Wills Frequently Asked Questions
Also review our straightforward guide to making your Will.
Why should I make a Will?
- You should make a Will because you can ensure that the people you want to get your estate will do so
- You can appoint the people you trust to deal with your Estate
- You can appoint guardians for your children if they are young
- You can ensure that if your spouse has pre-deceased you your Estate assets will benefit your children
- Assets can be preserved and protected for your children, ensuring that “family assets” stay in the family
- You can make gifts to godchildren, charity and friends
- Personal possessions can be passed within the family
- If you have overseas assets your Will provision can ensure that all your assets are correctly dealt with, in all jurisdictions
- Your specific funeral wishes can be included
- If you have a business or partnership your shares can be gifted to the other director/s or an option to purchase can be included
- You can put in place Trusts of property and assets
- You can mitigate against Inheritance Tax
I want to make a Will. Surely it’s easy, I can do it myself?
Please look at our guide to making your Will. In our guide we explain how to write a Will. However a Will is a legal document and needs proper consideration to ensure it is valid and can be relied upon.
I want to write a Will, but don’t have the time and don’t want to go to an office.
We will come to you, either at home or during working hours. We cover Surrey Hampshire and Berkshire areas, and we travel to you. If you are outside these areas we can work for you via written correspondence or on the phone. Your appointment with Wills-etc will be at a time and a place to suit you. Most appointments take approximately an hour, so this should not take up too much of your day. It can even be fitted into your work lunch hour!
My mother is old and cannot get out to see someone, will you be able to go and meet with her?
We make home visits, as we understand that many of our clients cannot meet at an office, during office hours. We find that many of our clients prefer us to see them at home, rather than in an intimidating or formal office environment.
My estate will go to my wife anyway, won’t it?
Not necessarily, if you die without a Will your assets will be administered in accordance with the Intestacy Rules.
For example, if you have a spouse and children under the rules your wife will get the first £250,000 worth of assets and the rest is divided into two shares. One share will go to your children (at 18) the other share goes to your spouse for life, then on his/her death this also goes to your children.
My estate will go to my partner, who is my “common law” wife, won’t it?
No if you are unmarried your partner could get nothing. He/she would have to make a claim against your Estate under the Inheritance Provision for Family & Dependents Act 1975. This is a High Court action which could prove costly.
You can however put in place a valid Will and ensure that your partner will receive your estate when you have gone.
It is important to note, that common law wives/husbands have never existed in English Law. This is a common misconception.
I have been with my partner for years and our entire estates go to each other, don’t they?
Not necessarily, even with valid Wills leaving your Estate assets to each other it is likely that your partner will not receive your entire Estate. Tax will be payable on your Estate, as there is no exemption for unmarried couples. This means if your Estate is worth over the nil rate band on your death tax will have to be paid. The tax is currently 40% over £325,000.
I am single and have no children, where will my assets go?
If you leave no Will your assets will be distributed according to the Intestacy Rules list of beneficiaries.
If you parents are alive they will receive your Estate, which they may not want or need. If you parents have died your Estate will be go to your siblings equally. If you do not want your Estate to be shared amongst your siblings for any reason you should make a Will.
Do I have to use a solicitor?
No you can even draw up your own Will. We are members of the Society of Will Writers, and have years of experience in this field. The person who you will meet from Wills-etc is highly qualified, a Wills specialist and has practiced as a solicitor for many years.