Will: half to wife, husband or partner and half to children

This free template creates a simple last will and testament, but contains numerous options so that it will be suitable in many circumstances. After legacies and bequests it divides your remaining estate in proportions you choose between your wife, husband or partner, and your children or other benefactors. The key feature of this will template is that you can set trust provisions in detail, giving you greater control of how the trustees should invest and manage your estate for any children. Also included with the template are extensive guidance notes, explaining clearly how to edit the template and how to sign the will correctly, and a short example letter of intent to your executors or trustees.

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 will is most likely to be used by someone who wishes to leave the majority of an estate after specific gifts to a wife, husband or partner, and the rest to others such as children, friends or a charity.

We use our own trust provisions in this template (adapted from STEP provisions) to give you maximum flexibility and control of how any trust is managed. The Trust powers free the trustees from some of the bonds of the Trustee Act 2001 that are unsuitable for a trust managed within your family.

We include an alternative provision for gifts to children to be paid to a parent or guardian for safekeeping if you prefer not to create a trust.

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 is a very flexible will template. The inclusion of Net Lawman trust provisions make it ideal for anyone who wishes to leave some of their estate to children or grandchildren currently under 18.

Because the residual estate is split between two parties, it is also ideal for people who wish to leave some of their estate to their family and a proportion to other people (such as friends or non-blood relations) or a charity.

Most commonly, we envisage that this template would be used by someone who:

  • is a parent, leaving most of their estate to a husband, wife or partner and the remainder (after specific gifts) to their children (including those from other relationships) or others.

However, it could also be used by someone who:

  • is a widowed grandparent, leaving their estate to their adult children and to their grandchildren on trust;
  • is a single parent, who wishes to leave most of their estate to children or other family members but also leave some to charity or to a friend.

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.

Note that this 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 band, then we suggest that you seek advice from a qualified tax specialist before signing your will. The NRB is currently £325,000. If you leave your home to a direct descendant, then it increases by £100,000 in 2017/18 and further by an additional £25,000 each year to 2020/21.

More information about writing a will yourself

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 making a will by yourself.

Why we provide this template for 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 small number 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). One of the Net Lawman free will templates should be suitable, we estimate, for about 60% of the UK population.

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 our visitors to assess the quality of our documents.

When to write or rewrite your 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 advise 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 preferable option.

Document features and contents

  • Revocation of all earlier wills
  • Appointment of executors and trustees
  • Legacies (gifts of money)
  • Bequests (gifts of possessions)
  • Instruction to executors to gather in assets and divide them between two parties (individuals or groups of individuals)
  • Gift over provision if the beneficiary does not survive you by more than a given time
  • Options for bequests to children without involving a trust
  • Creation of a trust holding the residual value of the estate for children (using flexible trust provisions that you can change to suit how you want the trust to work)
  • Payments to executor(s)
  • Directions for valuation of estate
  • Alternative wishes for burial / cremation / use of your body for advancement of science
  • Appointment of guardians for children
  • Signatures and witnesses
Draftsman

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

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