Your will is one of the most important legal documents you’ll ever write. The only way to ensure your loved ones receive the money, property or mementos you want them to have, your will tells the authorities exactly what to do with your estate after you die.

There are lots of ways to make a will. Although most people use the services of a qualified solicitor or legal firm, some turn to the internet for a cheaper and quicker alternative. Though these online wills offer some protection for your heirs, it’s important to be aware of the potential pitfalls of going digital when it comes to dividing your assets. Keep reading to find out more.

Making it legal

In order for a will to be legal in the UK, it has to be written in a very specific format. Once completed, the will has to be signed and witnessed in order to make it legally binding. If the wording of the will, or the witnessing process, is not correct, it could result in the will being invalid.

If you die without leaving a valid will, your property will be divided between your heirs according to UK law. If your spouse is still living, this generally means that they’ll receive the bulk of your estate once taxes and fees have been taken out. If you don’t have a living spouse, your estate will pass to your children or other living relatives.

If you don’t have any living relatives and don’t have a valid will, your estate will default to the UK treasury. This means that, if you and your partner aren’t married, a poorly written online will could result in them receiving nothing at all in the event of your death.

Why you need a will

These days, family dynamics are often complicated. A lot of people have step-children, second marriages or civil partnerships while many others have no marriages or kids at all. If you have a blended family, or if you want to leave part, or all, of your estate to friends rather than family, you need to ensure your will is 100% legal. To be sure your will is valid, you need to use the services of a specialist law firm.

A specialist firm will be able to talk you through all your options and help you put together a document that perfectly represents your wishes. They’ll be able to advise you on selecting executors for your estate and give you guidance on what to include and what not to include in the document.

Once complete, your last will and testament will offer you complete peace of mind and ensure that your hard-earned money and treasured possessions go to the people you really care about.

Find out more about writing a will, and making it legal, by exploring our site or getting in touch with a member of our team.