Wills vary, and there are many different types. When choosing your best option for a will, you primarily have to make sure that it is most suited to your situation. Is it valid in the country wherein you reside? That yet is another crucial factor to consider when writing a will in the UK.
It is important to put your wishes in writing, whichever will you opt for. You can also create a supplementary video, in which you read your written document aloud.
The video, together with your formally documented will can help establish your identity and mental well-being as the Testator.
There is a required process for creating and validating a will. Knowing these steps along with the guidelines for preparing a solid and substantial document can go a long way in giving you peace of mind and securing your legacy when the time of your passing comes.
What conditions do you want to implement in your will? To be able to know your options, you have to understand the different kinds of wills. As a preliminary guide, there are four types of basic wills, and five types of special wills.
This article will clearly explain the different kinds of wills to help you choose that which is most appropriate and best suits your personal circumstances and wishes.
What Is A Will? Why It Is Imperative To Prepare One
Like many people, you might have avoided thinking about your mortality, but you cannot afford to when you take its inevitability into account. It is imperative that you prepare a will, which is a well-written document that cites your instructions as to how your assets and possessions will be distributed after you die.
Legally arranging your directives and wishes of the allocation of your estate following your death is prudent, as you can be assured that your properties and assets are going to be managed accordingly when you pass away, therefore preventing conflict among your surviving family members.
As a legal document, the purpose of a will is for you to ensure that your money and the estate is inherited only by those who you want to benefit.
A will can be written by an individual aged at least 18. A minor has to be emancipated to be able to procure such a document.
Among the requirements for writing a will, you have to understand what that document is, and what it does, which is why you have to educate yourself thoroughly before arranging one.
What Are The Types Of Wills? Educating Yourself Is Crucial
Different types of wills can be prepared and arranged to suit a Testator’s situation. When you decide to prepare your Will with the assistance of a professional, you can have your document tailored according to your exact needs; tweaked to suit your particular family situation or set-up.
Below is a list of the different types of wills and their benefits.
The Four Basic Types Of Wills
1. Simple Wills – These are also called Statutory Wills, which are commonly chosen by people who have a small and simple estate and uncomplicated wishes. You might call these kinds of wills generic, ‘one-size-fits-all’, and formulaic, mainly because all you have to do is check the pertinent boxes and supply the answers to certain blanks.
You can draft a Simple Will without a solicitor, although it is not advisable. In fact, you can purchase an easy form from stationers or a legal document website to prepare this kind of certificate.
Although you can complete a Simple Will by yourself, you must initially educate yourself about the relevant laws in your country along with estate transfers and probate to guarantee the validity of your document.
Statutory Wills may be easy to complete and are generally inexpensive; however, their uses tend to be limited.
2. Testamentary Trust Wills – Otherwise known as a Will Trust, it is one wherein a Grantor indicates in their Will an individual Trust. A Testamentary Trust may be created at the time when a Will is being written, but they can only be realised upon the death of the Grantor. While a Testamentary Trust Will may seem to be a type of will, it is actually more of a cheaper and simpler revocable Living Trust. It is, nonetheless, prepared within a Will and therefore does not avoid probate, unlike other kinds of Trusts.
3. Reciprocal (Mirror) and Joint Wills – Reciprocal or Mirror Wills are those arranged by a married couple or civil partners so that they can pass their assets on to each other in the event that one dies before the other. If they die concurrently, they mutually agree to have certain beneficiaries as heirs of their estate.
One of the main advantages of Mirror Wills is that they allow couples to render uniform bequests to their primary beneficiaries, yet they are given the freedom to make slight alterations if they wish.
What are Joint Wills? Two people prepare this certificate together, indicating that one inherits their assets when the other dies. The surviving Testator will not be able to make changes to the document. If ever the living Co-Testator creates a new Will, a court of law would still uphold the specifics of the original Joint Will.
