Making a will

If you make a will you can decide what happens to your property and possessions after you die.

If you don't make one, it may cause problems for relatives in the future.

Anyone over the age of 18 (or age 12 in Scotland) can make a will. This means you can decide what happens to your property and possessions after your death.

Making a will is important because otherwise your assets – savings, investments or property – will be divided according to legal rules rather than your wishes. This is particularly important in the case of step-children, who will be left out if there is no will.

It is also a good idea to sign a Power of Attorney at the same time as making a will.

Although you can write a will yourself, it's best to speak to a solicitor. This will also help to reduce the possibility of any misunderstandings at a later date.

Things to remember:

  • ask how much the service will cost and how much time it will take
  • it's a solicitor's responsibility to keep you informed of costs and to give you a clear bill that shows the work done and the amount charged.

If needed, ask whether your solicitor will make home or hospital visits.

If you are seriously or terminally ill, the solicitor may ask that your doctor be present at the same time to give an opinion on your capacity to make a will.

Or the solicitor may ask for a report of your physical and mental health, to prove that you are able to make decisions about your assets.

Alternatively, your solicitor may recommend your doctor acts as a witness to the will.

If these steps are not taken, your wishes may be contested at a later time.

In your will, you can choose your executors. These are the people who will sort out your finances after your death.

You can decide who will receive your money or a particular item, such as a piece of jewellery. It is also helpful to include your funeral instructions.

We've partnered with Farewill and the National Free Wills Network so that you can make a will online, by phone or via a solicitor for free. You can make a single will or joint wills with a spouse or partner. 

Find out how to make your will for free.

Making a will - Joyce's story

"If I can give any advice, I would say, go ahead and do it. Once I’d thought about everything, it was easy to do."

Joyce is 69 and was diagnosed with Parkinson’s 11 years ago. She recently made a will through Parkinson’s UK and shares her story here.

Leave a gift in your will to Parkinson’s UK

Gifts in wills, also known as legacies, are a critical source of funding for Parkinson's UK. They fund almost half of our vital work and help us plan for the future.

We know including Parkinson's UK in your will is a big decision, and that family and loved ones come first. But all gifts make a huge difference.

Last updated March 2021. We review all our information within 3 years. If you'd like to find out more about how we put our information together, including references and the sources of evidence we use, please contact us at [email protected]