The certainty of death is the truest fact of life and yet one that we tend to live trying to ignore. One of the ways we push the inevitability of death to one side is by avoiding any talk of the subject. This is not a modern phenomenon but more and more of us are avoiding writing our wills or death testimonies now because of it. While it may seem premature, there is no better time to write a will than while you’re fit and healthy. Here is all you need to know.
What to Include
Your will must be set out to entail who you want to benefit from your will, who should take up guardian responsibility of any of your children under 18, who is going to carry out your death wishes, who is going to sort out your estate and what happens if the people included in your will die before you.
Needless to say your will should also be kept very safe.
It is absolutely necessary that you seek legal advice for the formulation of your will. This will ensure that all measures are made in correlation to the law, and that you include all that is necessary to include.
Legal advice will be hugely beneficial to those who share a property with someone who isn’t their husband, wife or civil partner. It will also be of help for those who want to leave money or property to a dependant unable to care for themselves. If you have a second spouse or children from another marriage or simply have several family members who may wish to make a claim on your will, legal advice will also be of great help. If you have an overseas property or your permanent home that isn’t in the UK, legal advice will also be necessary. Lastly, if you own a business, you must also seek legal advice when writing a will.
There is a pool of great law specialists that offer legal advice for those who need to formulate a will, such as RIFT wills.
Conditions for Writing a Will
There are a few conditions for writing a will that must be adhered to in order to make it legal. It must be made by a person 18 or over, made voluntarily by a person who is sane, formulated in writing and signed by the person making the will and two witnesses (aged over 18) all in the same presence.
Furthermore, your witnesses or their married partners cannot be left anything in your will.
Only then will the will be legally valid.
Any changes to the will must follow the same conditions.
Updating your Will
Your will should change after any major life change, such as having a child, marriage, separation or divorce, moving house, or if anyone named in the will dies, particularly the executor.
A will cannot be amended however once it’s been signed and witnessed without an official alteration called a codicil, which must be subject to the same conditions under which the will was signed.
Darren Jacobs is a British lawyer and freelance writer.