Drafting a will

Bequeathed

Choosing Bequeathed to make your will for you means that you simply take an online interview, in which we ask you a number of questions about your circumstances and wishes, and the actual drafting of your will is done for you. You can then download and print or you can transfer your draft to one of our selected law firms for advice. But there are a couple of things to mention first. 

Drafting by a relative or friend

For a variety of reasons, you may wish to have a relative or close friend help you when you make your will. It is important that both you and the person helping you take great care, in order to reduce the risk of challenges being made regarding the validity of your will.

Your will should accurately reflect your own wishes, and (though it may be easier said than done) you should ensure you are not influenced by a relative or anyone else when you decide how you would like your money and assets to be distributed on your death. This is perhaps especially relevant where a relative or friend is helping you create your will.

If anyone thinks that you have been unduly influenced while making your will, its validity may be called into question later. Although undue influence when contesting a will may be difficult to prove, if your will is successfully disputed the court may declare that it is invalid. In that case, your estate will be distributed in accordance with the intestacy rules, or according to a valid earlier will if there is one. For more information on what happens if you do not leave a valid will, see our page Avoiding intestacy.

If you do decide to enlist the help of a relative or friend, there are steps you can take to minimise the chances of your will being challenged on the grounds of undue influence:

  • make sure you are present when your will is made;
  • ensure you understand all of the questions you are being asked, and the consequences of how you choose to leave your money and assets; and
  • discuss the contents of your will with any beneficiaries who are not involved in the will-writing process, so that they are aware of your intentions.

Depending on the circumstances in which you make your will, you may be concerned that the issue of undue influence might arise at a later date. If so, it is advisable to write a letter to accompany your will stating that you have asked the relative or friend concerned to help you prepare your will, but that you are happy with the document and are satisfied that it accurately reflects your wishes. Or you can request advice from one of our selected law firms.

Blind or illiterate testators

If you are blind or unable to read, many of the issues that arise when asking a relative or friend to help you also apply. For your will to be valid, it must be clear that you understand the contents of your will before you sign it or make a mark instead of a signature. The easiest way to demonstrate this is to use a special clause at the bottom of your will called an attestation clause. This states that your will has been read to you, and that you have understood it before you sign.

For more information on signing your will, see our page Signing a will.