It does not matter if you have several hectares of the estate or just a flat in the city outskirts, having a will is always important. It allows you to pass on your legacy to the person/organization of your choice. Also, you save on inheritance tax.
However, most people find the whole process cumbersome. They think that it involves long sessions with the advocate and the court. That phase is over now. From 31 January 2020, it is legal to make a will online in England and Wales. But it is not as easy as making a social media account.
You need to pay attention to many legal aspects. Here the top 5 things that you must know before you make a will online UK:
1. Hire a professional:
A common man can’t know minute details in several scenarios. For that, it is best to hire a professional. You will not risk losing out on any critical point. These are the typical cases when you must hire a professional:
- When you have properties overseas. It includes land properties as well as foreign investments, and bank accounts.
- When you have a large extended family who can claim their share on your property.
- When you have people dependent on you other than your immediate family members.
- Complex or tricky wishes.
2. Make sure the will is legal:
Contrary to the popular belief, you cannot make your will without informing a single soul. This raises questions on the validity of the will. For your will to be legally valid, you must ensure:
- That you are over 18 years of age
- You are in a sound frame of mind
- You make the will voluntarily and in writing
- The will is co-signed by 2 witnesses who are over 18 years of age
3. Know who you can leave your property:
While making the will, you must consult your lawyer regarding whom to leave the property. You cannot leave anything for your witnesses and/or their spouses.
4. Your location and local law:
While planning to make a will online UK, you must keep in mind that it will be valid only if you reside in England and Wales. Rest parts of the UK do not recognize online wills. Also, the signing of the will should be done in the presence of both witnesses over video conferencing.
5. Keep updating your will:
The terms and applicability of your will may change over the years. So, you should update your will every 5 years. It becomes more important if you
- Get married
- Have kids
- Get divorced or separated
- The executor of your will dies
- Move your house or change the address.
Making a will online is easy but you must pay attention to all the legal aspects to maintain its validity.