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We have adapted our will and LPA service to make them more accessible. During the current social restrictions caused by the Pandemic our will and LPA service will be available to you over Zoom and Skype. For those unable to use Zoom/Skype we are also offering the service over the telephone. Talk to us on 0113 320 5000 about making your will and LPA.

What 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)
  • Who will look after any minor children you may have (guardians) 
  • How your estate will be divided (if you want to leave it equally or unequally between a number of people and/or charities)
  • Who will collect in and distribute your assets (executors) 

We are happy to discuss making a will with you on a completely free, no obligation basis.  Just call us on 0113 320 5000 or email us at wills@winstonsolicitors.co.uk

What happens if I do not have a will?

If you die without making a will, your estate is ‘intestate’ and the law will determine who inherits your estate following the intestacy rules. Therefore, there is a risk that someone you do not want to benefit from your estate will benefit, whereas you could have disinherited them by having a Will in place. The intestacy rules also result in unmarried partners not automatically benefiting from your estate. It is therefore advisable to have a Will in place to make it clear to your loved ones who you would like to benefit from your estate.

What is a mirror will?

Mirror wills are two separate legal documents; therefore each partner/spouse is (so long as they have capacity) able to update, amend or revoke their will at any point in time without an obligation to inform their partner/spouse.

What is a mutual will?

Mutual Wills are made by people who agree that they will not amend or revoke (cancel) their wills without notifying the other party and  thereby giving them the opportunity of amending their will. Having a mutual will also means that when the first person passes away, the surviving person cannot make a new will.

When should I update my will?

You should consider reviewing your will to see if it needs to be updated when:

  • You have a change in personal circumstances, for example:
    • someone named in your will dies
    • marriage
    • divorce
    • birth of a child/grandchild
    • family disagreements
  • You have a change in financial circumstances, for example:
    • Your finances increase/decrease
    • You bought/sold a property
  • There are a change in the needs or circumstances of the beneficiaries

How do I update my will?

There are two ways to update your will:

  1. Have a codicil written and executed (signed, dated and witnessed)
  2. Have a new will written and executed (signed, dated and witnessed)

What is a codicil?

A codicil is a legal document that amends a will.

What is a letter of wishes?

A letter of wishes is a document you can write yourself and store with your original will. You may choose to write a letter of wishes to give guidance to your loved ones without the guidance being legally binding. Many people hold off finalising a Will until it is too late, either due to an unexpected death, illness or disability. Having an up-to-date valid Will in place will give you peace of mind that if something unfortunate were to happen in the future then your wishes are contained in a legally binding document.

Power of Attorney

At the same time as writing a will we recommend our clients consider making Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). Under a Financial LPA you can nominate the individual or people whom you would like to look after your financial affairs if you become incapable of doing so, whether through mental or physical infirmity. Under a Welfare LPA you are able to appoint an attorney to look after your welfare interests should you become mentally incapable of doing so yourself. This is a new and important development, in effect enabling you to make a 'living will'.

If you do not have a Financial LPA your family may need to apply to court for the right to look after your financial affairs, which can be expensive and time-consuming.  Without a Welfare LPA, if you do need care in a hospital or home your wishes may not be properly taken into account.

Please contact us on 0113 320 5000 or email at wills@winstonsolicitors.co.uk.