Here is our helpful guide to writing a will yourself online:
Prior To Writing a Will Yourself
Work out exactly what your own assets are and what they are worth. If you are a home owner then you need to detail the value of your home at today’s market value less any mortgage still owed on the property.
If you share the ownership of your house with a partner or spouse as ‘Joint Tenants’, your half of the property will not go into your will and will automatically pass on to your co-owner. If you share the ownership of your property as ‘Tenants in Common’ then you can put your share of the property into your will and leave it to whoever you want.
You also need to detail any investments, bank accounts with cash in them, life insurance / assurance policies and it is a good idea to note on the will the whereabouts of these documents. Also consider any valuable possessions when writing a will such as any family heirlooms, jewelry, valuable antiques. Lastly you should also list any general possessions such as any cars, furniture, household items etc.
After totaling up all your possessions and assets you will then need to deduct any financial commitments such as your mortgage, loans, car finance etc and you will also have to factor in your funeral expenses. After calculating all of this you should come to a figure which then will be your total worth and you are now ready to begin writing a will online.
Important Points To Consider
Inheritance Tax: Currently, If your estate (the value of all your money, investments, property etc after deducting any debts) is worth more than £325,000 (the nil rate band) then any amount over that is liable for inheritance tax which is currently %40. For example, should you die and your entire worth is £700,000 then you will pay %40 tax on £375,000 which comes to a tax bill of £150,000.
Married couples and civil partnerships can now use any spare tax free allowance. So for example, should one partner die and not use any of their tax allowance, the remaining partner can then have a tax allowance of £650,000.
There are ways to mitigate or reduce your inheritance tax bill such as setting up a trust or discretionary trust and this will require independent financial advice through the services of a independent financial advisor.
Children: Should you have children under the age of 18 then they should be considered very carefully when writing a will yourself. You will need to nominate guardians who will look after the children should both parents die. You will also need to detail where the finances will come from to support them (this is usually in the form of a trust).
You must ensure that the guardians agree to this and if the children inherit any money or property it will be held in trust until they are 18. You must specify how this trust is managed (again, this is something your independent financial advisor can advise on and manage). If you do not specify how the trust is to be managed then the executor will be in charge of the trust according to ‘Trustee Laws’.
Writing A Will Yourself
By clicking the button at the bottom of this page, you will open our online will writing form. It is a series of simple to follow multiple choice questions which ensure all the required details are included on your will. It is then legally verified by our professionally qualified will writers to ensure its legality.
Firstly, Your will should have the title ‘Last Will and Testament’ and should be dated. By dating the will, this will avoid any confusion any revoke any previous will you have made.
Write your name in full and your full address including postcode. Then include a list of all your assets including property, bank accounts, life insurance policies, valuable heirlooms, valuable possessions etc.
You now need to detail all the people who you would like to share out your estate to. These are known as beneficiaries and can be any one you like (provided they are not signed witnesses to the will). You must clearly write your intentions in this part of the will to make sure they are undertaken expressly at the time of reading the will. This is particularly important if dividing up your worth to numerous beneficiaries.
If you have any children under the age of 18 (minors) then you must appoint a guardian(s). List their full names and addresses. It is not a good idea to list your partner / spouse as a guardian incase you both die together. You must also ensure that the nominated guardian(s) have expressed their consent to looking after the children in the event of your death.
You will now need to choose the executor of will who’s role it is to undertake the wishes and requirements expressed in your will. They must 18 years of age or above and again, it is not recommended that you choose your partner / spouse for this role incase you both die together. You must also ensure that your chosen executor have given consent to the role. It is also recommended that should you have children, your executer(s) of the will should not be the appointed guardian(s) to avoid a possible conflict of interests.
An Executor is legally responsible for filling all of your legal forms and tax returns and paying any fees upon your death and they are held fully liable against any errors or omissions. Until all of the paper work is complete, your estate cannot be distributed between your beneficiaries. Because of this not many people are happy to take on the role of the executor of will and most people do not have any experience in this matter.
The next item you should consider when writing your own will is to create a trust to manage and invest your money, property, investments etc until it is passed on to your chosen beneficiaries. These are managed by what is known as a trustee and it is usually recommended to seek Independent Financial Advice through a financial advisor. This can result in beneficial tax implications and by choosing an independent financial advisor as your trustee, they can advise and help with the avoidance of any inheritance tax should your estate be applicable.
Consider any bequests for specific items such as family heirlooms, specific amounts of money etc. It could be that you want to leave the house to your grandchildren, a valuable item of jewelry to your daughter, a sum of money to a charity, all of your clothes to the local charity shop etc.
The next step in your free will writing process is to have two witnesses to sign and date your will. Please note that under UK law, both the witnesses and their spouses must not be beneficiaries to the will. All three of you must be present to sign the form and witness each other signing the form for it to be legal. Failure to do so may result in the will being invalid.
Now it is time for you to date and sign the will. Again this must be done in the presence of your two witnesses for it to be valid.
Lastly, you need to store the will in a safe place and make sure you notify the executor(s) of its where abouts so they can easily find it.