Making a Will
There are several reasons for an individual to make a Will. Firstly, a will allows you to ensure that your wishes are carried out as you would like. It also reduces stress for those left behind at what can already be quite a difficult time.
In your Will, you can choose exactly how your assets and possessions should be dealt with in the event of your death. You can give specific gifts to your family, friends or even charities. If you pass away without a Will everything you leave will be divided according to the fixed rules of intestacy, which includes civil partners. This could mean that the people that you would like to benefit from your estate may not receive anything. It could also leave your beneficiaries with an unnecessarily large tax bill.
It could also mean that a surviving spouse (including civil partners), only receives part of an estate if there are children, which may lead to a forced sale of the family home.
If you draw up your own Will there is a real risk that you may not sign the Will in accordance with the law, and you may also use language that will misinterpret your intentions. This can cause more problems than no Will at all. If a bank prepares your Will it often insists on also acting as an executor. Its fees for doing so are usually much higher than those of a will solicitor.
What are the Benefits of Making a Will ?
- You can choose precisely how your property and possessions should be dealt with in the event of your death, such as the ability to give specific gifts to family, friends or charities.
- You can specify your choice of guardian for young children and those you wish to deal with the administration of your estate (your executors).
- Minimising the distress caused to those around you at a difficult time.
- The ability to reduce any inheritance tax due to be paid by your survivors.
- Single people – a Will enables people without dependents to leave specific gifts. A Will also allows single parents, or carers for elderly relatives, to ensure that the best possible provision has been made for their dependents in the event of their death.
- Married couples – both of you should draw up a Will to determine what will happen to your assets, especially your home, upon the death of each of you.
- Unmarried couples – without a Will, your assets would pass to your family and not to your partner. If you wish your partner to benefit in the event of your death, a Will can ensure this happens.
We help clients with complex estates by offering expert legal advice and take measures to make sure they pass on their estate in a tax-efficient manner whilst meeting all the legal requirements. This often involves making use of lifetime gifts, trusts, partnerships and company structures. See our trust page for more information on the tax benefits of creating a trust.
We are widely regarded as specialists in this field and our solicitors have been recognised by Chambers & Partners, The Legal 500 and Spear’s Magazine.
How our Wills solicitors can help you:
- Help you to clarify your own ideas, you may not have thought of all the eventualities that your Will needs to cater for.
- Home visits – as part of our legal services we are always prepared to make home visits by arrangement.
- Discuss Lasting Powers of Attorney and see if they are suitable for your situation.
- Advise you on how to minimise the tax liability which could otherwise fall on your beneficiaries.
- Advise on Trusts and how they can be administered.
- Retain your original Will in our strong room without charge.
- If a Will is being disputed we can advise both those seeking to bring a claim as well as on behalf of the administrators or executors of the Estate seeking to defend a claim. Please see our Inheritance Act Claims page for more information
Frequently asked questions (FAQ) on Wills