Planning for your future

Making a Will

A will (sometimes called a Last Will and Testament) is a legal document which explains what you want to be done with your property after your death. It can also state who you would like to look after any children you may have, and include details of the funeral arrangements you would like.

Make sure your will is legal

Anyone who is over 18 and of sound mind can make a will. For a will to be legally valid, you must sign it in the presence of two people, neither of whom can be beneficiaries or partners of beneficiaries in your will.

Even if you're in good health, it's a good idea to make a will to ensure that, should anything happen to you, your wishes will be known, and to avoid leaving a lot of legal or financial issues for those who survive you. However, nobody can force you to make or change a will.

Making changes to a will

If you want to update your will, you need to make an official alteration (called a ‘codicil’) or make a completely new will.

You must sign a codicil and get it witnessed in the same way as witnessing a will; signed with two people in your presence. There’s no limit on how many codicils you can add to a will.

If you die without making a will

Should you pass away without making a will, your property will be divided up according to the rules of intestacy (link opens in new window), which may not reflect your wishes.

Speak to a solicitor to get advice on making a will.

Find out more about how to How to make a will on the GOV.UK website (link opens in new window).

Citizens' Advice (link opens in new window) has lots of information on making a will, including how to keep your documents safe and what to do if you need to change or cancel your will.

Age UK (link opens in new window) has information on making a will, as well as a free legal advice line where you can speak to a qualified person who will talk you through the process.

The Money Advice Service (link opens in new window) website provides advice on wills and estate planning.