When it comes to estate and inheritance tax planning and looking after your loved ones when you die, it’s important to draw up a Will. This will help you to maintain full control while gifting the right people and avoiding unnecessary tax issues.
While writing a Will might seem morbid and depressing, it shouldn’t be. The process is quick, relatively straightforward and is designed to give you peace of mind. So, here’s how to write a Will from scratch.
- Do some thinking
Before you make a Will official, it’s a good idea to do some thinking about who you want to leave your assets to. You should also value your estate, so you have a good idea what it’s worth. Write lists of valuable personal items such as your property, cars, jewellery, heirlooms and artworks so you don’t forget about anything important to you. Consider the sentimental value of each item too and who you trust to look after such things.
- Incorporate estate planning
If your estate is worth more than £350,000 it will be subjected to inheritance tax. When drawing up your Will, it’s important to think about ways to reduce taxation. This is called estate planning with ways to reduce tax including gifting your estate to your child. Reading up on all of this information in advance will save time when you come to writing your Will or discussing things with a solicitor.
- Contact a solicitor
If your life is a little tangled and your situation isn’t as straightforward as you’d like it to be, or if you simply don’t know where to start when it comes to putting your wishes down on paper, speaking to a solicitor could help. Writing a Will with professional guidance could also work well if you want reassurance that everything’s been done properly. Factor in the costs of using a solicitor. Charges will apply if you want to make Will updates too or start your Will from scratch should circumstances change.
- Use a blank Will kit
Some people decide to write their own Wills using a blank Will kit. This is cost-effective but often difficult without the relevant qualifications. For example, there might be an entire page dedicated to ‘power of the Executor’ which is extremely hard to fill in if you’re not fully educated in this realm. The good news is, sophisticated Will writing software can lead to much more accurate results.
Make sure your Will is valid
For your Will to be legally valid, you must:
- Be 18 or over
- Make it voluntarily
- Be of sound mind
- Make it in writing
- Sign it in the presence of 2 witnesses who are both over 18
- Have it signed by your 2 witnesses in your presence
If your Will us not valid, your wishes might not be executed.
Think about private wealth management and getting your finances in order for when you die. Write a Will and enjoy peace of mind.