A Will is an important document that we should all write, no matter what our age or state of health. We set out a few key points that will help you decide how to craft yours, including a description of the key roles of Witness, Executor and Beneficiary.

Once you have made your Will, you can relax and get on with living.

You don’t need to use special paper or a magical pen to draw up a Will. It can be written however you like, but there are some guidelines about what to include to make sure that all of your wishes are met after you pass.

Making sure that your Will is legal and valid can be stressful. Confirming that every aspect of your Will is irrefutable takes time, and more often than not, people employ a solicitor to write up their Will.

What do I need to include in my Will?

In your Will, you should name the people who you want to inherit your assets, who will be in charge of distributing your estate, and other important topics like who will be the secondary beneficiaries if the others die, and if you have children who will take care of them.

What about witnesses?

If you are writing your Will in England and Wales, you will need two witnesses over the age of 18 to be present when you sign it. If they can’t be there physically, new legislation introduced during the pandemic allows for video-witnessing. It must also be signed by these witnesses in clear view of you.

Be mindful of who you choose as Witnesses, Executors or Beneficiaries as they all have varying roles and access to your Will.

Explanation of key roles within a Will

A witness:

  • Can act as an executor;
  • Can witness your Will;
  • Needs to be present when your Will is signed; and
  • Must be over 18 in England and Wales.

An executor:

  • Can inherit from your estate;
  • Can act as an executor;
  • Can witness your Will; and
  • Must be over 18 in England and Wales.

A beneficiary:

  • Can inherit from your estate;
  • Can act as an executor; but
  • Cannot witness your Will.

Common mistakes when writing a Will

Some of the more common mistakes that pop up when dealing with Wills that are made without a solicitor’s guidance include:

  • not being aware of what makes a Will a legally binding document;
  • not taking account of all of the money/property that has to be distributed;
  • not including a “plan b” should the beneficiary die before the person making the Will; and
  • changes to the document being invalid if they are not witnessed and signed.

Take advice when writing your Will

Unless the Will is very straightforward and you have a decent amount of knowledge while creating one, it’s always advisable to use a solicitor to ensure its validity.

Even things that may seem simple such as a business being involved, having property abroad included in your estate, or having multiple family members who might try to make a claim on your Will, can complicate things considerably.

Contact our Will writing experts

Talk to Cunningtons’ Wills and Probate department for their Will writing services. We offer advice and guidance, and we also offer a storage service whereby we look after your documents in perpetuity.

Contact us for a confidential chat about how we can help.

Visit our branches for more information: BraintreeBrightonChelmsfordCroydonHornchurchSolihull and Wickford.

One thought on “Tips For Writing Your Will”

  1. For the purpose of clearity, certainty and avoidance of doubt Lawyers guidance is crucial in Will writing.

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