Key Things to Consider When Writing a Will

WillHave you ever thought about drawing up a Will? For some it may seem like a daunting task or one that should not be faced until a time when it becomes more of a pressing issue. However, to ensure that you’re ready and prepared for the most unexpected of circumstances, it may be worth revisiting the idea earlier in life. Saga Legal advises people every day on the things to think about including in their Will – below are just a few things you should consider, while you can find our Jargon-Busting Guide at the Saga Legal website.

Appointing Executors and Trustees

There’s an awful lot of paperwork involved in becoming the Executor of a Will – so make sure the person or persons you choose are able to cope with the workload. An Executor is the person responsible for carrying out the instructions given in your Will – making sure that those named receive what they are entitled to and that any financial and legal issues are ironed out. Anyone over the age of 18 can be your Will’s Executor as long as they’ve agreed to it – they can also be someone who is named as a beneficiary.

We recommend naming two Executors – one a family member to deal with personal issues; one a professional such as a solicitor or accountant who can deal with the administrative side. This way you’ll still have someone to carry out your wishes even if anything should happen to one of them.

A Trustee is someone who, if your children are too young to benefit from the money you have left to them, can be appointed to look after that money until the children reach the required age. Naturally this selection requires a great deal of thought too.

Appointing guardians

If your passing should leave your children without a parent then it is vital that your Will names a legal guardian to continue to give them the best care possible. Without this, a court has the power to name their guardians – and it may not end up being people you prefer. Talk it through with your potential choices and make sure they agree before you write them into your Will. It’s common for legal guardians to also be appointed as Trustees of any money or property you are leaving to your children when they are legally allowed to collect it.

Specific items and property

You should also think about the key items and property in your possession which you may wish to pass on to certain people; a special family heirloom with great sentimental value, or perhaps a significant investment like the family car or home. Anything which isn’t entrusted to someone in particular may become an issue of dispute among your Will’s beneficiaries – so make sure that your most valued things are properly arranged for.


Residue is the term for the outstanding portion of your estate which is not referred to in your Will; this should pass legally to your heirs by law but it may be necessary in case something happens to them that you name a residuary beneficiary such as your spouse or children to receive the sum of your estate not named in the Will.

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