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Your Later Life Q3 2022

A checklist: writing a will for loved ones and good causes

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Lucinda Frostick

Director, Remember A Charity

During Remember A Charity Week (5–11 September), will-writing is front of mind. But there can be a great deal to think about when mapping out your final wishes. So, here is a helpful summary of some key details you may need to prepare when writing or updating your will.

1 Beneficiaries
Who do you want to benefit from your will? Usually, this will include your partner, family members, close friends, godchildren and often the charities you care about too. When it comes to individuals, you’ll need their names and addresses. If you’re including a charity (or charities), make sure you have the organisation’s full name and registered charity number — you can find this on their website or via the Charity Commission.

2 Summary of estate
What do you own? Make sure you have details of any property, cars, savings, pensions, bank accounts, shares, insurance policies or assets, such as jewellery. You’ll need to include information about overseas assets plus debts and liabilities too, such as a mortgage or loan.

3 Specific and financial gifts
Do you want to leave a specific item to someone in particular? In your will, you’ll have the opportunity to identify these gifts—an heirloom perhaps, in addition to any financial gifts you wish to make.

4 Executors
Who will you choose as your executors? You’ll need to appoint at least one executor. Often, people choose a relative or friend along with a solicitor or accountant, perhaps. Your executors will be responsible for carrying out your wishes when you pass on, so it’s important to check that they are willing to do this. Make sure you have their full names and addresses.

5 Guardians for children
Who could look after your children? If you have children under the age of 18, you’ll want to choose a legal guardian who will be able to look after them for the remainder of their childhood. As with executors, you will need to confirm that guardians are happy to take on this responsibility, providing their names and addresses.

6 Funeral preferences
Have you thought through any plans or preferences for your funeral? Many people like to include funeral wishes in their will, ensuring it’s all set out in one place.

Don’t forget to speak to a solicitor or will-writer for professional advice.

For more tips about the things to think about when writing or updating your will, go to www.rememberacharity.org.uk

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