If you have no family and have not made a Will, your entire estate could pass to the Crown and be added to the Treasury's coffers. So while you might want your closest friend to have all your possessions, the law will not agree if there is no Will.

Who should make one?

Everyone should make a Will because this is the only way you can be sure that your Estate will be distributed in accordance with your wishes.

It is particularly important for parents with young families to make a Will to ensure that their children's needs are safeguarded. It is not enough to guarantee that their financial future is secure, thought must also be given to who will bring them up if you and your partner die. Guardians can be appointed in your Will and your solicitor will help with details of Trust Funds.

Can I draw one up myself?

It is perfectly possible to draw up your own Will but even simple Wills must comply with legal formalities and, if you are not familiar with legal terminology, just one mistake could invalidate the whole document.

The best advice we can give is that you use a solicitor to draw up the Will. It is worth the expense to have peace of mind knowing that your wishes cannot be misinterpreted.

Who should benefit from my Will?

Write down the full names and addresses of all the people you wish to remember in your Will. Think carefully about precisely which special gifts you wish to make and to whom.