Simple will with gift over

This free template creates a simple last will and testament where the testator leaves all his or her assets to one other person (adult). If that beneficiary does not succeed you, then the estate is given to someone else, or to a charity, or shared between a group of people (such as your children, or your grandchildren, or your nieces and nephews). There are no provisions for individual gifts (bequests or legacies) to be made. Included with the template are extensive guidance notes, explaining clearly how to edit the document and how to sign the will correctly, and a short example letter of intent to your executors.

Suitable for use in: England & Wales
  • Solicitor approved
  • Plain English makes editing easy
  • Guidance notes included
  • Money back guarantee
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About this document

This is the most simple will we offer. It has been written for use by someone who wishes to leave all of his or her possessions to a single person or organisation, such as a husband or wife, a child over 16 years of age or a charity.

You can also nominate another person, group of people or charity to receive your estate if the beneficiary does not outlive you by more than a certain time period.

Like all our wills, this template is written in plain English. This not only makes editing easy, but also makes it more certain that your wishes will be understood and followed.

Our guidance notes explain how to edit the document and provide extensive information about why we include each paragraph and the decisions you might need to make. Creating your own will is a straightforward process.

Once you have finished editing the document, you simply need to print, date and sign your will (witnessed by two other people) to make it legally binding. We explain exactly how to do this in the guidance notes. You don’t need to involve a solicitor.

So that you can be confident that your wishes will be carried out, users of this template qualify for two additional free services. A qualified will writer can check that your signed will is legally binding, and we can safely and securely store your will for you – protecting it from accidental damage (such as damp or fire) and keeping the decisions about how your estate will be distributed private until your death. We explain how to take up these services in the notes to the document.

This document is in Microsoft Word format, which is compatible with many other word processors including Mac Pages, LibreOffice and WordPerfect. We can provide it in other formats on request.

Who should use this template?

This will template could be used in many different circumstances, but we envisage that it is most likely to be used by someone who is:

  • married without children, and leaving all possessions to a husband, wife or partner;
  • widowed, and leaving all assets to an adult son or daughter;
  • single without children, and leaving all assets to a family member or a co-habiting partner.

This template is suitable for a man or for a woman - it isn't gender specific. We follow normal, modern legal convention of using the masculine form of a word regardless of the gender of the person.

Other alternatives to this template

Because this is a simple will template, it doesn't contain as many options as other versions we offer.

For example, there are no options to leave bequests or legacies (specific gifts to individuals) before leaving the whole estate to someone.

Nor have we included trust provisions. While you can use this will to leave your estate to a child under 16, the gift will pass to the parents or guardians for safekeeping, and it will be their decision as to how the child benefits.

If you wish to leave your estate to a minor, or you want to make bequests or legacies, another one of our free templates is more suitable. See Last will and testament - to one person.

Note that this simple will template does not contain provisions that seek to minimise inheritance tax. If this is important to you, you should look at the other Net Lawman last will and testament templates, a number of which cover basic IHT planning (largely as illustrated by HM Revenue and Customs).

If the value of your estate could exceed the nil rate bands (NRBs), then we suggest that you seek advice from a qualified tax specialist before signing your will. The standard NRB in 2017/18 remains £325,000, with an additional band of £100,000 when a residence is passed on to a direct descendant.

Why we provide this template free

Our motivations for providing free will templates are both ethical and commercial. We have one of the largest ranges of will templates for download from the Internet, but only provide a few more popular ones for free.

A will is an important legal document, and we believe that everyone should make one. Because the law sets out how your estate will be divided if you don't have a will, without one, the people you care about are less likely to receive specific gifts (whether of financial or sentimental value) that you want to pass on to them.

The reason why most people don't write a will is the financial cost of doing so. We want to remove that barrier. Our free templates are most suitable for less complicated estates that are valued below the inheritance tax nil rate band (when no tax would be paid).

Our commercial motivation is simply that once you have used a Net Lawman will, we hope that you will be more likely to return to us for legal documents for other aspects of your personal or business life. Providing a complete, commonly used, free template that is based on our more complex paid versions is a great way for you to assess the quality of our documents.

When to use this will

You can write a will at any time in your life. Most people consider a new will when their financial circumstances change, or when relationships change. The Law Society advises that you review you will every five years, and that you make a new will after a major life change such as having a child, marriage, separation or divorce. It is possible to change a will without making a new one, but a new one is usually the better option.

More information on writing your will

The law on wills can seem complicated. We have prepared a number of short articles to explain the more difficult legal concepts. You may like to read some of our articles on writing a will.

Document features and contents

  • Revocation of all earlier wills
  • Appointment of executors and trustees
  • Legacy and bequest (to one person)
  • Gift over provision if the beneficiary does not survive the testator by more than a given time
  • Payments to executor(s)
  • Alternative wishes for burial / cremation / use of your body for advancement of science
  • Signatures and witnesses
Draftsman

This document was written by a solicitor for Net Lawman. It complies with current English law.

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