Estate Planning

Checklist: Writing A Will

Whether you decide to seek the professional help to draft your Will or decide to write your own, you will need to gather certain information. This article provides a checklist of all the items you should consider.

When you write your Will, you should consider:

Basic information

1a. Your full name

1b. Any former name(s) or alias(es)

1c. Current address

1d. Age (for purposes of tax and investment advice)

1e. Relationship status (Married/co-habiting/civil partner?)

1f. Children/step children?

Value of your property

2a. Any property or financial accounts owned in your sole name, including:

1. House

2. Bank accounts

3. Building society accounts

4. Saving certificates

5. Shares

6. Car

2b. Details of any house owned with another in joint names.

2c. Details of bank/building society accounts or other property owned with another in joint names.

2d. Superannuation benefits – and whether they are nominated.

2e. Details of insurance policies, including whether or not you have instructed the Insurance Company to benefit a particular person on your death.

2f. Trust property.

2g. Foreign property.

2h. Property likely to be inherited.

2i. Whether you have made any substantial gifts within the last seven years. This information is needed for Inheritance Tax purposes.

2j. Whether your property mortgaged(?) and whether you have any other substantial debts.

2k. Business or agricultural property

Details of any gifts you want to make

3a. Personal belongings: do you want to give any special items to named beneficiaries?

3b. Legacies: do you want to make gifts of cash to friends or charities?

3c. Who is to receive the rest of your property?

Names of intended beneficiaries

4a. Spouse – full name

4b. Children – names and ages

4c. Others – names/addresses

Names of executors/trustees

5a. Full names and addresses of proposed executors and trustees

Details of any guardians appointed to look after your children

6a. Names and addresses

Your funeral wishes and preferences

7a. Do you have any special wishes concerning your funeral arrangements?