Our expert Wills & Probate solicitors based in London and the North West assist clients across the UK.
What is a Will?
A Will is a legal document, which reflects your wishes and lets you determine who will inherit your assets and possessions after you pass away.
A Will provides details of the following:
- Your Executors (the people who you appoint to carry out the terms of your Will)
- Beneficiaries (the people who will inherit your assets and possessions)
- Your chosen funeral arrangements
- How you want your estates to be distributed
Why make a Will?
These are just some of the reasons to make a Will:
- If you die without making a Will, the intestacy rules will apply and a surviving relative who you didn’t want to may inherit from your Estate.
- A Will can help reduce the amount of Inheritance Tax payable on the value of your property and assets.
Who can make a Will?
Anyone over the age of 18, as long as they have the understanding of making a Will (this is known as ‘testamentary capacity’).
We have the expertise to provide you with practical and cost effective advice on how you can get the best for your family out of a Will. If you arrange for us us to assist you with Wills & Probate, we will be able to guide you through the process with ease step by step.
How common are Wills in the UK?
It is a surprising fact that 7 out of 10 adults in the UK have not made a Will (source: unbiased.co.uk). This is despite the fact that we are an ageing population.
What can be safeguarded by making a Will?
Many individuals believe their estates and assets are straightforward to administer after they pass away.
There are in fact many issues to consider, including:
- Pensions; how will your pension be distributed after you pass away?
- Children and grandchildren; how can you best provide for both?
- Inheritance tax; what is the best way to plan and prepare for this?
- Who will you choose to ensure your wishes are carried out?
- Where will you store your Will?
- Do you need to consider and plan for nursing home fees?
- If you become incapacitated, who will make decisions for you?
- If you and your partner are not married, what is the best way to ensure you can provide for each other?
We can advise on all of these issues in a straightforward way and can put the necessary protection in place with ease.
Is it really necessary to make Will?
The reasons why many people do not choose to make a Will may be in part due to concerns around cost and also the belief that if one dies without making a Will, everything they own will automatically go to their partner.
This is in fact not always the case and the consequences of not making a Will can be serious for the loved ones you leave behind.
In addition, making a Will without proper legal advice can in some cases leave gaps, which lead to disputes that could have been avoided, such as the Will being deemed invalid.
What is the difference between Wills and Probate?
A Will is the legal document that stipulates how your estate is administered after you pass away.
Probate refers to the process of a person named in the Will (known as an Executor) taking responsibility for administering the Will after the person who made the legal document has passed away. Not all Wills go to Probate, as this is dependent on a number of factors.
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