Writing a Will

How to make a Will

Making a will is one of the most important things you will do. Not having a will could leave your loved ones with nothing, depending on where the laws of intestacy leave them. The laws of intestacy are the laws that determine 'who gets what' if there is no will. These laws can have an unexpected effect, with certain people being unable to inherit anything at all.

Legal Services - Fixed Fee Wills starting at £132.00

When Can I Make a Will?

To make a valid will you have to be 18 or over. This is the law. However, if you lack capacity or you are not of 'sound mind' then your document will not be valid.

To be of sound mind you need to be:

  • Fully aware of your will and what you are giving way in it
  • Fully aware of those you have included in your will to inherit from it
  • Understand who might expect to inherit something from you
  • If a person has already lost the mental capacity to make a will there are other ways to deal with their finances, like lasting powers of attorney or a deputyship. Choosing the right option will depend mainly on your individual circumstances.

What should I include in my will?

You should try to consider what things you would like to put in your will, and who should be included. Most people aim to consider the following:

  • How much money, property or possessions you have
  • Who you want to benefit from your will – these people are called beneficiaries
  • Who should care for any children under 18
  • Who will carry out the wishes of your will – these people are called executors

If you have other wishes that you would like carried out on your passing you can also put that in your will. This could include anything from funeral arrangements to what kind of burial you would like. If it is in your will, your executors will try their best to carry out your wishes.

What if I have more than one will?

If you have previously made a will, it is important that your solicitor puts in a 'revocation clause'. This will make any wills that you have made previously invalid. If this is not put in, there may be a complication involved when it comes to sharing out your property in line with your wishes.

Why do I Need a Solicitor?

Often people will make a will using a DIY service, and this can in some instances lead to a will being invalid because a mistake is made. To ensure that you have a valid will it is advisable to use a solicitor.

Even if you do not use a solicitor to draft the will, you should definitely use one to check it to make sure it will have the effect you want it to have. If errors are made in your will, this can cause problems for your loved ones after you pass away.

After someone passes away, there may be problems in finding a copy of the actual will. If you make a will using a solicitor, they will often have registered that will with a commercial organisation. This takes the stress out of searching for the will and potentially going through the laws of intestacy.

Simpson Millar LLP offers a comprehensive wills and probate service. If you are unable to make us, we can visit you at home to talk about your will.

How much would help cost?

Whether you want to make a Will from scratch, update an existing Will or use our Property Protection Will Service, we can provide a range of fixed fee options to suit your needs. You can find out more about what is included in each service by visiting our Private Client Legal Costs section.

Top Tips

  • Use a solicitor to make your will – they will ensure that it is valid
  • Remember to try and include all property when drafting your will
  • If you lack the capacity to make a will, there are other options available to you, ie deputyship and lasting power of attorney

Make a Will...

Contact our Wills and Probate Team of solicitors now to discuss how we can help you by calling 0808 129 3320 or use our online enquiry form and we will call you back.

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James Skinner | Associate Solicitor, Court of Protection | Simpons Millar LLP

James Skinner
Associate Solicitor, Court of Protection

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