Making a Will is the best way of making sure your estate is divided and distributed exactly the way you want it to be after your death. If your Will is invalid, your estate may not be distributed the way you would like it to be.

You can write your own Will, but we recommend asking a legal advisor such as a solicitor or Will writing service to draft it for you. They can answer your questions, provide advice and will know the correct legal wording to use.

You also need to get your Will formally witnessed and signed to make it legally valid.

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

Finding a solicitor

It is important to get advice from a solicitor when making or updating your Will. To find a list of local solicitors that can help you with this, visit The Law Society Website.

What to do next

Before you begin, you will need to:

  • Make a list of everything you own - including property, money, shares, investments, life insurance policies, and all your valuables and possessions
  • Work out the value of these assets
  • Decide who should benefit from your estate, e.g. family, friends, charities
  • Decide who to appoint as your executor(s), the people who will administer your estate

What type of gift can I leave?

You will need to decide what type of gift you are going to make. They fall into the following categories:

Pecuniary - a specific sum of money or a percentage proportion of your estate

Residuary - whatever is left of your estate after bequests to family and friends

Specific - this could be a property, a piece of jewellery, an antique – something that we can sell and benefit from the proceeds. Stocks and shares fall into this category as well as physical items.

Gifts made in a will to charities such as The Norfolk Hospice are normally free of Inheritance Tax. In fact, leaving money to a charity can reduce the amount your estate would have to pay in tax, or even remove it entirely. Your solicitor or financial advisor will have more information regarding the rules on Inheritance Tax.