Frequently Asked Questions About Wills
Why do I need a will?
Without a will the state decides who will inherit your assets, so your partner, relatives, friends and favourite charities may get nothing. It is important to make a will if you are not married or in a registered civil partnership. This is because the law does not automatically recognise cohabitants (partners who live together) as having the same rights as those who are married or in a civil partnership. As such your partner may be left with nothing if you die without making a will, irrespective of the length of your relationship. It is essential that you make a will if you have minor children or dependants, so you can direct who should look after them and how they should be provided for. By making a will you can decide how your assets will be shared out.
How much will it cost?
A simple single will can cost as little as £258.00 inclusive of VAT and for couples wishing to make simple wills on identical terms prices start from £390.00 inclusive of VAT. If your will is particularly complex you will be advised of the costs involved at our free initial consultation.
What will happen if I don’t make a will?
If you do not make a will, the state will direct who inherits your estate under the rules of intestacy. It is a common misconception that in the event of your death, everything will pass automatically to your spouse/civil partner. If you die without any living relatives your estate will pass to the Crown. Without a will your estate will cost more and most certainly take longer to administer.
Do I need to use a solicitor?
No, but it is advisable to use a solicitor to ensure that your will has the desired effect. It is easy to make mistakes when preparing a will, which can cause problems following your death. Sorting out misunderstandings and disputes after your death may result in considerable legal costs and delays, which will reduce the amount of money in the estate. Common mistakes include:
- Failure to follow the formal requirements to make a will valid
- Not disposing of all property resulting in a partial intestacy
- Failure to appoint appropriate persons (executors) to administer the estate
- Not taking into account the fact a beneficiary may predecease
- Being unaware of the effect of marriage, a registered civil partnership, divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership on a will
- Being unaware of potential claims against the estate which may result in the provisions of the will being overturned
We recommend that you use the services of a solicitor for making a will so that the finished document accurately reflects your wishes and there are no unpleasant surprises for your loved ones later on.