An executor will find problems when they administer the estate if the deceased’s assets and the relevant documentation are hidden away. This is especially difficult if the person has been living on their own and has not shared or confided in anyone.
Executors cannot prove the will until they have submitted the Return of Estate Information Form to HM Customs and Revenue, which lists the assets and liabilities of the estate.
To avoid this difficult situation for your executor, you need to list any property you own, any outstanding loans or mortgages you have, and give your bank/building society details, insurance policies, investments, Premium Bonds and National Savings etc.. You don’t need to give a valuation as that will fluctuate over time.
Your list should be placed in a sealed envelope with words that it should only be opened after your death. You can either give this to your executor or next of kin, or lodged with your solicitor, bank or the Will Registry Office.
Changes that are minor can be inserted as additional paragraphs to your existing will, which are known as codicils. These must be witnessed in the same way as your original will. That said, it is preferable to draw up a new will especially if major circumstance change, like a marriage or divorce.
We recommend you revisit your will every 5 to 10 years, to make sure it continues to reflect your latest wishes
Once you have made or updated the will, it is a good idea to give copies to your executors, and your next of kin, perhaps. Store the original in a safe place but where it can be easily found. If you employed a solicitor they will most likely keep it their vault. You can even store it at your bank or lodged with the National Will Registry or the Will Registry Office.
If you are unsure where to start, try using our simple asset and liabilities checklist.
Who’s in charge when I die
Your next of kin and your executor(s) are in charge when you die. If you have no will or no close relatives there can sometimes be complications.
Should I make a will
By making a Will you will ensure that your assets, no matter how small, are distributed in line with your wishes.
Making a Will
A will sets out how your estate (your assets) should be distributed, and names an executor(s) to take care of this task. A will is only valid if your signature has been witnessed by 2 adults who are not beneficiaries of the will in anyway.