What exactly is a will?
A will is a legal document that sets out your wishes regarding the following factors:
- Who you would like to benefit from your estate (your beneficiaries)
- How your estate will be divided (if you want to leave it unequally between a number of people and/or charities)
- Who will collect in and distribute your assets (executors)
- Who will look after any minor children you may have (guardians)
Your decisions, your wishes
Many people hold off making their will until it is too late.
Life takes unexpected twists and turns with a sudden death, illness and even disability. Having a current and valid will in place gives you the peace of mind that, if something unfortunate were to happen at any point in the future, your wishes are contained in a legally binding document.
Fantastic. Emily made us feel completely comfortable and answered any questions we had.
Know the consequences of what will happen without your will in place
If you die without making a will you are ‘intestate’ and the law will determine who inherits your estate following the intestacy rules. There is a risk that someone you do not want to benefit from your estate will benefit.
The intestacy rules also result in unmarried partners not automatically benefiting from your estate. Making a will sets out clear instructions who you would like to benefit from your estate.
The creation of a will can be a daunting prospect but Emily made it very easy for us and we would highly recommend her services.
5 steps to making your will
Step 1: Your initial appointment
You will make an appointment at our office to discuss what you would like in your will.
The appointment generally takes around 30 minutes.
Step 2: Drafting your will
Once we know exactly what you would like in your will then we draft your will and send it to you in the post.
Step 3: Amendments
You need to review your draft will then contact us with any amendments you may have. At this point we will arrange another appointment.
Step 4: Signing your will
This is your opportunity to go through your will at our office and ensure you are happy with the document. Once you have signed your will it will be witnessed and dated to ensure it is valid. The appointment generally takes around 15 minutes.
Step 5: Storing your will
We can store your original will free of charge plus give you a copy for your records.
It is important to write a will if you would like to choose what happens to your assets after your death. If you do not write a will, you will have no control over your assets, which will be distributed according to the Intestacy Rules. A person who dies without a will is called “intestate”.
A will is an important legal document which governs the distribution of your estate (which is everything that you own) upon your death. If you die without making a will, you are ‘intestate’ and the law will determine who inherits your estate. It is important to seek professional legal advice when writing a will to ensure it complies with all legal requirements and can be executed with ease.
Many people believe that everything they own will automatically go to their spouse but this is not always the case. A properly drafted will sets out your wishes clearly and unambiguously
It can also deal with other matters, such as appointing guardians for any of your children under the age of 18. For clients with more valuable estates, having the correct will in place could save many thousands of pounds of inheritance tax.
If you do not make a will then the intestacy rules apply on your death. These rules contain a pecking order of who can inherit based on your family situation. This can mean that those who you wish to benefit from your estate could lose out and it could cause considerable hardship to them.
If you are not married or in a civil partnership and you do not make a will then the answer is no. However, assets held in joint names and property held as joint tenants with your partner will pass automatically to them on your death.