Your details

This section asks you for important information like your name, address, date of birth, gender etc.

Age

You must be at least 18 in order to make a valid will, unless you are on active military service. For more information, see our page What is the legal age to make a will?

Gender

There is no difference to your will whether you are male or female. We ask this question simply so that the finished will correctly uses terms such as "his" and "her", and so on.

Sight and reading impairment

A person who is blind, unable to see or unable to read can nevertheless make a valid will, with the relevant assistance, and with a special clause at the end saying that the will has been read through to the testator. This question ensures that, if necessary, the correct final clause appears in the finished will. For more information see our page Drafting a will.

Testamentary capacity

The interview will ask you a series of questions relating to your physical and mental well-being. The purpose of these questions is to ascertain whether there are any issues that may prevent you understanding the nature and effect of your will when you make it. For more information on testamentary capacity, see our page Testamentary capacity.

Do you have any children?

The interview will ask if you have any children and whether any are under the age of 18. If they are you will automatically be asked later who you would like to appoint as your children’s guardians. For more information on appointing a guardian see our page Appointing a guardian in a will.

Questions, clauses and drafting will be automatically amended to cater for whether or not you have children, and the age of those children.

You will also be asked whether you have any stepchildren and, if you do, whether you would like to include them when you refer to 'children' in your will.

If you choose 'yes' to this question, stepchildren will be included in the definition of 'children' in your will, along with the following categories of children:

  • legitimate (born in wedlock);
  • illegitimate (born out of wedlock);
  • legitimated (born out of wedlock but where the parents have subsequently married); and
  • adopted.

If you do not have any stepchildren, it is automatically assumed that you are happy to include all the above categories of children, including stepchildren, in the definition of 'children' in your will. 

It is important to note that the definition of children will apply to any references to ‘children’ or ‘descendants’ in your will, not only to your own children (if any). 

Value of your estate

When you make a will, you need to have an idea of the extent of your estate and how it is made up. You will be asked for an approximate current value of your estate (i.e. under £50,000, £50,000 to £100,000, £100,000 to £200,000 and so on). This only needs to be an estimate and you can get a figure by adding up the value of all your assets (e.g. property, savings, investments, personal possessions etc) and then deducting this from the total value of any liabilities you may have (e.g. outstanding mortgages, loans, credit card bills etc).

We've prepared a handy sheet that you can print out to help you with the sorts of things that you should include. It isn't comprehensive - we can't know everything that's in your estate - but hopefully it will jog your memory and has spaces for you to tot up as you go along. Just click this link: Estate valuation.