Whether you want to think about it or not, writing a last will and testament is always a good idea as you get older. Although you may be in fine health, the unexpected is always just around the corner and it’s impossible to know what will happen tomorrow. Fortunately, drawing up a will isn’t particularly difficult.


Do I have to use a solicitor to write my will?

No, not necessarily. You can, if you choose, make your will using a professional will writing service online, like Beyond, or a will writing kit.

These have the benefit of being cheaper (a solicitor will charge £200-£600 for a single will, compared to £90 for a will on Beyond), but not all will writing services are created equal. On Beyond, we offer live support and check every will that is created through us, so we can help you avoid making any mistakes that might make your will invalid.

You may wish to take legal advice if you find yourself in particularly complex circumstances, are passing on a large estate, or are dividing your property between many people. However most people can put together a simple last will and testament without trouble online. In order to help you through the process, we’ve compiled this guide on what you’ll need to think about.


How do I start a last will and testament?

The first step in creating a last will and testament is assessing the value of your estate. This includes any of the following:

  • Property
  • Savings
  • Pensions
  • Insurance
  • Investments
  • Personal possessions (such as jewellery, art or vehicles)
  • Any debts against your name.

This will give you a better idea of what you will pass on to loved ones in the event of your death. Remember, an item doesn’t have to be expensive to be left in your will. It just has to matter to you. Beyond clients have even left things like an unpublished novel and a stuffed monkey in their will.

You’ll also need to appoint an executor or executors of your last will and testament. These are the people that will ensure your wishes, as written in your will, are carried out. This can be a lot of work, so make sure they understand the responsibility they’re taking on or think about using a professional executor, such as a solicitor or Beyond’s executor service.


How do I make the will itself?

Your last will and testament should be written clearly and concisely and should detail exactly how your estate should be divided.

To make sure your will is followed and that your estate can be settled easily, it’s important to use the right wording in your will. For that, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re using an online will service (or kit) that uses the correct legal language and phrases. This is because it’s important to be clear. If anything is left vaguely worded, it can cause unnecessary stress for family members and lead to problems when distributing the inheritance.

To make a will on Beyond, visit this page and go through our 15 minute Q&A. Once you’ve finished answering our questions, our smart interactive tool will turn your answers into a properly worded, complete will. All you’ll need to do is print it off and make it valid with a properly witnessed signature.


What do I need for the will to be valid?

In order for a last will and testament to be valid, you must sign it in front of two witnesses, each of whom must then sign the will in your presence. These witnesses cannot benefit from the will and will receive nothing upon its execution, even if they are mentioned in the document.

It’s also essential that you recognise that you have the mental capacity to make such a will, that you understand its effects and that you have done so voluntarily and without pressure from anybody else. For this reason, many wills begin with an introductory passage that declares who the will is for and then states these facts.

You can find out more about how to get a will witnessed here.


What do I do with my will once I’ve written it?

You can leave it with a professional will storage company (Beyond includes will storage with our £10 subscription plan), or with a friend or family member. You might want to leave it with your one of your executors. That way when you’re gone there can be no confusion or misunderstanding about how your estate is to be divided up and your will executed.

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