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How to write your own will

Introduction to the new book

by Tony Balfe

My underlying purpose when writing this book is to encourage more and more people to understand how important it is to exercise their power and write a valid Will. It is a sad fact that too many people are unaware of the implications of not even writing a basic will. To illustrate, a classic example today would be an unmarried couple who live as a married couple in every respect bar one, legally, they are seen as single and therefore State Intestacy Laws dictate what happens to their estates after their death.


I sincerely believe after many years of experience with taking instructions that one of the main reasons people do not prioritise their decision and make- even a simple- valid Will, is an inbuilt fear of the unknown together with a belief that whatever happens everything will be alright. Add to this the general perception that it must be a complicated process and it is clear to see why this can be such a problem area.


With this general perception in mind my goal is to go some way towards demystifying this process and try to simplify what is for the vast majority of families a painless exercise and yet such an important step to take towards their family welfare and security. Furthermore, I wish to share with as many people as possible how simple and easy it is to plan now and prevent any potential problems from occurring in the future.


I sincerely hope that the following chapter headings will sufficiently summarise what will be provided in this essential guide for the layperson on how to prepare for and write a valid Will. Old man procrastination should never be an option here and of course can be a very expensive mistake indeed.


Finally an additional purpose of my book is to help people understand that if they do not utilise this power to decide their future then sadly the state certainly will, for it has a plan in place for them already which they may not like at all!



Why You Should Make a Valid Will
To achieve personal control over what happens to your possessions


The Law of Intestacy
The state has a plan in place for people without a valid Will

The Basic Structure of a Will
Essential guidelines on how to proceed


Choosing a Guardian for Your Children
How to appoint guardians for your children if appropriate and the essential duties of a guardian


Appointing Your Executors
How to choose and appoint your executors and the essential duties they perform


Specific Gifts and Legacies
Tips on how to list those special gifts and money bequests


Gifts to Charities
Essential tips for those with charitable donations and legacies in mind


Protecting the Family Home
Effective Strategies to help you protect against Long Term Care Fees


The Residuary Estate
What is this and how to avoid costly mistakes?


Lasting Power of Attorney
Why this legal document is so essential to everyone over 50 years old


Inheritance Tax and Trusts
Beginners guide to understanding how to maximise your NRB (Nil Rate Band) allowance


Will Signing and Storage
Why this final step is perhaps the most important of all & how to make sure your Will is valid


Codicils and Revocation Issues
Simple explanations with examples to help prevent mistakes which may be very costly


Marriage and Civil Partnerships
How the Wills Act 1837 and the Civil Partnership Act 2004 may affect your existing Wills


Essential Steps to Probate
What is probate and how to apply for the Grant a basic understanding



How to write your own will - Introduction to the new book, by Tony Balfe

E-book for the 'England & Wales' Marketplace on how to write your own Will. Written as a user friendly step by step guide. Full of tips and strategies, a simple jargon free approach to this most essential task.


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