Our step-by-step Guide on what’s involved in writing a will

What is a will?

A will is a legal document which tells others how you want your estate to be dealt with when you die. It may also include details such as who you would like to care for your children or dependents and what you’d like to happen to your body.

Why make a will?

By making a will, you get to decide what happens to your property, money, family and even your body. It also means you can ensure financial security or give a gift to those who are important to you, regardless of who they are.

What happens if I don’t make a will?

If you don’t make a will, or if your will is invalid, your estate will need to be administered under the rules of intestacy.

Intestacy is a set of rules which decide who inherits your estate if you don’t have a valid will. Intestacy is very rigid and doesn’t consider modern family arrangements such as blended families and unmarried couples.

Here’s a snapshot of what would happen if you or someone important to you dies without a will:

How to avoid intestacy

In some cases, the family of the deceased can apply to the court to rearrange the way the estate is shared out. This is called ‘making a deed of family arrangement’.
The most reliable way to ensure your loved ones are treated the way you want is to write a will. This will also save those who are closest to you from the distress that often happens during intestacy.

Find out more about intestacy and writing a will

Intestacy is a very complicated set of rules, which is why we’ve just summarised the main points. Our wills advisors can talk to you in more detail about the rules of intestacy and what you need to know about making a will.


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