What’s a will?

2 min read

Benjamin Franklin famously said, “in this world, nothing is certain except death and taxes.” (Actually, someone else said it first but he made it famous so we’ll allow it.)

And since we know this, it’s better to be prepared for it. Not just for our own peace of mind, but also for our loved ones. 

For this, you’re going to need a will. But what exactly is a will and what does it do?

A will is a legal document that spells out your wishes about what happens to everything you own after your death. It also covers the care of any children who are under 18 at the time of your death. 

It can include:

  • Property – Who gets your house or flat?
  • Possessions – Who should get your priceless artwork,expensive sports car, or beloved collection of teddy bears?
  • Financial assets – How will your savings, investments and pensions be divided?
  • Business interests – Who will take over the family business?
  • Children – If they are younger than 18 you’ll need to decide on a guardian
  • Pets – Who would you like to look after them? 
  • Funeral arrangements – Would you prefer to be buried or cremated? Have your ashes turned into a diamond family heirloom or launched and released into space?

For a will to be valid: it must be in writing, signed by you, and witnessed by two people. You must have the mental capacity to make the will and understand the effect it will have. And you must have made the will voluntarily and without pressure from anyone else.

Having a will is so important because it ensures your wishes are respected and your children will be looked after. Wills can be cheap or free to make, and will writing services can be found easily on the internet.