Step 1 Why a Legal Will?

Making a legal will is one of the corner stone of financial planning it will not, as some people think, make your death happen any quicker! It will however make sure your plans and wishes are carried when you die. This of course is guaranteed to happen we just do not know when!

You can write your Will yourself, this usually amongst the 100s of clients we have met, means that the Will is either never written or can be interpreted in different ways. Which would mean your wishes may not be carried out. Therefore if you do write your own will you should get advice to make sure your will is interpreted in the way you wanted so your wishes will become a reality.

You should also take legal advice if any of the following apply to you, as these can complicate and lead to major legal problems.

  • You want to name guardians for children
  • You want to leave money or property to a dependant who can’t care for themselves
  • You have several family members who may make a claim on your will, e.g. a second spouse or children from another marriage
  • Your permanent home is outside the UK
  • You have property overseas
  • You have a business
  • You share a property with someone who isn’t your husband, wife or civil partner

 

Your Will lets you decide what happens to your money, property and possessions after your death. If you make a will you can also make sure you don’t pay more Inheritance Tax than you need to.

You need to get your will formally witnessed and signed to make it legally valid. If you want to update your will, you need to make an official alteration (called a ‘codicil’) or make a new will.

If you die without a will, the law says who gets what!

Basic funeral Plan

Step 2 Writing your Will

Your Will should clearly set out:

  • who you want to benefit from your will
  • who should look after any children under 18 (see when you should take legal advice)
  • who is going to sort out your estate and carry out your wishes after your death (your executor)
  • what happens if the people you want to benefit die before you
  • Your funeral wishes and how it is paid for

 

Your executor should carry out the wishes stated without interpreting what they feel you might have wanted. To this end many people prefer a professional executor rather than a family member.

When you should take legal advice

You can get advice from a professional if your will isn’t straightforward, e.g.

  • You want to name guardians for children
  • You want to leave money or property to a dependant who can’t care for themselves
  • You have several family members who may make a claim on your will, e.g. a second spouse or children from another marriage
  • Your permanent home is outside the UK
  • You have property overseas
  • You have a business

 

  • You share a property with someone who isn’t your husband, wife or civil partner

We advise people daily on all of the above!

Bespoke funeral plans

Step 3 Make sure your Will is legal

For your will to be legally valid, you must:

  • be 18 or over
  • make it voluntarily
  • be of sound mind
  • make it in writing
  • sign it in the presence of 2 witnesses who are both over 18
  • have it signed by your 2 witnesses, in your presence

 

If you make any changes to your will you must follow the same signing and witnessing process.

You can’t leave your witnesses (or their married partners) anything in your will.

Keep your will safe

You can keep your will at your home or store it with:

  • Your Will writers
  • your solicitor
  • your bank
  • a company that offers the storage of wills – you can search online
  • the London Probate Service

You should tell your executor (the person you’ve chosen to carry out your will), close friend or relative where your will is.

Talk to us about our executor packages!

How funeral plans works

Step 4 Update your Will

You should review your will every 5 years and after any major change in your life, e.g.

  • getting separated or divorced
  • getting married (this cancels any will you made before)
  • having a child
  • moving house
  • if the executor named in the will dies

 

Making changes to your will

You can’t amend your will after it’s been signed and witnessed. The only way you can change a will is by making an official alteration called a codicil.

You must sign a codicil and get it witnessed in the same way as witnessing a will.

There’s no limit on how many codicils you can add to a will.

Making a new will

For major changes you should make a new will.

Your new will should explain that it revokes (officially cancels) all previous wills and codicils. You should destroy your old will by burning it or tearing it up.

Will review service available

Included in funeral plan

 

Make a Will now as you are guaranteed to die!

You just do not know when!

We can help you

Call us on 01173790121

or use our contact us page