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Writing a Will

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Making a Will

Dealing with an estate following someone's death can be complex. If a well drafted Will exists, then the legal process is much more straightforward for your loved ones, and avoids any potential conflict or further pressure during an already difficult time. Our expert lawyers provide practical and clear guidance designed to ensure you make the decisions that are right for you.

Our legal experts can write a simple Will for you costing as little as £100 + VAT.

Why is it so important to make a will?

Without a Will you have no control over who will inherit your money and property. Inheritance laws can be complicated, and without a will there may be a number of unintended consequences. For example:

  • Surviving spouses do not necessarily inherit all assets
  • If not married then your partner has no automatic right to inherit from your estate
  • Children from previous relationships may unintentionally be disinherited
  • In some instances lack of a Will can mean your house may have to be sold

As well as the assurance that all financial and inheritance decisions have been made, within a Will you can also name a guardian for your children and could even save on inheritance tax.

We ensure that you receive straight forward, friendly, and practical advice on how to effectively put a Will in place - with no confusing legal jargon.

Drafting a Will can give you peace of mind by ensuring your family is provided for should the worst happen.

If you would like to take the active step of protecting your estate and ensuring an easier process for your loved ones, please contact our Wills and Probate department on 01246 266637.

A Simple Will

Our specialists also work with families with more complex needs and regularly create tailored wills for people with specific requirements around their business, family or property situation.

Typically a 'simple will' will work for you if:

  • you have a spouse or partner and your entire estate is left to them
  • you have no spouse or partner and your entire estate is left to your children in equal shares
  • you do not have a spouse, partner or children and your entire estate is left to another individual or organisation, or a group of individuals or organisations in equal shares
  • you would like to leave a legacy to a charity
  • the value of your estate does not exceed £325,000

The cost of making a Simple Will is just £100 + VAT

A Simple Mirror Will

A 'mirror will' is where each partner agrees to distribute his or her estate (except for special gifts) to their surviving spouse/partner. If the surviving spouse/partner dies or you and your spouse/partner die together then the estate will pass to your children in equal shares. If there are no children, then it will pass to other beneficiaries in equal shares. When a mirror will is made, the makers of these wills acknowledge that the surviving spouse/partner has the right to change his or her will.

The cost of making a Simple Mirror Will is £150 + VAT

Other Types of Wills

Your personal situation may mean your requirements fall outside the scope of a simple will. For example it could be that you:

  • are in a second marriage or partnership with possible disagreement over the treatment of your children from a previous marriage(s)
  • have dependents or children that have disabilities and therefore specific instructions are required for their care
  • have a complex estate that includes businesses or property abroad
  • want to leave gifts or legacies to more than a few beneficiaries or not in equal shares
  • have children that you do not support
  • are appointing a guardian for your children, where trusts need to be arranged
  • want to disinherit a close family member

This is not an exhaustive list, and we recognise that individual families and estates can have very different requirements. A specialist member of our team is very happy to meet to discuss your particular needs and prepare a will that fits your situation.

Definition of a Simple Will

By definition, a "Simple Will" is a Will that leaves the person's entire estate to their spouse or to their children, equally, without a trust. In other words, wording such as "to my spouse or if my spouse fails to survive me to my children, equally" is a "Simple Will".

For more information on the definition of what are simple Wills and simple mirror Wills, please read our Wills Definition Guide.

Wills and Probate FAQ

Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we receive about Wills and probate.

Do I Need to Apply for a Grant of Probate?

A Grant of Probate is a certificate is issued in recognition that the Will is legal and valid. You don’t need to obtain Probate if the value of the estate is less than £5,000 cash. If the value of assets is greater than this, or the assets are held in the form of property, shares, pension, or business, you will need to obtain a Grant of Probate (or Letters of Administration, in the situation of intestacy) from the court.

Financial institutions can set their own limits for requiring Probate, and you need to be a nominated Executor, or acting on behalf of them, to apply for it. Without a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration, you will not be able to administrate the estate.

How Long does Probate Take?

Probate, the act of administering an estate, typically takes six to nine months. It can take longer if the estate is complicated or if a beneficiary or potential beneficiary contests the will.

Do I need a Solicitor to write a Will?

A Will does not need to be prepared by a solicitor for it to be legally binding. However, DIY wills are often less robust and more easily challenged as people without a legal background are not always aware of the necessary requirements.

Do I need a Solicitor if I am an Executor?

You do not need a lawyer to help you administer an estate, but many people choose to as the executor can be personally held liable for any errors. Also, managing an estate can be time-consuming and it can be difficult to fit responsibilities into working hours.

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