Will writing solicitors near you

Making a will provides you and your family with peace of mind for the future, a will states how your assets are protected and dispersed to your loved ones following your passing. If you die without a will or your will is poorly drafted and out of date there is no guarantee your wishes will be honoured. This can cause a great deal of stress, upset and potential financial difficultly for those left behind.

Our team knows how important it is to safeguard family assets such as property and heirloom’s that may have been in your family for hundreds of years. To speak to one of our will writing team get in touch with us by calling 0203 9252 301 or complete an online enquiry form and wait for a call.

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Why should you make a will?

There are many different reasons to make a will, it may be to save Inheritance Tax, to appoint a guardian for a young child or to make funeral arrangements. If you want to be sure on how your assets will be handled following your passing it’s vital you get a properly drafted will.

If you answer yes to any of the following questions then you will need a properly drafted will to ensure they are completed after your passing.

Do you expect your spouse to inherit all your property?

Do you want to make special provision for children, grandchildren friends and other family members?

If you have young children would you feel safer appointing a legal guardian in case something happens to you?

Would you like to minimise Inheritance Tax so your family benefit and not the tax man?

Would you rather someone you know and trust ensure your wishes are respected?

What should you include in your will?

When drafting wills we have a list of components which make up the bulk of most wills we create. We will always include a value of your estate; this is calculated by drawing up a list of your assets and any debts. Assets normally include, your home and any other property you own, savings in any banks, national savings such as premium bonds, any life insurance policies, investments such as stocks or shares, any valuable belongings such as motor vehicles, jewellery and antiques.

You’ll then need to decide how you wish to divide your estate following your passing, this will need to include who you want to benefit from your will, whether you wish to give gifts to particular people. You’ll also need to state what you want to happen should any of your beneficiaries die before you. You may also want to leave a donation to a charity or a number of charities of your choice.

You’ll then need to choose your executors; these are the people who deal with distributing your estate after you’ve passed. Being an executor can involve a large amount of work and can often come at a difficult time for a loved one so it’s important you consider the people you appoint carefully.

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How often do you need to change your will?

You should review your will every five years and after any major change in your life such as a new grandchild or moving to a new house. You should never make alterations on the original document. If you want to make a minor amendment to your will we can add a supplement, known as a codicil. This will need to be signed and witnessed in the same way as the will, although the witnesses don’t have to be the same. If anything substantial needs to be changed you should cancel your existing will and have a new one drafted.

Should you marry, remarry or enter a civil partnership, this cancels any previously existing wills. Divorce doesn’t automatically invalidate a will made during the marriage, but does exclude your ex-spouse or civil partner from benefiting if they are mentioned in the will. You should always arrange a new will should you marry, separate or divorce.

David Durkin-Finch

Senior partner

Jacqueline Tanner

Head of litigation

Can you write your own will?

You can try yes, but many of the problems encountered with Wills often come from “home-made” Wills, there’s a strong possibility that there will be an issue with the legality of your home-made will. This may be incomplete signatures, not enough witnesses, pages missing, no date, wrong names, ineffective gifts or not revoking an earlier will.

For a Will to be valid it must be in writing, signed by you and witnesses by two people, you must have the mental capacity to make the will. You’ll need to understand the effect it will have, you must have made the Will voluntarily and without pressure from anyone else.

In some cases for example if you’re suffering from illness or dementia it may be difficult to create or update a new will as for a will to be valid you must fully understand the contents of the will before it was signed. It can be signed on your behalf as long as you’re in the room and it is signed at your direction, any will signed on your behalf must include a clause stating that you understood and agreed the contents before it was signed.