We would generally recommend not including a list of assets in the Will itself. You don't know when your Will is going to come into effect, and your assets are likely to change over time. This would require you to update your Will every time you opened a new bank account, or made a major purchase. Furthermore, once a Will is probated, it becomes a public document that everybody can read. You may not want details of all of your assets made public.
If a particular item has a specific beneficiary that is different to the main beneficiary of your estate, then yes, it must be included. So if everything it going to say, your son , except for a piece of art which is going to your nephew, then the piece of art has to be included in your Will.
It does make sense to list your assets in order to help your Executor administer the estate. They have to gather your assets, and it is helpful to have the accounts documented so that they can be sure that nothing is forgotten. But not in the Will itself.
We provide two options for this. Under the MyExpatWill service there is a downloadable form labeled "List your Personal Details & Assets (PDF file)". You can save this to your computer and update it whenever you need to. This is not a legal document, so does not have to be signed and witnessed.
We also have a MyLifeLocker service which is an online version of the same document. You can then set up access to the document for your Executor, so they can download your LifeLocker at the appropriate time and all the information they need will be captured in a single document.
The opinions expressed herein by "ExpatLegalWills.com" are designed to provide educational information only and are not intended to, nor do they, offer legal advice.