How do I make a will?
It is really important that anyone with assets, and especially children and extended family, makes a will so that they can be sure their estate is divided up the way they want after their death. It is never too late to make a will and this step-by-step guide will help lead you through the process so that our lawyers can draw up the document. If you die without a will is it known as dying intestate. If that is the case, it will be left to the law to decide who gets what.
Before you ask us to act for you there are a number of decisions you need to make such as:
- Who is to benefit from your will
- If you have children under the age of 18, who will look after them. In this case you will need to ask the person you appoint if they would be willing to care for your children if the unthinkable happens
- Who is going to be your executor – the person who will carry out the terms of your will. See our guidance on Choosing the right executor
- And what will happen to your estate if the people you want to benefit from your estate die before you do
What are the complications in making a will?
Making a will is going to be more complicated in the following circumstances:
- If you are cohabiting with someone you are not married to or in a civil partnership with
- If you own a business
- If you have property abroad
- If your main home is outside the UK
- If you want to leave money or property to someone who cannot care for themselves, a vulnerable adult or child, for instance
- If your family circumstances mean that individuals may make a claim on your will, for instance a second husband or wife or children from another marriage
- If you are looking to minimise inheritance tax
It is important that your will should be tailor made to your individual requirements. Our experts will be able to take you through the whole process.
Beware of wills on the cheap
We have had feedback from one client that they took out a £29 will through a will-writing agency but it actually cost them over £500 in the end.
To add insult to injury it didn’t take into account their needs and we were able to prepare a bespoke will for half the cost!
Online wills may be good for some people but there are some pitfalls that we need to point out. Should you use the wrong wording it could mean that your instructions are not followed, and in a worst-case scenario, invalidate your will.
Our main services
Birkett Long can help you draft:
- Wills and codicils
- Lasting Powers of Attorney
- And statutory wills for the Court of Protection Patients