A Will drawn up by a professional who is an expert in this area of law will give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your wishes will be upheld and your family provided for after your death.
There are many reasons people put off making a Will. It is difficult to think about your own death, you don’t know whom to ask to deal with your affairs or to look after your children, or perhaps you think that you don’t have much and it will all go to your family anyway.
The reality is that if you die without a Will, your assets will be distributed according to the law and not your wishes. So if you want to be sure your property, belongings and money are inherited by those you choose, and if you want to appoint your children’s guardians and make provisions for them, then you will need a Will. For more information, please read our article: Why do you need a Will?
Our friendly and knowledgeable team will take the time to understand your particular circumstances and will prepare a Will which addresses your individual needs. We have the expertise to advise on all the legal aspects that might arise, including inheritance planning, the use of trusts, making provision for your business, expressing funeral wishes and avoiding claims under the Inheritance (Family and Dependants) Act.
We charge a fixed fee for simple Will while for more complex Wills, for example those involving trusts, we charge an hourly rate.
Information we will need to prepare your Will
We will meet you to discuss your individual circumstances and what you want to achieve before we prepared your tailor-made Will, but there are some things you can think about before we meet.
- Whom would you like to appoint as Executors and Trustees?
Your Executors are the people who will be responsible for administering your estate after your death. You can appoint between one and four individuals. The Executors will usually also be the Trustees for any trusts arising out of your Will, for example if any beneficiaries are minors at the date of your death. You can appoint separate Trustees, if you prefer.
- Whom would you like to be the Guardians of children under the age of 18?
If any children who are under the age of 18 are orphaned by your death, your Will can appoint the adults you would like to look after them. You can appoint as many guardians as you choose and state which of them you would like your child or children to live with. You can also express wishes you have regarding your children’s upbringing.
- What are your assets and how much are they worth?
It is helpful if you have an idea of the nature and value of your estate, for example any property in sole and joint names, any foreign property, savings, National Savings and Premium Bonds, share and life insurance policies. If appropriate, we can advise in relation to Inheritance Tax.
- Would you like to make gifts of specific items or sums of money?
You may have heirlooms or items of particular sentimental or monetary value that you would like to leave to named individuals. You may want to leave a particular sum of money to a friend, godchild or relative. You may want to benefit your favourite charity. All these can be written into your Will.
- Whom would you like to leave your residuary estate to?
Your residuary estate is everything that is left after all debts, liabilities, specific legacies and any tax has been paid. You need to decide whom you would like to inherit and, if more than one, if what shares. If any of the recipients are children, you need to think about at what age you would like them to receive the capital. You need to consider who should benefit if you are survived by your spouse or partner and if yours is the second death.