What do I include in my will?

start thinking about what to include in your will, such as your beneficiaries:

  • Your partner or spouse

  • Family members, such as your children

  • Friends

  • Charities

Start with assets that are easy to value, for example:


  • Savings

  • Valuable objects- like jewellery or heirlooms

Then move onto things that change in value, that will be harder to estimate exactly. These include:

  • Property- such as your house, any investment properties, land or even a car parking space

  • Stock market investments- shares, bonds, funds etc.

  • A business- if you own or part-own one

  • Your pension- whether you can include your pension will depend on the rules of your pension itself and you will need to check. If you can include your pension, estimating its value might take some thought. The value will depend on your scheme and when you die. Your first stop should be to read the death benefits advice from the Pensions Advisory Service.

  • You should also think about any sentimental items that you want people to have

write down your assets and exactly what they're worth

think about how you want to split your money and property

There are 5 types of legacy you can leave:

  • A pecuniary bequest- a fixed sum of money. For example: “I'll leave £1000 to my son”

  • Specific bequest- leaving a specific item of which you own. For example “I leave all my jewellery to my daughter”

  • Residuary bequest- leaving a percentage of whatever your estate is worth after any debts, costs, liabilities, legacies and tax have been paid. For example: “I leave 50% of my estate to my brother”

  • Reversionary bequest- Specifying what happens if the person you leave it to dies. For example: “I will leave my shares of the house to my wife if she survives, but if she doesn’t survive it will pass to my daughter”

  • A trust- Allows you to say who will benefit from your property immediately after your death and then who you would like to benefit from your property once the first person you chose has died. For example: “I will leave my house to my wife for the rest of her life, then it will go to my daughter”

check if you'll have to pay inheritance tax

  • The Inheritance Tax threshold is currently £325,000 for an individual or up to £650,000 for a married couple or a couple in a civil partnership.

protecting your beneficiaries:

  • Sometimes you might want to set safeguards if your leaving something to a child or to someone with disabilities or health issues. You might then want to consider setting up a trust.

click here for more information on trusts