What to think about before making a will

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A lot of people do not want to think about making a will as the prospect of considering what will happen on death is often a little daunting.  The following checklist outlines the type of information required by your solicitor to draft your will.  It is very useful if you have considered these points prior to your appointment and if you can bring the relevant information with you:

You will need to bring proof of identification (passport/drivers licence) and proof of current residential address (recent utility bill dated within 3 months) to your appointment.

Prepare a list of all of your assets and properties to include details of your accounts with financial institutions, any pensions, life insurance policies, stocks and shares. If you hold the title documents to your property, you should bring them with you or alternatively, any paperwork relating to same. Valuations of your property might be required to establish the worth of your estate.

Bring details of any assets or properties which you hold jointly with another person as these will fall outside the will on death.

Prepare a list of your debts and liabilities, if any, to assist in establishing the net worth of your estate.

You need to consider who you want to benefit/inherit under your will and bring contact details and information regarding all of the beneficiaries.

You need to decide who will be the executor of your will. An executor must be appointed in a will. This is a person who you trust and he/she will be responsible for carrying out the terms of your will on your death. It is usually a good idea to appoint two executors to act jointly. Your solicitor will require contact information for them. It is also a good idea to notify the executors in advance that you intend to appoint them as they may not wish to act.

If you have minor children under the age of 18, you will need to consider who will be their trustees and guardians in the event that both parents die.
Having considered the above information, you will be ready to instruct your solicitor to draft the terms of your will and your solicitor will ensure that the will accurately reflects your wishes and that the formal requirements to make your will valid are complied with.

Don’t lose the will to make a will!