Most people understand the importance of a will; however, actually understanding the will writing process is a different story. Whether you choose to use a will writing service Coventry or embark on the mission independently elsewhere in the world, the whole process can seem daunting and overwhelming.
Understanding the Will Writing Process
Despite this, a will is the only mode of ensuring your possessions, property, money, and investments go to the individuals you care about.
This is otherwise known as your estate. To that end, detailed below are the various steps involved in creating a will.
Valuing Your Estate
First things first, you need to get an idea of what your estate is worth, which can be determined by simply listing your assets and debts. Assets included in an estate include the following:
- Owned property
- Life insurance
- Stocks/shares/investment trusts
- Motor vehicles
- Antiques, jewelry, furniture, etc.
On the other hand, debts can refer to the following:
- Credit card balances
- Equity release
It’s important to value your assets on a regular basis, as they can naturally change over time.
Deciding How to Divide Your Estate
Once you’ve got an idea of how much your estate is worth, you can start to divide it among your loved ones. You must consider who you’d like to benefit from your will and whether you want any specific people to receive gifts.
On top of this, you need to contemplate where the residue of your estate is set to go, which refers to money or property that’s left over after paying all the necessary expenses.
Similarly, you must also determine the best course of action if any of your beneficiaries are to die before you. In this distribution, you might also leave a donation to charity.
Choosing Your Executors
Once you’ve passed, someone will be responsible for distributing your estate, and this person is your executor. Since this is a role that requires much responsibility, you need to make sure you make wise choices.
Writing Your Will
As previously mentioned, there are a number of ways you can go about writing your will, including professional will writing services and doing so independently.
Aside from these routes, you can also hire lawyers, contact charities, and work with banks. Each of these modes hasits own pros and cons; it’s just important to weigh up which is the best route for you.
Signing Your Will
In order for a will to be valid, two independent witnesses must be present. These witnesses must also sign the will in your presence, meaning the three of you should be in the same room as this signing takes place. If these rules aren’t adhered to, the will becomes invalid.
These witnesses shouldn’t be civil partners, spouses, or beneficiaries of the will holder; if they do, they’ll lose their right to the inheritance.
In fact, beneficiaries shouldn’t even be in the room during this signing. Similarly, it’s best that executors don’t act as witnesses.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the signing rules have been somewhat relaxed to allow for social distancing.
Storing Your Will
Last but not least, you need to ensure your will is stored safely and securely. This means leaving it with your bank or solicitor or storing it somewhere secure at home. The executor(s) of the will must know where the will is stored.
Similarly, no documents should be attached to the will using staples or paperclips. This is because if they need to be detached and leave marks, there will be uncertainty about whether any part of the will is missing.
Of course, the process is a rather complex one; the above presents a more simplified breakdown.