Leave nothing undone
Writing your Will is important. And if you chose to leave a gift to us in your Will, you'll help us to accelerate the cure that will make sure lives are no longer cut short by this devastating disease.
It can be hard to think about making a Will. Often it will be emotionally challenging and loved ones may find it difficult to talk about. However, it can be comforting to know that making a Will is one way of planning for the future and making sure that your loved ones are provided for.
A Will is a legally binding document which enables you to instruct who gets your property, possessions and money after your death. This is known as your estate. For many people, having a valid Will can be reassuring as it means that you have made provision for the people and causes you care about the most.
Writing a Will involves specifying what assets you have (such as property, valuables and savings), choosing who you want them to go to (the beneficiaries, e.g. family, friends and charities), how they will be allocated and the person(s) you want to carry out the allocation (the executors).
You do not have to make a Will, but there are a number of reasons you might want to:
There are a number of things to do in order to make a Will:
When writing your Will, it's important for it to be completed and witnessed in the right way. If it isn't prepared, structured and signed correctly, it could be invalid. The best way to get it right is by using a professional Will writer or solicitor. And it doesn't have to be costly or complex - there are free and discounted Will writing services available to help our supporters.
Your 'estate' refers to everything you own (including property, personal valuables, cars, bank accounts, insurance policies etc.) minus any debts. You should make a list of everything you own and everything that's in your name and their value. Some things may not have any monetary value, but have sentimental value, that you particularly want to leave to someone and these should also be listed.
It is wise to have at least two executors in case one of them is unable to perform their duties for any reason. An executor is important because they will be the person(s) carrying out your wishes as outlined in your Will. For this reason executors should be people you trust. You can ask a solicitor to act as your executor.
To be valid, a Will must be signed by the person making the Will in the presence of two independent witnesses who also sign in his/her presence. There are a number of rules about signing a Will, including that witnesses cannot benefit from a Will and nor can their married partners. Often the staff at a solicitors office will act as witnesses of the Will if they have prepared it.
Once a Will is signed it must be kept in a safe place and you should tell someone you trust where it is. Sometimes Wills are stored at a solicitor's office in a safe.
Wills can normally cost anywhere between £200 - 1000 depending on the complexity of your affairs. But there are services available to help our supporters with this.
As a sember of the National Free Wills Network, we are now offering free Will writing services to the people we support, regardless of age. This is a quick and easy way to write or update your Will by a law firm local to you. To find out more, please contact our Information and Support Line on 0808 800 0004 or email@example.com, or get in touch with us online via Live Chat
If you would rather write a Will in the comfort of your own home, there is also a discounted Will writing service through the Goodwill Partnership. A trained counsellor will come at a time convenient to you, or they can take your instructions over the phone. Find out more information, please visit their website.
In both these cases, there is absolutely no obligation to include us in your Will.
As of 2015, if your estate (everything you own) is valued over £325,000, a percentage may have to go to the government in the form of inheritance tax. Any amount over £325,000 is taxable at a rate of 40%. Generally, assets left to spouses or civil partners are exempt from inheritance tax, as are gifts to charity.
Page last reviewed: 12/2015
Next review date: 12/2018
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