Five Questions About: Writing a will

 

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The Independent Online

Why should I write a will?

If you die without one, ie "intestate", the Government will determine who inherits. This might not be what you would expect. For example, spouses may not receive everything while unmarried partners or those not in civil partnerships will definitely receive nothing. Dying without a valid will is also likely to cause additional distress for your loved ones. Yet some 60 per cent of deaths in the UK are intestate because a will was never written or couldn't be found.

Why is November a good time to do it?

Every November, Will Aid – a campaign partnership run by nine registered charities – gives adults the chance to have a basic will drawn up by a solicitor in return for a voluntary donation. The 1,300 participating solicitors write your will free, while your donation is shared between these charities.

How do I go about using Will Aid?

To find a local solicitor, visit Willaid.org.uk or call 0300 0300 013. The appointment must be during November, although some solicitors may extend the offer into early December. The suggested minimum donation is £85 for a basic will, £125 for a pair of basic mirror wills and £40 for a codicil (a document that amends an existing will).

What if I miss the slot?

At least you have been spurred into action. If you don't have a regular solicitor, you can find one via the Institute of Professional Willwriters (www.ipw.org.uk).

Can I write my own will?

Yes, DIY kits are available, but it is not recommended. According to Will Aid, solicitors make more money sorting out badly written or invalid Wills than they do from writing them.

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