Considerations for Writing Your Will: A Comprehensive Guide

by | Jun 20, 2023 | Wills

Writing a Will is an important part of protecting your assets and ensuring that your wishes are carried out after you pass away. Will writing can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be! With a comprehensive understanding of the considerations and the right resources, anyone can write a legally sound Will.

In this blog post, we will explore the fundamentals of Will writing and discuss the reasons why you should consider writing a Will, what to consider when writing a Will, whether you should use a professional to write your Will, and choosing executors for your Will. Let’s get started!

Why Write a Will?

Will writing service CardiffWriting a will is one of the most important tasks you can do to protect your loved ones and ensure your wishes are followed after your death. It is a legal document that outlines how you want your assets to be distributed and who will take care of your children and/or pets. Without a will, your estate will be distributed according to the intestacy laws, which may not reflect your wishes or benefit your beneficiaries.

One of the most significant advantages of writing a will is that you can choose your executors, the people who will manage your estate, and carry out your wishes. You can select someone you trust, such as a family member or close friend, or a professional executor, such as a solicitor or accountant. Your chosen executors will have the responsibility of paying off your debts, distributing your assets, and handling any legal disputes that may arise.

Another benefit of writing a will is that it provides clarity and avoids confusion among your beneficiaries. A clear and concise will ensures that there are no disagreements or misunderstandings regarding your wishes. Additionally, it can help to minimise the time and expense of probate, the legal process of settling your estate.

What to Consider Before Writing Your Will

When it comes to writing your will, there are many things to consider to ensure that document truly reflects your wishes. One of the first things to think about is your beneficiaries. These are the people or organisations who will receive your assets and belongings after your passing.

You should take the time to think about who you would like to name as your beneficiaries, and how you would like your assets to be distributed amongst them. You may also want to consider any special needs or circumstances of your beneficiaries, such as a young child who may require a guardian or a disabled family member who may need special care.

Another important consideration is the appointment of executors. These are the people who will be responsible for managing your estate and carrying out your final wishes according to the instructions you leave in your will. It is essential to choose people who is trustworthy, responsible and capable of managing your affairs in the event of your passing.

When writing your will, it is also important to take stock of your assets, debts and other liabilities. This will give you a clear understanding of your overall financial position, and help you make informed decisions about how to distribute your assets amongst your beneficiaries. For example, are there certain personal possessions, maybe an old piece of jewellery, that you would want to leave to a particular relative or friend.

Benjamin Franklin famously said, “Nothing is certain except death and taxes”. It is worth considering any potential Inheritance Tax for your estate and if anything can be done to mitigate it. Potential examples maybe the creation of a Trust, making lifetime gifts or making charity legacies in your will.

Finally, it is important to keep your will up to date, particularly if your personal or financial circumstances change. Regularly reviewing and updating your will ensures that your wishes are reflected for any change in circumstances.

By taking the time to carefully consider these factors before writing your will, you can help ensure that your assets and belongings are distributed according to your wishes and provide peace of mind for you and your loved ones.

Choosing Executors for Your Will

One important aspect of writing your Will is choosing the right executor. These are the persons responsible for carrying out your wishes after you pass away. The executors will handle everything from obtaining probate, paying your debts and taxes to distributing your assets to your beneficiaries.

It is advisable to appoint more than one executor, you may appoint up to 4. People normally appoint family, friends and/or a professional executor. Joint executors can provide support to each other and help make the process smoother and more efficient.

A professional executor, such as a solicitor or chartered accountant, will normally cost more than appointing a family member or friend. This is because the vast majority of professional executors will, of course, charge a fee. Th obvious advantages of  professional executors will be their professional expertise and impartiality to handle the task effectively.

In addition, non-professional executors often instruct a probate professional to assist them anyway, if this is likely to be the case you can choose your preferred professional by naming them as an executor in your will.

Family and friends as executors. Another option is to choose a family member or friend as executors. This is often a popular choice as it is more personal and may of course be less expensive. However, it is important to consider the responsibilities of being an executor and whether your chosen person is up for the task. They must be able to handle the emotional stress of administering your estate, as well as the legal and financial aspects.

When choosing an executor, it is essential to consider their availability, location and willingness to take on the role. It is important to have an open and honest conversation with them about the duties involved so they are aware of what they are committing to.

Overall, the choice of executor is an important decision when writing your Will. It is crucial to select someone who is reliable, trustworthy, and willing to carry out your wishes. By considering all your options, you can make the best decision for you and your loved ones.

Should You Use a Professional to Write Your Will?

WillsOne of the most important considerations when it comes to writing your will is whether or not you should use a professional to assist you in the process. While there is no legal requirement for you to do so, there are many benefits to using a professional to ensure that your will is written correctly and legally binding.

One of the most important considerations when it comes to writing your will is whether or not you should use a professional to assist you in the process. While there is no legal requirement for you to do so, there are many benefits to using a professional to ensure that your will is written correctly and legally binding.

First and foremost, using a professional will give you peace of mind that your wishes will be carried out as you intend them to be. A professional will writer will be able to guide you through the process, helping you to identify any potential issues that may arise and ensuring that your will is written in a clear and concise manner.

