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  • Can I write my own Will?

Yes, you can. However, this is not recommended for someone with no legal training as a mistake can lead to the Will being declared invalid. Mistakes are usually not found until its too late resulting in the estate being subject to the laws of intestacy. Wills can not be standardized as each estate is different and DIY Wills are not tailored to meet individuals’ specific needs.

  • I understand that having a Will written is very complicated and costly?

Not necessarily. Willwriting and Estate Planning Limited are trained to deal with the complexities of estates to produce Wills which clearly express the client’s wishes. We provide you with information prior to the initial home visit to assist you in deciding on how you wish your estate to be handled and distributed making the process easier for you.

At Willwriting and Estate Planning Limited we charge fixed fees so you know what it is going to cost from the start. Each Will is different so, once we have an understanding of your situation, we can agree a fixed price. Our service provides peace of mind at an affordable cost for those who do not wish to use a high street solicitor.

  • What will my Will include?

As described above, each Will is personalized. However, the standard features typically include the appointment of executors and trustees, the appointment of guardians for any children under 18, details of those who are to receive any gifts from your estate and who is to receive the remainder of the estate once all gifts and debts have been settled.

  • Do married couples / Civil Partnerships make two Wills?

Both parties need to make a Will but these are usually very similar and are called “Mirror Wills”. If you are getting married or remarried a new Will is required unless any previous Will expressly states otherwise.

  • I have no partner so I assume that my children will inherit everything?

This is possible but if the children are under the age of 18, factors such as guardians, what age you want your children to inherit, what will happen to the estate prior to inheriting and whether the guardians should be able to access the children’s inheritance to fund their upbringing need to be considered.

  • Do I need a professional to act as my executor?

No, but it is wise to appoint a professional alongside a relative or friend. This enables the burden of the work to be shared with a professional who will be able to advise. It also ensures that should the relative/friend be unable to carry out their duties at the time there is the support already in place. Willwriting and Estate Planning Limited can provide these services if required.

  • Will my estate be subject to inheritance tax (IHT)?

Currently, if your estate is worth more than £312,000 (twice this for couples) it will be subject to the rules governing IHT. The first £312,000 of a single person's estate will be free of IHT. This is known as the Nil Rate Band personal tax allowance. The remainder will be taxed at 40% (e.g. if you have an estate worth £412,000, you will pay tax on £100,000, i.e. £40,000 tax. A married couple with assets over £624,000 can save tax by both setting up in their Wills a Discretionary Trust of a sum of money equivalent to the Nil Rate Band personal tax allowance, in favour of their spouse and children. Importantly, gifts to a registered charity are also tax free. There are other tax allowances for gifts of agricultural or business interests, but they are beyond the scope of these notes. If you have such interests and would like to find out if you can take advantage of these allowances, you should consult a solicitor or accountant.

  • Once signed do I get a copy?

Yes, we will provide you with the original copy of the Will and it is very important that you keep it safe. The Will must not be tampered with, written on, marked or lost as these will all invalidate it. We strongly recommend that you use our secure storage facilities for the original copy and we will provide you with a certificate of storage along with a copy of the Will. The original will only be released to you or, eventually, to your executors on production of the death certificate.

  • I assume that you only have to write your Will once?

We recommend that you review your Will as and when there are any changes in your circumstances, most commonly: marriage, separation, divorce, birth of a child, remarriage or a change in financial situation. Also amendments will need to be made should you wish to change any beneficiaries to your Will or the executors, trustees and guardians.

  • What do I do next?

In order to arrange for Willwriting and Estate Planning to draw up this essential document on your behalf please refer to the contact page for our details.