How to make or update your Will
A Will can give you peace of mind and make things much simpler for your family and friends at a difficult time by making your intentions clear. It can ensure the people and causes you care about are provided for exactly as you want them to be. Without one, your estate might not be shared as you would have chosen.
Decide on the type and size of gift you’d like to leave in your Will
The choice is yours. Some people simply leave a specific amount of money. However, we completely respect that you will want to prioritise your family and friends. Many people prefer to include a gift that is a percentage or share of whatever is left, once all the other gifts you leave your loved ones have been made. This is a very straightforward way to leave a gift, and it’s not affected by inflation in the same way as a set sum of money.
Our simple Will Planner can help you work out exactly what you have, and help you prepare for writing your Will. Download our free Will Planner (pdf).
Seek professional advice from a solicitor
Whether you are making a new Will or updating an existing one, we recommend that you seek professional advice from a solicitor. They have the legal expertise to ensure your Will is valid, and they can clearly express and carry out your wishes.
You can find a solicitor in your local area using The Law Society’s website.
Our free Will-writing service with the Goodwill Partnership
We are delighted to be able to offer you the chance to write your will for free through our partners at the Goodwill Partnership.
Inheritance Tax and how it can affect you
Inheritance Tax (IHT) is charged on the portion of your estate that exceeds a certain value at the time of your death. A gift to charity in your Will is tax-free and could reduce the amount of Inheritance Tax due. Also, under current law, if you leave 10% of your estate to charity, it may reduce the overall rate of inheritance tax to be paid.
We would always recommend talking to your solicitor or financial advisor as the rules around inheritance tax can change, and everyone’s circumstances are different.
Updating an existing Will
Once you have made your Will, it’s important to regularly review it to take into account any changes in your life. You can make amendments to your Will at any time. If the changes are simple and straightforward it might be possible for you to use a form called a Codicil. As the addition of a Codicil will affect the contents of your Will, we always recommend that you seek professional legal advice. If the changes are more complicated, it is likely you will need a new Will.