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Writing a will can be a daunting task and understandably, you might not want to think about what will happen when you pass away. However, this isn’t a task you should push aside and leave to the distant future. Not having a will can result in problems with intestacy and your hard-earned assets might not be distributed the way you want them to be. Without a will, disputes can arise between loved ones too and cause further upset during a time of grieving. 

If you’ve been putting off booking an appointment with a will writing solicitor in London because you don’t know who to include as beneficiaries in your will, keep reading today. Our experts have put together some information to guide you through the process of deciding who to include in your will, helping to ensure your wishes are being met following your passing. 

Why People Should Have a Will

A will is a legally binding document that clearly states your final wishes, including how you’d like all of your assets to be distributed when you pass away. This includes everything from your home and any savings you have to sentimental heirlooms. 

Without a will, the government takes over and your assets will be distributed according to the laws of intestacy in the UK. This means you won’t get to decide who inherits what and intestacy laws might not align with your preferences. Writing a will not only guarantees that your wishes are upheld but it also reduces potential conflicts among your family members and friends.

When Should You Write a Will?

It’s a common misconception that wills are only for the elderly or very wealthy people. Whereas, wills can benefit people from all walks of life and some key milestones should prompt you to write a will, including; 

  • Having Children – If you have children, a will is essential for specifying who their legal guardians should be in the event of you passing away while they’re still minors. 
  • Buying a House – Whenever you buy a house or other substantial assets, it’s important to state who will inherit these in your will.
  • Civil Partnership, Marriage or Divorce – These life events often impact beneficiaries in a will. If you don’t have a will, you should write one to make your wishes clear. 
  • Changes to Your Financials – Any significant increase in your financial situation should encourage you to write a will.

It’s important to note that you can update your will if your circumstances change in the future. In fact, it’s encouraged to make changes to your will as life unfolds to ensure it is still comprehensive and in line with your wishes. A will writing solicitor can assist you with making minor changes to your will, known as codicils.

Who Can Be Included in a Will?

Simply put, anyone can be a beneficiary in your will. The list of people who you can include in your will covers but isn’t limited to; 

  • Family Members – Often, spouses, children, grandchildren, parents and siblings are the most common beneficiaries in wills.
  • Friends – You can also leave assets to close friends or neighbours who have made a significant impact on your life.
  • Charities – Some people choose to leave a gift to a cause or organisation that they care deeply about when writing a will.
  • Pets – You can even include your pets in your will. You can designate someone to care for them and also financially provide for their future needs.

Deciding Who to Include in Your Will

Deciding who to include in your will requires a great deal of thought and careful consideration. Often, it isn’t as simple as dividing your assets equally between the people you love most. When deciding on beneficiaries, you should think about things such as who will appreciate certain assets the most and who you’d like to inherit particular belongings. 

It’s advisable to always bear in mind the ultimate goal of your will; ensuring that your wishes are respected and your loved ones are cared for when you pass away. It can be helpful to discuss your intentions for your will with potential beneficiaries before you write it, just ensure their thoughts and opinions aren’t swaying yours. Having an open conversation can help to prevent any surprises and conflicts when you’re no longer here.

Searching for Will Writing Services in London? 

The importance of having a will and thoughtfully deciding who to include in it cannot be overstated. Don’t shy away from this task and contact a legal expert for some assistance to ensure that your will is legally sound and comprehensive. Here at Gillhams Solicitors, we can provide you with tailored advice and support when writing your will. 

Our will writing solicitors in London will cover all bases sensitively during an appointment and professionally draft a will that aligns with your specific wishes. We can even inform you about things like inheritance tax and offer some general advice when it comes to arranging your estate. With our expert assistance, you can have peace of mind that your will is legally binding.