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Will Writing

A comprehensive guide on will writing

What is a will?

A Will is a legal document that states who the owners of your assets are after your death. This document describes your wishes regarding the distribution of your assets and properties once you pass away. But it’s not all about money. Making a Will also allows you to appoint guardians for your children. If you haven’t prepared a Will and you die before ever writing one then the whole situation can be difficult to handle. It may fall to local authorities or the courts to decide on their future.

A Will won’t resolve every matter that your family might face after your death, but it can take a great amount of burden off of your family members.

Working with an Independent Qualified Advisor

Although the agreement is between you and the insurance underwriter, it's often common and beneficial to work with an Independent Qualified Advisor, who will act on your behalf to find the best deal on the market for your circumstance. The advisor will act as a bridge between you and the underwriters, so they will ask you the questions required by the underwriter to generate a quote. The advisor will be rewarded by getting a pay-out from the underwriter, often there would be no cost to you for the use of their service and you get the benefit of their access to the whole market, which won’t be accessible to you without them.
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Steps to taking out a will

Fill in a web application

Fill in a web application

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Speak to an independent advisor

Get your will drafted

Get your will drafted

How to write a Will?
Create a document

The first thing that you need to do is create an initial document. You can name this document as 'Last Testament' or 'Legal Will'. To start with, write your full legal name and provide your existing address. You will have to start by writing a declaration paragraph, in which you will declare that you are of legal age and sound mind. Moreover, you will mention that these are your wishes and desires and you’ve not been coerced by anyone. Lastly, you will add that this is your final will, and any will made before this is null and void.

Appoint a trustee

A trustee or an executor is a person that represents you after your death. This person is responsible for representing your wishes and desires in front of your family and friends, as well as managing and distributing your assets among your heirs. People who write a Will normally nominate their friends or family members to be their trustees, but it maybe better to designate your solicitor or financial advisor as they will be unbiased and impartial. You need to make sure that your trustee is trustworthy, reliable, and responsible. You can also compensate your trustee by mentioning them in the will.

Specify a guardian

This is something very important in the process of will writing if you have kids. You can’t miss this if you have kids under the legal adult age and they still need someone to look after them. As a parent, you want the best for your children and it is better to appoint someone to take care of your children if you are the only surviving parent or your partner is unfit to provide care. You don’t want a court or jury to make this decision for your kids so it is better to write this down in your Will. It is better to discuss with your children beforehand about their potential guardians and talk to the guardians as well.

Name the beneficiaries

Beneficiaries are the people who will benefit from your property and assets after you die. These could include your spouse, children, close relatives, or friends. You need to mention them in your Will not forgetting to write their full legal names. Will writing can be tricky, so make sure that you properly identify the beneficiaries in your Will. Moreover, people make the mistake of naming their pet as the beneficiary. That can create many problems for your family. It could be better to name someone who could take care of your pet after you die.

Assign assets

This is one of the most important steps of will writing. You need to make a list of your current assets and write the name(s) of who gets what. You can also decide to disinherit a relative or family member because of personal reasons, but you need to mention that in your Will. You have to give a clear reason for disinheriting that certain person otherwise there could be confusion and ambiguity after your death.

It’s worth noting that insurance policies and some funds are not a part of the Will and are may have their own beneficiary rules.

Take signs of witnesses

Once you are done with writing your will, you need to have two witnesses sign this legal document. The witnesses are supposed to be above the age of 18 and not be the beneficiaries. Sign and add the date and ask your witnesses to sign and add dates too. This legitimises your will.

Keep your Will safe

Keep your will in a safe place and let your trustee know where it is. You should review this will after every two to three years and add or subtract any beneficiary or asset that you want. You can make any changes that you want in your will.

Why do you need a will?

A Will is a legal document that can save families from getting into disputes and save their time and money after the death of their loved ones. The popular misconception is that only people who are wealthy or have complicated assets need a Will. This is not true because any property or ownership matter can become complicated very quickly.

There are several reasons to make a Will.

• Your beneficiary or successor will be able to access your assets faster and save on time and legal expenses.

• You can be clear and straightforward about property distribution. You can easily state who gets what and how much.

• If you have an estranged relative or someone you don’t want to get your assets after your death, you can mention this in your will and keep your assets away from them.

• A Will gives you the opportunity to decide who will care for your children after your death. If you don’t have that in your Will then the courts may decide this.

• A Will gives you a free hand to decide where your money will be spent. You can reserve this money for taxes or give it to charity. This will help counterbalance the estate tax.

The bottom line is that it will help communicate with your family about your wishes regarding your assets after you’re gone.

What if you don’t have a will?

If you die and you don’t have any Will written then the state takes over this matter. The state has a set formula to distribute your assets among your heirs. Their formula won’t be according to your wishes. The assets will either go to your spouse or your children and there are no other matters that the state will take into account.

If you have minor kids then the decision of their guardianship will also be in the hands of the court. They will find suitable guardians for your kids. There can be many complications in this process as there might be some estranged family members that might also get their share, against your wishes. But since your wishes are not recorded, then they won’t matter.

So make sure to leave a Will behind because this will save your loved ones a lot of hassle.

Hiring solicitors for will writing

The cost you will incur if you hire solicitors for your Will writing might depend on how much attention you pay to the steps we have outlined above. However, will writing can become complicated quite easily, especially if complex financial matters are involved. For this reason, it is always a better idea to hire a professional, such as a solicitor for legal advice on how to best structure your will.

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