Writing A Will – What Are Your Options?

Planning for your death isn’t necessarily something at the forefront of your mind when you’re young; in fact it’s not a subject many of us want to think about at all.

What happens to your estate after you die though is a matter of great seriousness.

Failing to write a document which will convey your final wishes can lead to problems for the loved ones you leave behind.

When it comes to planning your will and executing a legacy, you have three main options.

Here are the basics of each one.

1) Use a solicitor

This is the most common and legally binding way to secure what happens to you and your estate following your death.

Most high street solicitors will offer this service and there will be a set charge for the legally trained specialist to meet with you, discuss your wishes, advise on what is reasonable and what may be left open to any challenge should anyone contest your will after your death.

The will can be then held with your legal representative to be called upon once the document is required to administer your estate and for your wishes to be read to your family.

Copies of your will can be requested if you wish to give one to your family in advance.

This is especially important if you have specific request pertaining to how you wish to be buried or how you wish a funeral or celebration of your life to take place.

2) Will writing services

Carry out a quick search online and you can find dozens of will writing services to choose from, each offering their help at what will often be cheaper prices than a solicitor.

On the face of it, this could seem like a better offer but it’s worth doing a little bit of research into how legally binding these types of documents are.

Any issues arising after your death can be dealt with more easily should a will be enforceable by a court of law.

If you mistakenly use a service that wasn’t what you believed it to be, there could be ongoing problems following your death.

3) Do it yourself

There is of course the choice of writing up a document yourself that you can keep in a safe place to be opened in the event of your death.

This would typically be held on to and read out by your close family who would then be entrusted to carry out your final wishes.

This option comes with a risk as your requests are not legally binding and therefore can be left open to interpretation.

Even if you leave the clearest of instructions, others could easily have different ideas.

The implication is that they might choose to disregard your wishes, in favour of their own preferences.

If you are confident that your wishes will be followed, this could be a viable option when budgets are tight.

Stephen Coleclough

Stephen Coleclough is a leading international tax adviser who specialises in dealing with ultra high net worth individuals.

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