Making a Will with or without a Solicitor

Author:
Jonathan Maskew
Head of Probate, Wills and Trusts
Date:
16/07/2020

You can make a Will with or without the help of a Solicitor, but to ensure your Will is legally valid, it must be written or checked by a Solicitor. Making a Will is one of the most important things that you can do to care for your family and to protect their interests after you’ve gone, so it’s very important to get it right.

A Will is a legally binding document that outlines your wishes for your assets when you pass away. It cares for your family and loved ones whilst making sure that your wishes are honoured.

To make a valid Will in England or Wales, you need to:

  • Be 18 or over
  • Have Testamentary Capacity
  • Make it voluntarily and without pressure from another person
  • Make it in writing
  • Sign the Will in the presence of 2 witnesses, who are over 18
  • Get the Will signed by 2 witnesses, in your presence

There are factors to consider when you are making a Will with or without a Solicitor. It all depends on how simple or complex your Will needs to be to accommodate your assets.

Making a Will without a Solicitor

It can be overwhelming, but there are ways to make a valid Will without the help of a Solicitor. There can be a minefield of potential mistakes that can make your Will invalid. However, with proper research and understanding, you can create a simple Will from home.

Common mistakes when writing your own Will can include:

  • Not properly researching the legal requirements of a legal Will
  • Failing to include all of your assets and Estate
  • Not specifying Trustees or Guardians for beneficiaries under the age of 18
  • Changing a Will after you have signed it
  • Failing to update your Will after a marriage, the birth of a child or divorce
  • Not specifying what happens if the beneficiaries in your Will die before you

In response to the Covid-19 Pandemic, we have partnered with Bequeathed Ltd to offer a free Online Wills service. You can write a straightforward, free Will from the comfort of your own home. This service allows you to create a basic Will that will leave your Estate and assets to one or a few chosen people.

If you’re looking for something more specific, like Lasting Power of Attorney, it’s best to get help from a Solicitor otherwise your application could be rejected.

Making a Will with a Solicitor

When you’re looking to make a Will that is more specialised, for example if you have children with an unmarried partner, a Will writing Solicitor can make sure that everything you want is properly represented in your Will.

There are a lot of common but complicated situations that might require specialist legal advice. Any Will that includes the following must be completed with the help of a Solicitor to make sure that it’s legal and valid:

  • A Cohabiting couple or sharing property and assets with someone who is not your spouse or civil partner
  • You are leaving money or property to a dependant who can’t care for themselves
  • You have family members who can possibly make a claim against your estate, like a second spouse or children from another relationship
  • You are not a permanent UK resident
  • You have property overseas
  • A business

Our team of Wills and Trusts Solicitors can work with you to make a Will to meet your needs. Every person is different and their Will should reflect that. When you choose to use a Solicitor, you will receive guidance and advice that help you to make a Will that is suited to your needs. A Solicitor will write your Will to care for you family and interests after you’re gone.

Working with a Solicitor is also something we offer through our Online Wills service. You can choose to get help from an experienced expert who can either check through your Will before it is signed or have someone guide you through the Will writing process step by step.

Lasting power of Attorney

A Lasting Power of Attorney is a separate document to your Will. A Lasting Power of Attorney protects your interests during your lifetime. This a legal document that allows you to appoint your family, loved ones and those who you trust to make decisions for you in the event you lose mental capacity or you no longer wish to make decisions for yourself. There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorneys you can make;

  • Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Financial Affairs
  • Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare

To find out more on how you can protect your interests during your lifetime, please contact our team of Solicitors who will be able to provide you with further information.

We offer:

  • Solicitor Assisted Will: You will create your Will online through Bequeathed and one of our Solicitors will check the completed version to make sure that it’s valid. The cost of this service is £144 including VAT
  • Fully Protected Will: Again, you complete your Will online and a Solicitor will review it. We will also set up 2 Lasting Powers of Attorney. Lasting Powers of Attorney allow you to appoint people you trust to represent your best interests should you lose the ability to make decisions for yourself. The cost of this service is £720 including VAT

How Simpson Millar Can Help You

We can advise you on the best type of Will if you’re unsure of which one is best suited to your needs. Your Will is very important and must reflect your wishes as best it can. We can offer you with advice about Lasting Power of Attorney to make sure that you have all your affairs in place during your lifetime. If you need any help, contact us and we can help you find the best option for you.

For free legal advice call our Wills and Trusts Solicitors

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