Step 1: Be prepared
List your assets and how much they are worth.
List any debts you may have like mortgages and loans.
List the people and causes that you would like to remember in your Will. These are your beneficiaries. It's helpful to make a note of the charity registration number of any charity you wish to support (FOUR PAWS: 1118102).
Consider who you would like as your executor(s); the person, people or organisations responsible for carrying out your wishes.
Step 2: Types of Will
You can remember the people and causes in your Will in a number of different ways. You should think carefully about these different types of gifts and consider their individual benefits.
A share of your estate
After you have taken care of your loved ones, you can leave a specific share of your remaining estate to a charity like FOUR PAWS. This is called 'residuary legacy' and is generally considered the best option for charities as the value of your gift will increase overtime with inflation, particularly if you are a home owner.
A specific sum of money
Leaving a specific sum of money to a person or cause is called 'a pecuniary legacy'. Please remember that these gifts could decrease in value as a set amount of money may go down in real-term value over time.
A specific item
Leaving a specific item of personal property, like jewellery or antiques. This is called 'a specific legacy' and you may find it a useful consideration, particularly for items of sentimental value.
Step 3: Consult a solicitor
Once you have made the decision to create a Will, it is strongly recommended that you consult a solicitor to help ensure your Will is drawn up correctly.
Many solicitors now offer reasonably priced Will making services costing £50-100.
Step 4: What if I have an existing Will?
If you have an existing Will, you can add a 'codicil' to your document to remember the work of FOUR PAWS. A 'codicil' is an amendment made to an existing Will that adds new provision or updates your previous wishes. To find out more, please speak to a solicitor.