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Before you start checklist

Before you start, whether you will write the will yourself or not, you will need to have made a few decisions, and gathered several bits of information. If you choose to use a solicitor, use this checklist before the appointment - it will save you time and money.

Your personal details:
Names
Address
Date of Birth

Your partner’s details:
Names
Address
Date of Birth

Your children's details:
Names
Addresses
Dates of birth

Details of any stepchildren whom you support:
Names
Addresses
Dates of birth

Details of any ex-husband, wife or civil partner:
Full name
Address

Details of any maintenance you are paying

Your wishes about your funeral, burial, or cremation

Details of the people you want to be executors and/or trustees and/or guardians:
Names
Addresses
Have you discussed this with them?

Any particular legacies that you want to leave

How you want to divide the rest of your estate

Approximate value of your house and the amount(s) of any outstanding mortgage(s)
Details of any life insurance policies:
Company
Policy number
Are they written in trust for another person?
What will they pay on your death?

Information about your pension arrangements:
Company
Policy number
Will you get a death-in–service benefit?
Have you nominated this in favour of anyone?
On your death will they pay out an income, and to whom?

A list of all your major assets
Are you expecting to inherit from your parents at some point?

A list of all your major debts

A list of any large gifts that you have made in the last seven years

Marriage, Civil Partnership, and Divorce

If you get married or register a civil partnership it will cancel any previous will. It is a good idea therefore to make another will immediately after your wedding or partnership ceremony. Better still, you can make a will in "contemplation" of your marriage/civil partnership, which explicitly says that it won't be cancelled as you walk down the aisle.

If you have made a will and then get divorced (or end your civil partnership), your will is still valid, except for any bequests made to your ex-husband/wife/partner which become void.

February 2010

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