4. Living Wills – A Living Will is not in any way related to a conventional Will, and its purpose is not to allocate one’s estate after death. What this document does is affirm what type of medical treatment you wish or do not wish to receive in case you become too ill or otherwise injured to express your wishes. This type of affidavit could be construed as an advanced directive or declaration.
Five Special Types Of Wills
1. Pour Over Wills – This document is used in combination with a Living Trust, but the primary beneficiary is the Living Trust of the Testator. As the name implies, this certificate ‘pours’ whatever property is owned by the decedent upon their demise into a Trust.
2. Holographic Wills – This kind of document is entirely signed, dated, and written by the Testator in their own handwriting. As a handwritten Will, it is not witnessed, and these types of affidavits are recognised in Scotland, but not in Wales and England.
Because of the nature of these kinds of Will, problems and complications typically arise, mainly because they don’t adhere to relevant provisions as required by law. Issues and challenges are inclined to manifest during probate. Nevertheless, it is assumed that a Holographic Will has been created during a situation wherein the Testator is under the notion that death is imminent and they have no other existing Will.
3. Discretionary Trust Will – This document gives the discretion to a Trustee to devise the beneficiary of the estate, and how and when they are going to benefit.
This certificate may be used in conjunction with a part of or your entire Will. Upon your passing, your chosen Trustee is designated to manage the Trust. You can select prospective beneficiaries of the said Will and those whom you prefer to be included.
A Discretionary Trust Will grants more authority to the Trustee, wherein they are also allowed to decide on who most needs the asset.
4. Property Trust Will – This document ensures the protection of property that is under your name or shared name. With your estate properly looked over, the possibility of the value of your property share decreasing is thwarted.
The management of the Trust will be carried out by your delegated Trustees, but you can give the right to someone you opt for, such as your spouse or partner, to reap benefits from the Trust as long as they live.
5. Flexible Trust Wills – Other than being a supplement of the Life Interest Trust Will, this document offers you additional flexibility if your home life is more complicated, such as if you have remarried but also have children from your previous marriage whom you want to be beneficiaries, too.
This type of Will is known to be the ‘ideal modern Will Trust’ because it applies to modern families that are often more diverse. Such types of certificates are practical if you want some portion of your estate to be allocated immediately after your passing, but simultaneously intend to preserve the remaining for future beneficiaries.
How To Write A Will: Nine Steps To Follow
Have you been procrastinating on the task of arranging your will? Please don’t; times are uncertain, and we never know when our next breath could be our last.
Preparing your Last Will and Testament is sensible, and knowing the following steps on how to go about it will get you started.
Here are the nine steps in creating a Will:
1. Create an initial document
As the first step, title it as ‘Last Will and Testament’ and include your full legal name and address. Continue with the declaration paragraph wherein you state that you are of legal age and have sound mental capacity. Furthermore, indicate that this document is your Last Will and Testament that revokes all Wills and codicils that you have previously made. Express that you are not creating this certificate under duress.
2. Nominate your Executor
This individual will oversee the managing and distributing your assets; they may be a close family member or friend, your solicitor, or your financial advisor. See to it that your appointee is trustworthy, honest, and willing to take on the responsibility. You can decide if you wish to compensate for your Executor.
3. Choose your beneficiaries
These are the people who will inherit your estate after your passing. Your beneficiaries may include, for example, your spouse and children, your relatives, and your close friends. Confirm their identities by indicating their full names.
4. Nominate the guardian for your children
You must designate a guardian to care for your minor or dependent children, especially if you are their last surviving parent, or if whoever would be left to care for them is unfit to do so. If you don’t, the court will appoint one. Your nominee should be someone close to your children and who is willing to care for them until they turn 18. It also makes sense to appoint an alternative guardian in case something happens to your first choice.
5. Decide who gets what
List your assets and decide who gets what. If there is a family member that you want to disinherit, name him or her in your Will, and if you wish, you can state the reasons why. If you decide to disinherit your spouse, consult your solicitor before drafting your document.
6. Attach a letter in your Will (if needed)
If you wish, you can attach a personal letter to your Will as a way to say goodbye and to clarify your wishes and make them personal.
