Other documents related to your will

What do I need apart from my will?

You can do almost everything you want to with your will, but sometimes there are one or two extra documents you or your executors might need to complete the planning, arrangement and administration of your estate.

What other documents might I or my executors need?

A letter to notify executors of the location of your will

It's really important, wherever you store your will after it has been signed and witnessed, that your executors know where it is.

Codicils

The most common reasons for making a codicil (see What is a codicil?) to your will are to change or replace an executor or guardian, and to add or revoke a gift in the will. But it's best not to use a codicil for anything complex.

Letter of wishes

A letter of wishes often accompanies a will. It is not completely binding, but it is usually followed by the executors and trustees. You might use one to:

  • give some explanatory background to the will
  • tell discretionary trustees how you would like them to distribute personal possessions or the assets in the trust
  • give guidance to guardians as to how you would like your children brought up.

See Discretionary will trust.

Letter requesting a report on testamentary capacity

This is a letter that might be sent to a medical practitioner asking them to report on your testamentary capacity. This can be strong evidence that someone had the required capacity when they made their will.

Deeds of disclaimer and variation

These are documents for executors to use if beneficiaries don’t want to receive their gifts (see Is a will legally binding?). 

Declaration of trust severing a joint tenancy

You may need to change the way you jointly own your property to avoid it being assessed for care home fees (see Joint property ownership – when does it form part of your estate?).

How do I get hold of these documents?

Bequeathed can put you in touch with one of our panel law firms. They will be happy to advise and assist further, with these and any other particular documents that might be right for your circumstances.

(If a term is in bold, that means it's in our Glossary.)