6 things to look out for when making a Will

Posted May 10, 2019.

Making a will is an important step to ensure that the disposal and distribution of your assets, home and personal effects when you die is carried out in accordance with your wishes. Whilst we have outlined the pitfalls of not having a Will in previous articles, there are also a number of factors to be aware of or to avoid altogether. 

6 common will writing issues to look out for:

1. Does your partner get half? – not necessarily! Unmarried partners are not legally entitled to anything, no matter how long you may have been together. Specifying your partner as a beneficiary in your will make sure they get their fair share

2. Keep the original document – the executors of your will must have the original to enable your will to be properly executed. Without the original, it will be difficult for your executors to obtain a grant of probate to manage your affairs. So make sure the people close to you know where to the original of your will is stored.

3. Including step-children – References to ‘my children’ in your will does not automatically cover step-children or foster children, even if you raised them and consider them to be your own. However, children that have been adopted legally are considered to be the same as any biological children. To include step-children of foster children, make sure they are specifically included in your will

4. Choose your witnesses carefully – a witness to a will is not allowed to benefit from the same will in any way, so if you get your children to act as a witness, you may well inadvertently disinherited them. A witness should not stand to gain anything from your will

5. Name an executor – your executor is the person (or people) who deal with the administration of your estate when you die in accordance with your will. If you don’t name any executors, a probate court has the power to appoint someone who may not be your preferred choice

6. Don’t be too specific – try to avoid being specific about certain assets in your will if they are likely to change over time. For example, if you bequeathed your ‘Vauxhall Astra’ to your daughter in your will, but by the time of your death your car is actually a Ford Focus, then your daughter may not actually inherit your car

Get professional advice

If you need help with probate, a will or a lasting power of attorney, Bakers Solicitors have friendly and approachable experts who are here to help. Call now on 

(01252) 744637  and speak to Simon, our Estate Planning Manager, or email simon.speed@bakerssolicitors.com