Making a will is a straight forward process and can be completed quickly and easily after discussing your circumstances and wishes.
When making a will you should consider the following:
- Who would you like to be your executors?
- Who would act as guardians for your children?
- Do you have any specific items or amounts of money to leave?
- Who should inherit the rest of your estate?
- Do you have any specific funeral wishes?
Why do I need to make a will?
If you die without a will, your estate will pass in accordance with the ‘rules of intestacy’. These are legal rules which state who is to benefit from your estate. This may not necessarily be the same relatives that you would have chosen.
- Your spouse may not automatically receive everything you own.
- Your partner (cohabitee) would not receive any inheritance from you.
- The courts may have to decide who will be the guardians of your young children.
- Your children may not receive anything on your death if your spouse survives you.
More and more frequently disputes can arise over estates. This may be due to increased awareness of people’s legal rights to challenge a probate on a number of possible grounds.
Our wills and estates team regularly work alongside our dispute resolution team, who have the necessary experience and expert knowledge, to navigate you through this particularly specialised field.
Property and your will
It is very important to ensure you have an up to date will in place if you are buying a property, living with a partner, going through a separation or divorce for example.
If you have bought or are buying a property, it is important to consider how that property would pass on death.
If the property is in your sole name, it will pass in accordance with your will or the rules of intestacy if you have no will.
If the property is in your joint names as joint tenants, the property will pass automatically to the surviving owner no matter what your will says.
If the property is in your joint names as tenants in common, the property will pass under your will or the rules of intestacy if you have no will.
Our lawyers’ recent experience includes:
Advising on IHT planning for high net worth clients, making their wills, trusts and undertaking succession planning. Assisting with LPAs so clients can continue to have their affairs looked after without needing direct intervention by the court of protection. Advising when required as to the impact of care home fees.
Acting as attorney for clients under an LPA or EPA to ensure their affairs are managed properly.