What is a Will?

Practical guide to Wills and probate with interactive documents you can create online

A Will is an important legal document in which you set out what you would like to happen to your assets (property, belongings and money) when you die. In a Will you can also name a 'guardian' – someone who would care for any children you have who are under the age of 18 - and appoint one or more 'executors' – people who make sure the instructions in your Will are carried out.

If you don't have a Will when you die (referred to as 'dying intestate'), the State will decide who gets what, regardless of what your wishes might have been or those of your family and friends.

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A Will generally consists of the following components and it is important to consider them carefully before making a Will.

  • The people you want to leave your assets to and how
  • The names of any charities you wish to donate to
  • If you have children under the age of 18, you may want to name someone as their legal guardian in the event of your death
  • Any special wishes you have such as whether you want to be buried or cremated
  • The people you would like to appoint as your executors – the people who will make sure the instructions in your Will are carried out

Once you have drawn up your Will, it will need to be signed by you and two independent witnesses and stored somewhere safe.

The type of Will you use will depend on your personal circumstances. The MyLawyer Wills selector will make sure you get the best Will for your particular circumstances.

The information on this page applies to England and Wales only.

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