Making a Will Case Study

Author:
Grace Serwanga
Partner, Private Client & Court of Protection
Date:
12/04/2019

Client Situation

Our Will writing Solicitors were instructed by a client who already had a Will, but no longer felt it reflected the way he wanted his Estate to be distributed in the event of his death. He didn’t feel a Codicil (an addition that explains, changes or revokes part of a Will) would suffice and requested that an entirely new Will be drafted on his behalf.

The client had clear instructions for his new Will, he wanted to leave everything to his wife and make some monetary gifts to family members and charity.  

How We Helped

We provided him with a making a Will questionnaire to be filled out prior to meeting with us. The making a Will questionnaire provided an opportunity for the client to think about what he wanted to be included in his Will and how he’d like his Estate to be distributed.

Whilst the client had already informed us how he wanted his Estate to be shared out, this allowed him to put this in writing and provide additional details needed, including the full names and addresses of the beneficiaries, and the value of the gifts he wished to leave.

The client had prepared the making a Will questionnaire and confirmed that he had considered how he would like his Estate distributed and reiterated his initial instructions.

He also had some questions, one of which was regarding the appointment of Executors. The client was under the impression that he couldn’t appoint an Executor who was also a beneficiary. As a result, he was concerned that he would have no one to appoint as Executor.

We were able to reassure the client that this was not the case, but we confirmed that a beneficiary could not witness a Will, and, if he didn’t have any family who could act as Executors, then Simpson Millar could act as his Executor.

We then went through the information needed to prepare his Will, step by step, including:

      • Who he wished to appoint as Executor/s
      • Whether he wished to be buried or cremated
      • Who he would like to leave his personal possessions to in the first instance
      • Beneficiaries’ details and value of the monetary gifts
      • How he wished the rest of his Estate to be distributed

Each step of the way in the Will writing process, we explained to the client why the information was required and that we would be making a Will on his behalf using the information he had provided.

We also explained to the client that given his wish was to leave everything to his wife, his Estate would benefit from spousal exemption in respect of Inheritance Tax (IHT) and that any of his unused nil rate band (£325,000 tax free) could be passed to his wife to be used upon her death.

We prepared a draft Will on the client’s behalf and sent it to him for approval. The client called to make an amendment, which we happily amended, and then arranged for the client to have his Will signed and witnessed.

The Outcome

Our client was happy that the Will writing had been dealt with so quickly and that within less than two weeks, his new Will had been drafted and signed.

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