News and Events

Top 5 questions about making a will

View profile for Katie Hayden
  • Posted
  • Author

I often get asked about the process of making or updating a will, so thought I would share the regular questions I get asked, as it is so important to protect your loved ones and assets by obtaining specialist advice.

When should I think about making or updating my will?

To ensure that your wishes are reflected, a will should be reviewed every 3-5 years or when there is a change in personal circumstances such as; getting married, divorced or going through a separation, having children, or buying a house.

What is the process of making a will? 

  • The first step is to make an appointment to see a Solicitor to discuss your will.
  • During the appointment, you will be asked about your estate and how you wish for it to be distributed. Part of the process of making a will includes considering the value of your estate and how much you can and wish to give away to beneficiaries. Having a rough estimate of assets means that during the appointment, inheritance tax advice can be given and therefore, your estate managed in the most tax efficient way.
  • Once your wishes have been determined, the most appropriate will (depending on your personal circumstances) can be drafted for your approval.
  • When you are happy with the draft, a further appointment can be arranged for the will to be signed and witnessed.

What are the risks of using a DIY wills kit or an unregulated service?

When making your own will or by using an unregulated service, some aspects and unforeseen changes may be overlooked. There have been a number of cases whereby people are being charged with unexpected inheritance tax bills or costly legal disputes as the will was unclear and open to challenge.

What are the risks of not having an up-to-date will?

  • Assets could be inherited by beneficiaries not intended to benefit anymore
  • You may not have a say in the welfare of minor children
  • Property and assets cannot be managed efficiently
  • An out of date will is as dangerous as dying without one

Should making a will be a New Year’s resolution?

A will can ensure provision for family and friends. If you die without a valid will in place, then the law decides who inherits everything you own under the intestacy rules, which can produce undesirable results. The best way to ensure your wishes are documented is by making a will, regardless of the time of year.

If you would like more information, have other questions or would like to make or amend a will, please contact me. I am based at our Chelmsford office and can be reached on 01245 459837 or