Why make a Will?2019-08-28T13:41:39+01:00

A Will decides who inherits your  money, propertyand possessions. Who inherits your estate will be decided by the Law of Intestacy (1925) and as you can imagine they are unlikely to divide your assets in the way you would choose.

By making a Will you can decide exactly who gets which assets and how much.

I have been living with my partner for years, but we are not married, Do I still need to make a Will?2019-08-28T13:40:44+01:00

If you and your partner are not married or legally united in a civil partnership, your partner will not be automatically entitled to any of the assests owned in your sole name when you die – no matter how long your relationship has been – unless you make a will.

Instead, your estate will be divided among your children (or other more distant relatives if you have no children). Even if you have no relatives, your estate will pass to the Crown rather than to your partner.

Your partner might be able to claim some of your assets if they are in need or were financially dependent on you or if you have assets in joint names. But to ensure that your partner inherits, a will is essential.

So what is the Process in making a Will?2019-08-28T13:40:07+01:00

The Process is easy as there are three main requirements for a Will to be legal.

  1. It must be in writing. Telling a friend or anyone else what your intentions are is certainly not good enough.
  2. You must sign it.
  3. When you sign it, there must be at least two other people present to witness your signature and vice versa.

In addition you should date it, specify that previous wills (if any) are ‘revoked’ (cancelled), and choose who you would like to carry out your wishes ( executor(s).

Make sure you give sufficient information on particular possessions intended for particular individuals, to ensure that they can be identified. ‘To my Carer, the picture she likes in the living room’, for instance, would not surfice if there are six pictures and three different Carers.

You should give details of the beneficiaries, including their full names including aliases and the address of each of them, if possible.

Generally, your will should be clear on what will happen to a bequest if the beneficiary pre-deceases you. For example, whether it lapses, goes to their children (and in what proportions), or goes to someone else instead or just goes back into the estate. When you leave a bequest to a class of people, such as ‘my grandchildren living at my death’, be specific as to whether that includes unborn children, so pregnancies are covered. And you should say where you want the ‘residue’ (everything left over, once the specific bequests have been satisfied) to go.

Finally, it is desirable to leave details of your possessions (or at least, an indication of where such details can be found) with your will. I have car so will travel to you at a time and place that is convenient for both.

So who can I use as witnesses? Are there any restrictions?2019-08-28T13:38:56+01:00

They must be over 18 years old, of sound mind, and able to see; but apart from that there are no restrictions. However, witnesses – and their spouse or civil partner – are not allowed to benefit under a will.

Be sure to ask someone that can be traced to witness your will, be sure to get his (or her) address.

They do not need to know what is in your will – they are merely witnessing your signature.

What does an Executor do?2019-08-28T13:38:25+01:00

Your executors are the people who make it all happen meaning carry out your wishes after your death. Among other things, they have to:

  • apply for a ‘Grant of Representation’ from the Probate Registry
  • notify the bank(s), pension agencies, solicitor, utility companies, and other relevant parties
  • arrange your funeral and pay for it (the money comes from your estate)
  • arrange for the payment of any debts outstanding on your death
  • identify the ‘beneficiaries’ (people who inherit under your will) and establish where they can be contacted
  • close up the house (if necessary) and arrange for house clearance prior to a sale
  • arrange for the valuation of your estate, including any objects (‘chattels’) of significant value
  • liaise with the tax authorities on inheritance tax
  • pay the inheritance tax due (an account should be delivered within twelve months of the death)
  • arrange the distribution of bequests
  • keep account of all transactions, and get the accounts signed off by the beneficiaries

As you can see, this can be a very time-consuming job. Choose wisely and if you want one of your family or friends to do it, be sure to ask them first making sure they are willing capable and able to take on the responsibility. If you don’t, and one of them then refuses to do it after your death (as they are entitled to do), this could mean more work for the other executor(s) or may even mean that the responsibility falls to one of your beneficiaries. Estate Planning Solutions can help should this happens by being a Facilitator and Project manage the whole thing for you.

