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Why it's important to write a will

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Published 27/09/2021
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A will is a legal document advising how you would like your property to be distributed after your death. There are many misconceptions about wills, which are outlined in this article: 10 myths about writing a will busted

As the above article states, many people believe that they do not need a will, however it is important to have one if you want to be the one to decide what happens to your things once you’ve passed away. Making a will is the only way to ensure that your money, property and possessions go to the people you care about. If you have children under the age of 18, your will can also be used to specify who you would like to look after them in the event of your death. You can also choose an executor, someone to carry out the wishes in your will.

For a will to be legally valid, you must be over 18, and the will must be signed in the presence of two witnesses, who must also sign it. It must be in writing, and you must make it voluntarily and while of sound mind.

Once you have made your will, you are able to update it whenever necessary, such as after a big change in your life. The alteration must be made officially and is called a codicil, which must be signed and witnessed in the same way as the original will, though the witnesses do not have to be the same. Any major changes will require a new will to be made, which should state that the original is no longer valid. The original will should then be destroyed.

You can write your own will, and it will be legally valid as long as you follow the above mentioned rules. You can also seek help from lawyers, professional will writers, and even some charities and banks. It is advised that if your will is not straightforward, you should seek professional help in writing it.

Once you have written and verified your will, you need to store it in a safe place, and let your chosen executor know where it is. You can store the will in a safe place in your home, in your bank or with a solicitor.

If you do not make a will, the law decides where your estate will go. If you have specific wishes about who you would like your money and possessions to go to, then it is best to make it clear in a will.

For more information on why having a will is important and how to go about making one, Citizens Advice have a lot of information on their website, while the government website also has a brief overview.

Thank you for reading.
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