A Will is a legal document setting out how you wish your estate and personal affairs to be handled after you have died. It contains such items as to whom you wish to leave your assets, appointing guardians for your children, setting out your funeral arrangements and maybe even containing certain Trusts to protect assets you have built up during your lifetime.
Your Will only comes into effect once you have died so it is flexible and can be changed as your needs and your circumstances require. Many people believe they do not need a Will as they may be single, without children or they assume that everything will pass automatically to their spouse or partner. Unfortunately life is not this simple!
If you do not make your own Will, the Government have effectively made a Will for you – these are known as the Intestacy rules.
It is important that you review your Will regularly and that it is stored in a safe place, known to your Executors (the people who will carry out your wishes once you have gone).
It is also vitally important to ensure that your Will is signed and witnessed correctly; if this is done wrong, or not done at all, it means the Will may be invalid and this can cause problems.