when making a will is an executor. An executor is someone who deals with the administration of your estate after you have died. An executor has the responsibility to carry out the deceased’s wishes, as written down in their will.

3. Failing to provide a guardian

If you have young children, it is important to think about who you would like to care for them after you die. The younger the children the more vulnerable they become, especially if the will-maker is the sole remaining parent or guardian. If you do not appoint a guardian this decision could potentially go to the family courts

4. No specific funeral arrangements

You may have certain wishes you would like in place for your funeral that others may not be aware of. Outlining these in your will gives yourself and your family the peace of mind that your wishes have been met.

5. Not providing clarity in your phasing

Your will must be written clearly and precisely, leaving no room for misinterpretation. This way it’s certain what is going to happen and that everyone knows where they stand in regards to your wishes.

6. Not retaining copies or online access

Many people make photocopies of their will thinking that this is valid. However, your executors will need the original copy of the will to legally administer your estate. The original signed copy of a will is required to apply for probate in the relevant Court. The original copy needs to be placed safely, especially until another trusted person can look at it.

7. Not letting it be known your will exists

More often than not it is apparent that the conversation of death, especially if it is a family member can be a difficult topic to discuss. However, it is a natural part of life and is important that it gets spoken about. Telling your executor, family or loved ones about the existence of your will and its whereabouts avoids unnecessary stress, uncertainty and confusion when the time comes.

8. Having an out of date will

Many people do not realise that big life events can change how a will could work. Events in your life such as; The birth of another child/grandchild, a marriage or divorce, the loss of a loved one and buying a new house can all affect your will. Ensuring you have an up to date will means that there is no room for confusion after these events.

9. Forgetting Assets

When noting down the assets to pass onto loved ones, many people remember the tangible assets; the car, the house, the watch. Very often, however, they forget some of the more intangible assets. Make sure you remember all of the bank accounts, premium bonds, shares and any other potential funds you may have. It may be worth thinking about your digital footprint too. This may include your social media accounts, digital photos, music, and other online accounts.

10. Not having a will at all

It is too common for people to pass away without having a will finalised or prepared. Around 54% of adults do not have a will in place and there can be many reasons why someone may not have one. For example, the uncertainty of making one, unaware of how to write one and not knowing what your wishes are etc.

Here at Lifetime Solicitors, we pride ourselves on ensuring that our clients are provided with a lifetime supply of legal care. Whatever your age or circumstances, our will writing team will not only support you through updating and reviewing your life’s documents but make sure your friends and family are taken care of in the way you would have wanted. If interested, please get in touch with them on 030 241 7675 or email info@lifetimesolicitors.co.uk today.