Another important consideration when it comes to using a professional to write your will is the legal implications of the document. A will is a legally binding document, and it is important that it is written in a way that meets all of the legal requirements for it to be valid. A professional will writer will be able to ensure that your will is legally sound and can stand up to any potential challenges.

There are a number of professional will writers in the UK, including solicitors and members of the Society of Will Writers. When choosing a professional to assist you with your will, it is important to do your research and choose someone who has the necessary expertise and experience to ensure that your wishes are properly recorded.

Ultimately, the decision to use a professional to write your will is a personal one. However, it is important to consider all of the benefits and potential pitfalls before making a decision. By doing so, you can ensure that your will is written in a way that accurately reflects your wishes and will stand up to any legal challenges.

The Importance of Updating Your Will Regularly

Once you have written your Will, it’s essential to keep it up to date regularly. Life changes all the time, and your circumstances could alter over time. The changes might be significant or minor, but either way, you’ll need to ensure that your Will reflects the latest information about your life.

The most important time to update your Will is after a significant life event such as getting married, divorced, having a child, or buying a house. Failing to update your Will regularly could result in significant problems for your beneficiaries when you pass away.

Updating your Will is also vital if you want to make changes to the original document. If you want to add or remove a beneficiary, change the amount of assets you’re leaving, or modify your estate’s distribution, you’ll need to update your Will to reflect these changes.

It’s essential to update your Will if your executor or beneficiaries pass away or if they become unable to fulfil their roles due to unforeseen circumstances. These situations can significantly impact how your assets are distributed, so it’s crucial to keep your Will up to date.

Finally, remember that tax laws and inheritance rules can change over time, and this could affect the distribution of your assets. By updating your Will regularly, you can ensure that it remains up to date and complies with the latest legal requirements.

In summary, updating your Will regularly ensures that your wishes are carried out after you pass away. It ensures that your beneficiaries receive their share of your assets, and any changes to your circumstances are accurately reflected in your Will. Always seek professional advice if you’re unsure about how to update your Will.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Writing Your Will

When it comes to writing your will, there are several common mistakes that people make. Here are some of them so hopefully you can avoid them.

  1. Not updating your will regularly: Your life circumstances can change dramatically over time, and failing to update your will can lead to serious complications. Make sure you revisit your will periodically, especially after major life events like marriage, divorce, the birth of children, or the death of loved ones.
  2. Not being specific enough: A well-crafted will is very specific about how your assets should be distributed after your death. Be sure to list out your beneficiaries by name, rather than just leaving everything to “my family.”
  3. Failing to account for all of your assets: Make sure you consider all of your assets when writing your will. This includes bank accounts, investments, property, and personal belongings. If you forget to include something, it may not be distributed according to your wishes.
  4. Not choosing the right executors: The executors of your will are responsible for managing your estate after your death. Make sure you choose trustworthy individuals who can carry out your wishes and are capable of handling the administrative tasks involved.
  5. Not including contingencies: Even if you’re in good health, it’s always a good idea to include contingencies in case of unexpected events. For example, you may want to specify what should happen to your assets if a beneficiary predeceases you.
  6. Not signing your will correctly: This can make your will invalid. Ensure the witnesses observe your signature correctly and they are not beneficiaries of your will.
  7. Make sure people can find your will: Let your executors know where your will is. We recommend registering your will with The National Will Register.
  8. Keep an up to date list of your assets and liabilities: This will make matters easier for your executors to administer your estate and make sure that nothing is missed.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure that your will is well-crafted and reflects your wishes. Take the time to review your will periodically to make sure it stays up-to-date with your changing life circumstances. We recommend that you review your will at least once every 5 years.

How Harries Watkins Jones Wills & Probate can help

If you’re looking for help with your will, Harries Watkins Jones Wills & Probate can offer expert advice and guidance. Our team provides a local service across South Wales and remotely throughout England and Wales, offering the support you need to ensure your affairs are in order and your loved ones are protected.

We understand that the process of wills and probate can be complicated, which is why we offer a range of services guide yo through the process.

In addition to our wills and probate services, we also offer Lasting Powers of Attorney and Inheritance Tax specialist services. Whether you’re looking to create a new will or update an existing one, our team is here to help.

If you have any questions about wills and probate, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team. We’ll be happy to provide you with the information and advice you need to ensure your affairs are in order.

Key members of the Team

Neil Harries Probate PencoedNeil Harries: Neil is a Chartered Accountant, probate practitioner and member of Member of The Society of Will Writers



CaSolicitor Porthcawl Cath Brownth Brown: Cath is a qualified Solicitor, with vast experience in wills and probate.




The information provided is of a general nature. It is not a substitute for specific advice in your own circumstances. You are recommended to obtain specific professional advice from an appropriate professional before you take any action or refrain from action. Whilst we endeavour to use reasonable efforts to furnish accurate, complete, reliable, error free and up-to-date information, we do not warrant that it is such. We and our associates disclaim all warranties. The information can only provide an overview of the regulations in force at the date of publication, and no action should be taken without consulting the detailed legislation or seeking professional advice.

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