DIY Will: A Step-By-Step Guide
If you’re wondering how to write your own will then you’ll be glad to know that it’s a fairly simple process. When using or purchasing one of our 3 will options, we take you through the process question by question, on our simple and intuitive platform.
In this step-by-step guide, we will show you what the majority of the processes out there look like. They can be in various orders and questions but most will be similar.
Step 1 - Getting to know you 👋
This will be all of the personal information of yours, such as name, address, date of birth and some others.
Step 2 – Learning about your people 👪
These can be spouses, executors, guardians and such.
An executor is the person who is going to be responsible for distributing the estate once you’ve passed away. It can be more than one person and it should be specifically noted in your will. If you have children below the age of 18, you will also need to choose a guardian for them in case of death.
Step 3 – Going through your finances 💷
You will need to value your estate. This will more or less include everything you own, whether it is a home, shares in a company, or a sentimental collectors item.
Along with this, you should include your debts. The likes of loans and credit cards will need to be paid from your estate if the money is available. If not, these debts will be written off as long as they are solely in your name. You also have to consider how such things as a mortgage will be paid once you’re gone.
Step 4 – Determining your wishes and gifts 🎁
Dividing your estate can be difficult and challenging, but things can normally be changed at a later date. With our service, you can pay to have unlimited changes for your will, because life changes and you should have that flexibility.
It's a good plan to start with your large assets such as property or money. If you have a property with your spouse then this would automatically transfer to them. If it's solely owned, then the person you're leaving the property to will also be responsible for the mortgage, possibly selling the property and any inheritance tax.
When writing your wishes and gifts, you should be very clear about your wording. Be specific with names and items, giving as much detail as possible so the correct items go to the correct person. You should also mention what should happen if any of your beneficiaries should die before you, as this may otherwise invalidate your will. The focus here is clarity, so you don’t want to leave any questions that could be contested at a later date.
Before finishing, if you’re doing this yourself, make sure you proofread and get someone else to take a look as well. Or if you’re using a professional, they should take a look for you. At Bequest, we have our own estate planners that write, check and send out all of our wills to avoid tricky situations.
Step 5 – Validating your will ✔️
There are a few things you need to do to make sure your will is legally binding. Do your research and make sure it can’t be contested.
Step 6 – Storing your will 🗄️
Last but certainly not least, it’s important that your executor has access to your will. There are a few ways to store your will, so let’s go through a few of them.
You can store a will: with a solicitor with certain companies at some banks yourself with us!
You can store it wherever you prefer, but you want to ensure that it’s safe and also accessible. You can also create copies of it for extra security. Make sure your executor knows where you have stored it and that they can have access to it if needed.
Our will partners, James Pearson Estate Planning (JPEP) write, check and send out all of our customers’ wills. They believe, right along with us, that everyone has the right to protect themselves and their loved ones.