What should you include in your will?

06 May 2021

A will is one of the most important documents that you will ever sign. With a will in place, you can provide the right security to the people who matter most to you and prevent unnecessary stress and legal hassles.

It is not only an instruction as to how your assets are to be distributed, but also may include any last requests that you wish to convey.

How do we know what to include in a last will and testament?

Below is a list of obvious and not so obvious topics to cover in a will.

  • Instructions of who will inherit your assets.
  • Appoint a legal guardian over you children.
  • Set up trusts to provide for your family’s future.
  • Leave instructions about your funeral e.g. cremation or burial, what songs to play at your service, where to scatter your ashes, if you are an organ donor or if you wish for a religious ceremony or not etc.
  • Name an executor/s who will administer your estate and carry out your wishes.
  • Can leave assets to charities, friends, or partners besides family.
  • Specific legacies – who gets what e.g. family heirlooms, sentimental keepsake, or contents of a bank account. The more specific you get, the less chance there is for confusion or legal battles.
  • A Shariah will is important in Muslim ruled countries as you might not have a say in how your assets are distributed if you pass away.
  • You can set up specific ages for your children to receive a percentage of their inheritance to avoid them frivolously spending their entire inheritance.
  • Don’t forget any digital assets and online accounts – you may have assets you purchased online such as digital music, movies, and photographs. Also, who will control your social media accounts or who will manage or remove them for you.
  • Instructions on where to find any passwords and log in details to manage your digital assets – a separate document should be written with these for the executor and the will should only state who the document is with.
  • Who will care for your pets? – make sure whomever you leave your pets to gives you their permission. Also, you can state specific instructions on how to care for your pet. This may seem trivial, but there are many cases of people leaving their entire fortunes to their pets. *

These are but a few possible ideas of inclusions in your will.

Another aspect is a living will. 

 A living will, is a separate document that gives advance instructions in the event that you cannot make decisions before death. These could include refusal for certain medical treatments if you become terminal or if you lose the ability to make legal decisions due to illness or accident.

Always make sure that your will is legal and correctly drawn up. You can either get it drawn up by your financial adviser or make use of reputable online wills sites such as deVere’s online wills portal 

For complex financial portfolios, it is best to speak to your financial adviser to custom make your will according to your specific needs. [email protected]
* https://www.which.co.uk/

Please note, the above is for education purposes only and does not constitute advice. You should always contact your Acuma adviser for a personal consultation.
* No liability can be accepted for any actions taken or refrained from being taken, as a result of reading the above.