With the increasing incidence of divorce, second marriages and civil partnerships, it has never made more sense to make a Will.
We offer a cost-effective service and will ensure that your wishes are clearly documented. In particular, we can explain how the position of any children of previous marriages or relationships can be protected.
We can advise you of the most effective ways of minimising the inheritance tax burden. In some cases, we can ensure there will be no tax to pay at all.
Our Wills Team can advise you on how your Will can be made to satisfy your specific requirements and prepare a Will tailored to your instructions. We will witness the Will for you and once signed we can store the original Will for you free of charge in our fire safe and supply a copy for you to keep.
Unless your Will is very complicated, we’ll charge fixed fees.
And don’t forget, it is important to review your Will at regular points. Changes in family circumstances or the value of property and savings may mean that the provisions of your Will need reconsidering.
Contact us today to arrange a review of your Will.
Why should I make a Will?
A Will makes it easier for your family/friends to sort out your ‘estate’ when you die. If you don’t have a Will, the process can be more time-consuming and stressful.
A Will can held reduce the amount of Inheritance Tax that would be due from your ‘estate’.
If you have children or other family members who depend on you financially, a Will is especially important. If you want to leave gifts to someone outside your immediate family or a charity, you can make this clear in your Will.
If you don’t have a valid Will, your ‘estate’ will be shared out according to law, which may not be the way you would want.
What happens if I die without making a Will?
If you die without a valid Will in place, you die ‘intestate’. The law decides who receives your ‘estate’.
General rules which may apply if you haven’t got a valid Will when you die:
- If you are not married or in a civil partnership, your partner may not be legally entitled to anything from your estate.
- If you are married, your spouse may inherit most or all of your estate, but your children may not receive anything. This applies if you are separated by not divorced.
- If you have children or grandchildren, the amount they are legally entitled to is decided by law. If you make a Will, you can decide this yourself.
- Inheritance tax may be more if you don’t have a Will.
What should I include in my Will?
Your Will should say who you want to ‘inherit’ your money, property, possessions etc. when you die. You will need to appoint at least one person to manage your estate, and to follow your instructions in the Will. This person is known as an ‘executor’. Your executor should be someone you trust.
If you have children under the age of 18, you can appoint guardians to look after them.
You can also include your wishes about your funeral if you would like burial or cremation. Your executor will do their best to follow your wishes, but they cannot break the law.
How do I ensure my Will is legally valid?
A solicitor is best placed to advise on the validity of your Will. If you make a Will with us, we will ensure your Will spells out who should inherit when you die, that you were capable of making your own decisions when you wrote the Will, and not under pressure as to who to leave your estate to.
We will also advise on Inheritance Tax and any potential challenges to your Will.