Your Guide To Making A Will

who should make a Will :

if you care about what happens to your property after you die, you should make a Will : without one, the State directs who inherits, so your friends, favourite charities and relatives may get nothing.

It is particularly important to make a Will if you are not married or are not in a registered civil partnership : this is because the law does not automatically recognize cohabitants (partners who live together) as having the same rights as husbands, wives and civil partners : as a result, even if you have lived together for many years, your cohabitant may be left with nothing if you have not made a Will.

A Will is also vital if you have children or dependants who may not be able to care for themselves : without a Will there could be uncertainty about who will look after or provide for them if you die

We can also advise you on how inheritance tax affects what you own.

you should also consider taking legal advice about making a Will if :

  • several people could make a claim on your estate when you die because they depend on you financially
  • you want to include a trust in your Will (perhaps to provide for young children or a disabled person, save tax, or simply protect your assets in some way after you die)
  • your permanent home is not in the UK or you are not a British citizen
  • your live here but you have overseas property, or
  • you own all or part of a business

Once you have had a Will drawn up, some changes to your circumstances – for example, marriage, civil partnership, separation, divorce or if your civil partnership is dissolved (legally ended) – can make all or part of that Will invalid or inadequate.

This means that you must review your Will regularly, to reflect any major life changes.

We can advise on what changes may be necessary to update your Will

using a solicitor :

although it is possible to write a Will without a solicitor’s help, this is generally not advisable as there are various legal formalities you need to follow to make sure that your Will is valid : without the help of an expert, there’s a real risk you could make a mistake, which could cause problems for your family and friends after your death.

What information will we need :

  • what you own
  • who gets what
  • families and other beneficiaries
  • guardians
  • other wishes
  • executors

signing of the will :

Once the Will has been drawn up it is not effective until it has been signed : there are several rules affecting the signature process which, if not followed correctly, could make your Will invalid : many people will use our staff to act as their witnesses to avoid this problem.

Where to keep the Will :

It is important to keep the Will in a safe place and tell your Executors or a close relative or friend where it is : as a client of David Warren Jones (Solicitor) we will be happy to store your Will for safekeeping free of charge.

Keeping your Will up to date :

You should review your Will at least every five years and after any major life change such as getting separated, married or divorced, having a child or moving house.

It is best to deal with any major changes by getting a new Will drawn up : it is also possible to make minor changes (known as codicils) to your existing Will.

In both cases it is best to consult a Solicitor.

Costs for preparation of a Will :

Charges for drawing up a Will can depend on how straightforward (or complicated) the terms of the proposed Will may be : we are happy to provide no-obligation guideline costs on request.

Further information :

please contact either :

Susan Clarke : 01952 812481

David Jones : 0121 414 1949