Everyone wants to make sure their loved ones are looked after when they are gone, yet many people put off making a valid Will.

Mountbatten urges everyone to always ensure they have an up-to-date Will which reflects their wishes.

A Will ensures your estate and possessions can be distributed according to your wishes. In order to do this, it is advisable to use the services of a solicitor. It is particularly important to make a Will if you are not married or are not in a registered civil partnership. The law does not automatically recognise cohabitants (partners who live together) as having the same rights as husbands, wives and civil partners. As a result, even if you have lived together for many years, your cohabitant may not benefit from your estate if you have not made a Will.

A Will is vital if you have children or dependents who may not be able to care for themselves.

In your Will you can:

  • Appoint a guardian of your choice to look after any underage children
  • Provide for children from a previous marriage or partnership
  • Appoint Executors to carry out the administration of your estate, either family members, friends, or a professional such as your solicitor
  • Remember family, friends with a keepsake or a financial gift
  • Remember your favourite charities
  • Detail any particular funeral arrangements, for example, cremation or burial

Information about writing a will is obtainable from a solicitor, the Citizen’s Advice Bureau or from the Government’s ‘Making a Will’ website