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Wills frequently asked questions

Having a will professionally written is the best way to obtain peace of mind that your wishes will be carried out.

Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about planning your estate. If you have other questions, or would like a consultation, please contact us.

What happens if I die and haven't made a wll?

When someone dies without leaving a will they are said to have died intestate. Without a will a set of statutory rules (the laws of Intestacy) are imposed which specify how assets are distributed to family members in a fixed order. If you have no family members then your assets will go to the Crown.

The risk of dying intestate is that you will have no say in who gets what. Family members who you may not wish to could inherit your assets. Likewise, people who are not blood relatives, such as unmarried partners, may not receive anything.

It is critical that you make a will to avoid this situation.

Please see our page on the laws of intestacy for more information.

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Can I just write a home made will?

Home made wills are a very risky idea and are rarely suitable. The same can be said for off the shelf “will packs” and even wills written by a non-qualified person.

There are a number of ways of having a will written. The main thing to consider when choosing a method of will writing is, will it be effective when you die? Meaning, will your estate be passed on to the people you choose.

Any error in writing a will can make it invalid. Trying to save a small amount of money upfront can result in much higher costs later on. Professionally written wills are probably cheaper than you might think – contact us for a quote.

It is very common for incorrectly drawn up wills to be found to be invalid and disregarded by the courts. This can lead to the estate being treated as if you had died intestate, i.e. without a will.

Under the laws of intestacy your assets are distributed according to a statutory set of rules which leave a person's estate to their next of kin in a fixed order.

Please see our page on the laws of intestacy for more information.

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Can I appoint someone to look after my children in a will?

You can appoint legal guardians for children under 18 as part of your will. This ensures that should you die, your children will be looked after by the people you choose and this important decision will not be decided by the us

Including this provision in your will it can also help to avoid disputes between family members who would all like to help. Stating your wishes in a will you can make it clear exactly what you would like to happen.

Please see our page on appointing guardians for your children for more information.

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How often should I update my will?

If you have already made a will it is important that it is kept up to date to reflect your circumstances.

We recommend reviewing your will whenever your circumstances change in any significant way.

Changes which are likely to affect your will include:

As a general rule it is recommended that you have your will checked at least every 5 years to ensure that it still reflects your requirements.

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What are mirror wills?

Mirror wills are when both parties have the same will but in reverse, for example, they leave everything to the other partner and thereafter to the children.

It is not possible for a couple to have a joint will. Each individual must have their own will, although the cost of making mirror wills is usually less than the cost of making two wills independently.

Contact us for a quote.

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I have remarried, can I leave my property to my children from an earlier marriage but still allow my current spouse to live in it?

Yes. If you have remarried and have children from a previous marriage it is possible to ensure thecontact us financial security of your current spouse whilst still protecting your children’s inheritance.

To achieve this you need a special type of will called a ‘life interest will’.

Please contact us or see our separate page on life interest wills.

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