While there’s plenty to be said for making a last will and testament, a vanishingly small number of people follow this course in 2022. In fact, bar
While there’s plenty to be said for making a last will and testament, a vanishingly small number of people follow this course in 2022.
In fact, barely 54% of UK adults currently don’t have a will, while a staggering 5.4 million have no idea how to make one either.
If you do want to make a will but have so far failed to achieve this objective, here are some of the key considerations to keep in mind.
Organising Your Finances
Before you start the process of creating and formalising your will, you’ll need to organise your finances and determine the estimated size of your estate.
There are two reasons for this. Firstly, having an organised estate with clear distribution makes it far easier for your relatives in the event of your passing, while it also enables you to communicate clearly with beneficiaries and use gifting as a way of reducing inheritance tax.
Secondly, you’ll need to note that it can take between six and 12 months in the UK for the proceeds from an estate to be paid out (especially in the case of property).
So, although beneficiaries can take out an inheritance advance from specialist providers, being proactive and organised can help to minimise payment and administration delays.
How to Write Your Will (and Seek Out Advice Where Necessary)
The next step is to start writing your will. Ultimately, we’d recommend that you seek out expert advice from a solicitor unless you have some experience of wills and probate, but there are some steps that can help you get started.
Firstly, you’ll need to make a defined list of the assets to be included in your will. Then, you’ll need to decide on the distribution of these assets amongst your loved ones, while also making allowances for any donations to charities.
At this stage, you can also consider gifting assets to your loved ones, on the premise that doing so at least seven years before your death means that their value won’t be subject to inheritance tax.
Where Else Can You Get Help Writing Your Will?
If you’ve avoided creating a will due to a lack of finances or solicitor’s fees, it may be comforting to know that there are other outlets that offer more affordable will writing services.
Take your bank, for example, as some major lenders offer writing services as part of their wider package. This may be available if you pay a nominal amount each month for a premium account, so check the terms and speak to your provider directly to see if they can help.
You may also find that charities such as Age UK offer will drafting services for free, without any obligation to donate some of your estate.
Of course, the Citizens Advice Bureau can also offer some guidance and insight, and this may be your first port of call when planning your will.