Your Will is one of the most important documents you will create in your lifetime. It sets out all of your hopes and wishes for after you are gone, and relieves your family from any unnecessary stress. That’s why getting it right is so important – we always advise clients to follow a checklist for making a Will.

Why should I follow a checklist for making a Will?

When we think about writing our Will, our first thought goes to our children, property, and assets. We want to ensure our children are cared for, and that our assets are left to the people we choose. That’s the whole purpose of writing a Will, right?

Well yes, to some degree that is absolutely true. And while those things may be of the highest priority to the majority, it can sometimes mean that other important issues, such as your business, are overlooked. This is why a checklist for making a Will is particularly useful. So, let’s get into it.

1. Name who you would like to look after your children or pet

If you are a parent to young children, who you will appoint as their guardian should something happen to you will likely be your biggest concern. Your Will enables you to name a family member or friend you would like to take this role. You can do the same for your family pets, something many people forget to include.

2. List all of your assets

The next thing you should do is list all of your assets, this includes property, savings, cars, and any expensive or sentimental items you may own. Once you have made your list, you should decide who you would like to inherit them.

3. Name your beneficiaries

Your beneficiaries are the people you choose to inherit your assets. This is something we advise you discuss with a Family Law Specialist, as it may come to light that a different type of Will is more appropriate. For instance, if you wish to ringfence certain assets for your children from a previous marriage.

4. Specify alternate beneficiaries

It is always a wise idea to state alternative beneficiaries just in case someone unfortunately passes away. Life can be unpredictable and identifying a back-up recipient will give you more peace of mind. It is also worth mentioning that should you wish to exclude someone from your Will, you can write a Letter of Wishes to accompany your Will explaining why this person has been excluded. This minimises the risk if they feel that the Will is unfair and choose to raise a dispute.

5. Who will be your Executor

An Executor is the person who will handle your Estate and apply for Probate after your death.  You should speak with the person you intend to choose to ensure they are happy to accept the responsibility. You need to trust this person and ensure they understand your wishes. Just like with your beneficiaries, it is always wise to name an alternative person to take on this role in the event of death of lost capacity.

6. Consider writing a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)

LPA is a legal document which will designate a person of your choice to handle your finances and affairs should you lose mental capacity.
A person cannot authorise a Power of Attorney if they have already lost capacity, therefore it is important to put these measures in place sooner rather than later. This is something you can discuss with one of our Family Law Solicitors when writing your Will.

7. Things to consider if you own a business

When writing our Will, oour main priority is usually the family we leave behind. But it’s important to leave instructions as to how you would like your business to proceed if you own a business or are a shareholder. You can include things, such as:
  • What happens to your shareholder or partnership options
  • Future succession planning of the company
  • Updating the articles of association for the company to accommodate the wishes in your Will

8. What are your funeral wishes?

It is also very common to include details of your funeral wishes in your Will. This could be your preference for a burial over cremation, your final resting place, and even details for music and flowers at your service.

9. Alternative wishes

And then there’s certain things that you may want to include in your checklist for making a Will that not everyone considers. This may be forgiving the debt of a loved one. Or maintaining a property you own after you have gone. If there’s something a little out of the ordinary that you would like to include in your Will, just speak with your trusted Family Law Solicitor who will help you to include your wishes.

How can I get in touch?

If you need help creating a checklist for making a Will and would like more information about our Will Writing Services, we welcome you to call our friendly team of Family Law Specialists on 0161 402 0213.

Alternatively, you can email Aisha on