Being prepared can save you time and money

There are a lot of things to consider before you start to think about visiting a solicitor. Some key things to keep in mind are below:

1. Estimate the value of your estate

Compile a list with an up-to-date value of everything you own (your assets) and another with all your debts (your liabilities).

2. Decide who you want to include

You might decide to leave specific items to friends or family, a sum of money or maybe even a share of your estate.

3. Inheritance Tax

Gifts in Wills are exempt from Inheritance Tax, which in some cases can increase the value of your gift at no cost to any other beneficiary.

This can be a complex area where specialist advice may be needed, so we recommend that you speak to your solicitor on tax issues. You can also find the latest information on how Inheritance Tax could affect your Will on the HMRC's website or by contacting the HMRC helpline (0845 302 0900).

4. Executors

Executors are responsible for administering your Will when you are gone. It's their duty to inform beneficiaries of their gifts, and to settle any debts you owe. They will also deal with the HMRC if needed.

It's important that whoever you choose to be your Executor/s that you have complete trust in them and that they understand the responsibility involved. You could choose a family member, a friend or even a professional such as an accountant or solicitor (bear in mind they would normally require payment from your estate).

5. Take essential information with you

Take a list of the full names and addresses of everyone you want to benefit from your Will.