Will Drafting

At some point in our lives, we all start to think about what will happen to our loved ones after we have died and what we can do to make sure that they are provided for. A Last Will and Testament is a legal document that ensures your wishes are carried out to protect your loved ones.
"Find peace of mind in knowing that your wishes will be carried out."

A Will also provides you with peace of mind knowing that you have taken steps to secure the future for your loved ones. It is essential, therefore, to have a comprehensive and legally sound Will.

I am here to help you with this by assessing your current assets and liabilities to ensure that your wishes are adequately reflected in your Will, so that your loved ones are provided for.

Following the initial contact, an appointment is made for me to visit you at home so that I can take your instructions and discuss your options. A personalised draft Will is then prepared and sent to you, together with a commentary on the clauses included in the draft. This is to ensure that you understand the contents of your proposed Will and that it fully complies with the instructions that were discussed.

Once you have approved the draft Will and confirm that it accurately reflects your wishes, it is finalised ready for signing.

As part of the service I provide, I will deliver the approved Will to you and oversee the signing procedure.

Do I need a will?

If you don’t have a Will, or your circumstances have changed since you last made one, it is important that you review this and, if necessary, create a new Will to take into account those changes. A Will is particularly relevant if you have married, entered into a civil partnership, divorced or had your partnership dissolved, remarried, as well as cohabiting, to ensure that your inheritance is for the benefit of those you love in accordance with your wishes.

A Will can help to distribute the following:

  • Your home and any other property if held in your sole name
  • Your money
  • Life Insurance Policy or pension lump sum, if both are not already held in a Trust
  • Company shares
  • Personal possessions, such as a car, collectables, furniture, or jewellery
  • Any other valuable assets you may own

Misconceptions about Wills

No, this is not necessarily the case. If property, bank accounts, savings accounts and any other assets are held in your sole name, then without a Will, the Intestacy Rules will apply. These Rules set out who should deal with the deceased’s affairs and who should inherit their estate (property, personal belongings and money). If the deceased is married or in a civil partnership at the time of death, their spouse/civil partner will only inherit the statutory amount, which, currently, is £322,000. If your estate is valued at more than the £322,000 threshold, the remainder is split equally between the deceased’s spouse/civil partner and any of the deceased’s children. Therefore, if you do not make a Will, your spouse/civil partner would inherit far less than anticipated leading to uncertainty for their future.

There is no legal validity to the concept of common law spouse or cohabitee.

They are not protected by the same laws as married couples or those who have a civil partnership agreement. As a result, if your partner dies without leaving a Will, then the Intestacy Rules will apply. However, as you are not married or in a Civil Partnership with the deceased, then under these Rules, you will not be entitled to inherit anything from the deceased’s estate. Therefore, a Will must be made in these circumstances to ensure that you are provided for.

Yes, it will, as your Will automatically becomes invalid unless a clause in your existing Will has been made in contemplation of marriage or civil partnership. If not, your estate will be subject to the Intestacy Rules. Therefore, it is important to make a new Will if you marry or enter into a civil partnership.

No, it isn’t, and you will not be able to rely on a previous Will from before you were married or in a civil partnership, as that will have been revoked by your existing Will. Your existing Will remains valid, but for inheritance purposes, your ex-partner is treated as if they had died when your marriage or civil partnership was dissolved. This could have a serious effect on your estate as the rules of intestacy would apply. Therefore, it is important to update your Will if you divorce.

If your home is held jointly with your spouse/civil partner as joint tenants then, as you both jointly own the whole of the home, the remaining spouse/partner will automatically own the whole of the home on your death. If, however, the home is held as tenants in common, whereby each of you owns only part of it (usually 50/50 share) or the home is held in your sole name, then either your share (if the property is held as tenants in common) or the entire home (if you are the sole owner) will pass in accordance with the Intestacy Rules. Therefore, in either of these circumstances, it is very important to make a Will so that your spouse/civil partner is protected.

Reasons to make a Will

1. You decide what happens to your estate when you die

As a Will is legally binding, it is the only way to ensure who you want your property, money and possessions to go to following your death.

2. Decide who will look after your children

A Will can contain a Guardianship Clause, which allows you to make an informed decision by appointing someone to care for your minor children in the event of your death. However, it will only take effect once everyone with parental responsibility has died.

3. Ensure your children are provided for financially

As well as making provisions in your Will for saying who will take care of your children, you can also make plans to provide for them financially in the future. This may be by way of putting aside money for their education or setting up a Trust for them so that they receive a lump sum when they turn 18 or 21 years old.

4. Protect your partner if you are unmarried

Unmarried partners and those not in a civil partnership are not entitled to anything from your estate if there is no Will. By writing a Will, it ensures that your partner will receive their share of your estate and be provided for.

5. Safeguard your family home

If the family home is in your sole name, your spouse or partner (if not married or do not have a civil partnership agreement) will not automatically inherit. By making a Will, you can consider various options, including leaving the whole property to them, a share in the property, or a right to reside in the property.

6. Reduce Inheritance Tax

Inheritance Tax is a tax on the estate of someone who has died. The amount of tax owed depends on the total gross value of the estate, less funeral expenses, as well as any other liabilities and outgoings.
In order to reduce a potential Inheritance Tax liability and maximise tax efficiency, it can be useful to make a Will. It allows you to choose how your assets will be managed on death, allowing you to plan for and minimise your inheritance tax bill.

7. Ensure that a beloved pet is looked after

Usually, if a person dies whilst sharing a home with family, the ownership of the pet will automatically pass onto those who they live with. However, if you live alone, you can plan for the care of your pet after you have died by adding a pet clause to your Will. If you do not have any family or friends who are able to look after your pet, there are some wonderful animal charities that can.

Guide to the cost of Wills

Until a full discussion has been undertaken, it is difficult to accurately state the cost of a Will as this is dependent upon whether specific Will Trust clauses are required or whether other work needs to be done for estate planning, e.g. severing tenancy of a jointly owned house, as it may be beneficial to do so.

If any of the above criteria do apply, I will provide you with a quote and obtain your approval before I undertake any work on your matter, including drafting the Will.

However, based on a Will that is simple, whereby the entire estate is left to either a spouse or partner, or if they do not survive you, onto your children, so that no specific Will Trust clauses or other additional work needs to be undertaken, the usual costs are as follows:

  • Simple Will £250

Married couples or those in a partnership, often execute wills which are simple and identical in their provisions as set out above. This is commonly referred to as a “mirror will” and, as the intention is the same, they are usually drafted together.

  • Simple Will + Mirror Will £375

These prices are not subject to VAT.

Please note that the above costs include two home visits – one for taking instructions and the other to oversee the signing.

A down payment of £50 will be required at our initial appointment, which will be deducted from the final cost of your Will(s) or, repaid if   you subsequently decide not to proceed before any drafting of documents is undertaken.

Find out more about wills

There’s a lot to think about, but I’ll help guide you through the process to make it as easy as possible so you can have peace of mind.

Together we’ll craft a bespoke Will for your individual circumstances.