Making a Will is one of the most important things that you can do to make sure that your loved ones are cared for and your wishes are followed. Our national team of Wills and Trust Solicitors can give you legal advice and make a Will to meet your needs. We have a range of Will writing services with Fixed Fees so you know exactly what it costs. We can talk to you on the phone, on Skype or Facetime or face to face and can turn your Will around quickly if you need us to.
We’ll make the Will writing process as easy as possible and we’ll talk to you in plain English. We pride ourselves on our high levels of service.
Our Wills and Trusts Solicitors offer fixed fees, and we can get the information we need to make your Will either on the phone, on Skype or Facetime or in person.
Why Use a Solicitor to Draft a Will?
There are many other businesses you could use to make a Will, but often these are not regulated. Because of this, you can’t guarantee your Will is valid.
By using a specialist Wills Solicitor, you have the peace of mind that your Will is legally valid, your requests are followed and your Estate is structured in the most effective way.
This is even more important if you own a business or overseas property as there are complex issues which a Wills Solicitor can give you specialist advice about.
You can make a Will over the phone or we have Wills Solicitors in our offices including London, Manchester and Lancaster and can help you with your Will wherever you are in England or Wales.
How to Make a Will with a Solicitor
- Firstly, we need to know what you want your Will to achieve. Your Wills Solicitor will listen to understand what you want to happen when you die.
- Once your Solicitor has all the information they need, they’ll talk to you about the best Will to suit your needs. You may also benefit from having a Trust or tax planning advice to maximise your assets.
- Once we’ve put all of this information into your Will, we’ll send you the completed version. We offer a Free Wills Storage to make sure your Will can be found and is properly protected.
- As well as planning for what happens when you die, you should also be prepared in case the day comes when you can’t make decisions for yourself.
To make sure you know what will happen and who can make decisions on your behalf, you should think about making Lasting Powers of Attorney.
What are Lasting Powers of Attorney?
A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document which sets out who can make decisions on your behalf. There are two types of Lasting Powers of Attorney:
- Health and Welfare
- Property and Financial Affairs
We’re happy to give you legal advice about making and registering your Lasting Powers of Attorney.
Why Make a Will?
The main benefit of a making a Will is that you know your Estate will go to whoever you choose, in a tax-efficient way.
If you die without making a Will, then inheritance laws known as the Rules of Intestacy will decide who gets what. In some cases, people who aren’t married won’t receive anything from their partner’s Estate.
By Making a Will You can:
- Avoid Family Disputes
- Plan for Inheritance Tax
- Make Gifts to Family and Friends
- Appoint Guardians for Children (under 18)
- Give specific Personal Belongings or Jewellery
- Leave Gifts to Charity
- Create Trusts to Protect Vulnerable Relatives
- Choose your Executors
- Set out your Funeral Wishes
Our Will writing Solicitors have a wealth of experience in drafting both simple and complex Wills.
We can offer an initial meeting with one of our Will writers to discuss your particular requirements and talk to you about the most tax-efficient way of planning your Will.
Should You Set Up a Trust?
A Trust can be used to regulate the way two or more people own a property or safeguard children or vulnerable people in a Will.
Trusts are often very legally technical and need specialist tax knowledge. Our specialist team of Will writing Solicitors will use their expertise to make sure your finances are safeguarded for you and your family.
Common Types of Trusts include:
- Declaration of Trust (Deed of Trust) to regulate ownership of a house, for details see Do I Need a Declaration of Trust?
- Will Trust appointing your Trustees to look after your Estate until your children are old enough to inherit
- Trust for a Disabled Child that will carry on throughout their life
- A Discretionary Trust protects family wealth for future generations while also providing for family members, see What is a Discretionary Trust and How Does it Work?
- A Personal Injury Trust that will preserve your compensation and still enable you to receive benefits, see Personal Injury Trusts and Means Tested Benefits.
Inheritance Tax Advice to Maximise Your Estate
Tax can make a huge difference to how people benefit from your Will. You can reduce Inheritance Tax through careful planning and the use of Wills and Trusts. We offer specialist advice to help you plan effectively.
How Much Does it Cost to Make a Will or Set Up a Trust?
We offer a range of fixed fee options to suit your needs. If we need to do any additional work outside of these fixed fees, we’ll tell you at the start or as soon as we know.
We’ll agree the cost of any additional work before we start so you know exactly how much it will cost.
Charity Work and Relationships
We are members of Will Aid - a charity Will-making scheme which raises funds for people in need in the UK and around the world.
Frequently asked questions
- Why should you make a Will?
Making a Will gives you control over what happens to your money and your property after you die.
To die without making a Will is called "intestacy". If this happens, strict legal rules apply which decide who gets what. Often this will not reflect how you’d like things done.
If you’re married and have children, for instance, financial limits apply on how much your husband or wife can receive.
If you have a partner but aren’t married, the Rules of Intestacy will not recognise your relationship.
If you die without a Will and you have no spouse or children, all your assets will go to the Crown.
- Who can make a Will?
To make a valid Will in England or Wales, you must be 18 or over and have the required ‘mental capacity’. This means that the person making a Will must have an understanding of the nature of their actions and its effects and the extent of their property.
- What is an Executor?
An Executor has various responsibilities under a Will, which can be time-consuming. Executor duties and responsibilities often include:
- Organising the funeral and paying funeral costs
- Gathering in all the assets and having then valued
- Dealing with Inheritance, Capital Gains and Income tax
- Paying off the deceased’s debts including taxes
- Defending any invalid claims against the Estate
- Finding and contacting all the Beneficiaries
Preparing Estate accounts
- Distributing the Estate to Beneficiaries in accordance to the Will.
As an Executor you can be held liable for any mistakes made.
- Who can be an Executor?
A member of your family, your partner, a friend or Solicitor may act as your Executor. The Executor must be over the age of 18.
- How many Executors can I have?
We recommend no more than 4 Executors are appointed. At least two Executors are needed if there might be a Trust to administer. It’s best to appoint substitute Executors in case your first choice decides not to act, or if they die before you.
- Can an Executor be a beneficiary?
Yes, an Executor may be a Beneficiary in your Will and it is often appropriate that the main beneficiary is an Executor.
Alternatively, you may wish to gift a sum of money to your Executor conditional upon them acting as your Executor.
- How can I revoke my previous Will?
A Will can be cancelled simply by creating a new Will which states that all previous Wills are revoked.
Your current Will would be automatically revoked if you get married or enter into a Civil Partnership. A clause may be added to stipulate that your current Will is not to be revoked by your intention to marry or enter into a Civil Partnership with the named partner.
A Will can also be revoked by destruction, for example, by burning, tearing or otherwise.
- Who can witness my Will?
Any independent person over 18 years old may witness your Will. Independent means that they must not be related to the person making the Will or be a Beneficiary under the Will. It does not have to be a Solicitor.
- What should I do with my Will once I have executed it?
As part of our Will writing service, we’ll then store your original Will in our Wills safe and then provide you with a copy.
- What will happen If I don’t make a Will?
If you haven’t made a Will when you die, your Estate (all that you own at the date of your death) will be subject to inheritance laws called the Rules of Intestacy. These rules will decide who will inherit from your Estate. It’s important to note that these rules only apply to property that would normally pass under a Will had a Will been made.
For free legal advice call our Wills & Trusts Solicitors
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Simpson Millar is a national law firm with over 500 staff and offices in Bristol, Cardiff, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, London - Euston, London - Fleet Street, London - Teddington, Manchester and Southport.