How many executors can I have?2019-08-28T13:37:45+01:00

You can name as many executors as you like in your will, though the maximum number who can apply for probate to administer your estate is four. It makes sense to have at least two or three, in case any of them pre-decease you or later decide they do not want to (or cannot) act as an executor.

It’s common to ask friends or family to be executors. It makes sense to choose individuals who are good at administration, have a bit of financial sense, and are trustworthy. You may also want to consider naming a professional executor like Estate Planning Solutions and Kings Court Trust.

Can I leave a gift to Charity in my Will?2019-08-28T13:37:04+01:00

Yes, you can leave a legacy gift of a valuable item or a specific amount of money to any Charitable Organisation in your Will.

Any charitable donations you make in your Will are free from Inheritance Tax.

Will my current Will become invalid if I get divorced?2019-08-28T13:35:52+01:00

Your will remains valid but any provision in favour of your former spouse ceases to apply once the divorce is finalised. You should draw up a new will.

Bear in mind that your spouse remains a beneficiary until the ‘decree absolute’ has been granted – so you might want to draw up a new will straight away if you are in the process of divorcing.

What is the cost to draft a will?2019-08-28T13:35:23+01:00

The cost of making a will is generally quite fair, although it does depend on how complicated the provisions are, or whether you have different trusts added. Ask for an estimate of the cost based on your requirements before you start.


Where should I keep my Will?2019-08-28T13:30:58+01:00

Storing your Will and other documents safely is paramount because we all know the devastation that can be caused by water and fire, not only that any marks or indentation on a Will can make it invalid. So storing your Will and other documents with Estate Planning Solutions through our trusted Partner Kings Court Trust ensures that your Will is registered onto the National Wills register which gives your executors and beneficiaries complete peace of mind.


What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?2019-08-28T13:24:27+01:00

A lasting power of attorney gives someone else the power to make decisions on your behalf, if you are no longer able to do so because of accident or illness, and this compliments your Will.

Lasting powers of attorney (LPAs) let you choose a person (or people) you trust to act for you. This person is referred to as your ‘attorney’, and you can choose what decisions they are allowed to make for you. There are two different types of LPA. One of them covers decisions about your property and finances, and the other covers decisions about your health and welfare. You can choose to make both types or just one. You can appoint the same person to be your attorney for both, or you can have different attorneys. An LPA can only be used after it has been registered at the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). The OPG is responsible for the registration of LPAs.

Property and affairs LPA

A property and affairs LPA covers decisions about your finances and property. If there comes a time when you can’t manage your finances anymore, the person you appoint as your attorney will be able do this for you. This can include paying your bills, collecting your income and benefits, or selling your house. However, if you want to, you can limit the decisions they are allowed to make, or place conditions on what they can do. Once registered, a property and affairs LPA can be used even if you are still able to deal with these things yourself.

Health and welfare LPA

A health and welfare LPA allows the attorney to make decisions on your behalf about your health and welfare, if there comes a time when you are unable to make these decisions for yourself. A health and welfare attorney could make decisions about where you live, for example, or your day-today care, including your diet and what you wear. You can also give your health and welfare attorney the power to accept or refuse life-sustaining treatment on your behalf. You will be asked whether you wish to do this or not on the form, and you will need to state your intention clearly

What is the benefits of making an LPA?2019-08-28T13:26:34+01:00

It can be reassuring to know that, if you are unable to make a decision for yourself in the future, the person you choose will make these decisions for you.

Making an LPA ensures that the person you want to make decisions for you will be able to do so.

This prevents a stranger, or someone you may not trust, from having this power.

Making an LPA now will make things easier for your family and friends in future.

It will be more expensive, difficult and time-consuming for them to get the authority to act on your behalf when you are not able to give it.

Making an LPA can start discussions with your family or others about what you want to happen in the future.

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