7. Include your signature in your Will
Date your document when affixing your signature at the end. Your normal signature should suffice. Before completing this task, be sure that you understand what is written in your Will.
8. Let your witnesses sign your Will
You can ask two people to act as witnesses. These nominees should be over 18 years of age and not be beneficiaries. Sign and date the document in the presence of your witnesses and then let them do the same. You might want your witnesses to sign a ‘self-approving affidavit’ as a confirmation that your signature is valid.
9. Keep your Will in a safe place
Ideally a safety deposit box. Inform your Executor about the location of your document. Every two or three years, you might want to review your Will, especially following major life changes such as birth, death, or divorce.
How Much Does It Take To Make A Will? Budget Considerations
The cost of writing a Will doesn’t have to be concerning. You don’t have to spend a lot on it, but the expenses for Will preparation vary, depending on several factors, such as if you choose to write it by yourself, opt for an online method, or seek the help of a professional Will writer or solicitor.
If you prepare a simple will online by yourself, the cost could be as little as £30. If you hire the services of a solicitor to prepare the same, and especially if certain complexities are involved, you might spend as much as £500, but on average, you should expect to pay between £150 and £250.
What are the factors that can affect the price of Will making?
- The type of Will writing services that you use
- The complexity of your circumstance. If, for instance, you have a small family and very few possessions, you are likely to spend less than if you have multiple assets, numerous beneficiaries, and a huge property portfolio.
The budget for making a Will is a common issue for many individuals, but even so, you should make your Will selection with care. The certificate you create should be comprehensive and suitable for your purpose when the time comes for its execution.
The cost of making a Will with a solicitor
This is influenced by the complexity of your affairs. By and large, the price starts from £250. If your situation is somewhat intricate, it may be worthwhile to hire a solicitor.
The cost of making a Will and Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA
If you prepare a Will on your own and hire a professional Will writer, the cost will be about £150. If you arrange a Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA, you might spend £350 and upwards.
Setting up a will in conjunction with a Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA for Health and Welfare and Property and Financial Affairs can have you benefiting from a package discount and paying £500 to £600.
Which Type Of Will Is Right For You? Factors That Influence Your Choice
Of all the types of basic and special wills mentioned, how do you know which one is right for you?
A Statutory Will would be apt if you have minimal assets, or if your wishes are simple.
On the other hand, Joint or Mutual Wills are usually settled on by married couples so they can guarantee that they will dispose of their properties identically.
These are just two of many. It is vital that you educate yourself about the different kinds of Wills to be able to determine which is best suited for you, and you need to be knowledgeable of the main considerations when making a Will.
Main considerations when preparing a Will:
My Estate Planning – Your Trustworthy Partner In Will Preparation
There are four basic types of Wills: Simple Will, Testamentary Trust Will, Reciprocal and Joint Will, and Living Will.
The five special types of Wills include the Pour-Over Will, Holographic Will, Discretionary Trust Will, Property Trust Will, and Flexible Trust Will.
You need to know as much as you can about each type of Will before making your choice. It can be tricky, and you shouldn’t hesitate to seek help.
It is extremely important to consult the most qualified and experienced professionals to assist in setting up your Last Will and Testament. Look for an estate planning company that thinks about your welfare while providing the most efficient Will making services suitable to your needs.
That’s what My Estate Planning takes pride in — being one of the leading estate planning firms in the UK.
Expert professionals in My Estate Planning are ready and able to put your affairs and wishes in order so that you can arrange the most appropriate Will. We tailor our services according to your unique requirements.
Take a look at our website for a simple and straightforward online booking system. Our quick, easy, and free quote function can clearly explain the costs to you.
We, at My Estate Planning, take time to accommodate whatever queries you might have about legal complexities. Our company provides a trustworthy, honest, and reliable service.
Whatever your needs are for writing a Will UK, My Estate Planning is happy to help you. With our proficiency and knowledge, we can work with you to ensure your loved ones and your legacy are well cared for when the time comes.