Anyone over 18 can make a will.
You can write a will yourself, but it is best to have someone else look at it, such as a solicitor or someone at Citizen’s Advice Bureau.
For your will to be valid, you must be 18 years or over.
A will must be in writing, signed by the person whose will it is, and 2 witnesses must sign it while the will writer is there.
The will should not be signed by someone who is a beneficiary or spouse/civil partner of a beneficiary.
For a will to be valid, the person writing it must do so voluntarily, without hindrance or pressure. The person must be aware of what s/he is doing.
Your will should include:
how much money and what property and possessions you have – this can include insurance policies, savings, shares, premium bonds, houses, even things like your garden tools or cd collection if you wish.
who you want to benefit from your will (the Beneficiaries) – list the people (or charities) and what you want to leave them.
who should look after any surviving children under 18 years of age
who is going to sort out your estate and carry out your wishes after your death (The Executor).
Signatures of you and 2 witnesses who are not beneficiaries.
If you want a relative or friend to act as your Executor, you should ask them, as it carries responsibilities like meeting the requirements of your will, doing paperwork, paying off and debts you have etc.
You can change a will by adding a codicil. The codicil should be signed by you and 2 witnesses. The witnesses don’t have to be the same as in the main will, but the same rule about beneficiaries applies.
If you are making some complicated changes to your will, it is better to write a new one.
You can download a free copy of our wills information sheet and layout, here>