It is very easy to put off making a Will, but if you never get round to it, it could cause your loved ones major stress and heartache. A Will makes your final wishes clear and ensures that your hard-earned money and property is passed on exactly how you want it to. Making a Will can also reduce your estate’s Inheritance Tax bill.
The Wills and Probate team at Braddon and Snow can draw on a wealth of experience to offer you specialist support to draw up your Will. We offer a fast, convenient fixed fee Will writing service so you can tick this task off your to-do list and move forwards with peace of mind as soon as possible.
We can talk you through the whole process, helping you think about all the possible considerations (including some that probably would not have occurred to you otherwise).
As well as passing on your assets to your family and friends, there are many other reasons to make a Will, including to:
- Make sure you have Executors to carry out your wishes.
- Minimise your Inheritance Tax obligations.
- Make sure your spouse, partner and children are protected.
- Appoint legal guardians for your children if they are orphaned.
- Create trusts and place conditions on how your heirs use their inheritance.
- Say who you would like to look after your pets.
- Leave money to charity.
- Write out your funeral wishes so they are easy to find.
It also makes a very stressful time a little easier for those who are left behind, as they can be certain that they are acting in accordance with your wishes. If you die without making a Will, your estate will be distributed according to the Intestacy Rules, which may have upsetting consequences. This is particularly important if you are not married to (or in a civil partnership with) your partner, as they will not be able to inherit your estate.
For a friendly, informal discussion about how our Will solicitors can help you, please get in touch:
- Hoddesdon: 01992 464552
- Broxbourne: 01992 464552
- Email: email@example.com
How our Will solicitors can help
If you are thinking about writing or updating your Will, our friendly and highly experienced team of Will solicitors are here to do the hard work for you. We’ll take the time to listen to your needs then provide advice and draft your document from scratch.
Our service includes:
- Talking you through what making a Will entails and how it could benefit you, so you can make an informed decision about whether to make one.
- Providing advice about all the details to include, including advising you on the implications of your choices (such as how certain decisions could affect your family or reduce your estate’s liability for Inheritance Tax).
- Helping to make your Will as tax efficient as possible to maximise your loved one’s inheritance.
- Dealing with complex wishes and assets, such as creating trusts or providing for international property.
Our Will writing fees
Fixed fee Wills
For the vast majority of our clients, we are happy to offer a convenient fixed fee Will service to cover all your needs. We will provide an accurate quote at the beginning of your matter so you can proceed with full certainty over how much your Will document will cost.
For particularly complex Wills, we can agree a flexible budget based on our hourly rates. For more information about our fees, visit our pricing page.
- Why should you make a Will?
- What happens if you do not leave a Will?
- When is the right time to make a Will?
- What makes a Will legally valid?
- Who can witness a Will?
- Can a Will be challenged?
Why should you make a Will?
There are many reasons to make a Will, including:
- To make sure your final wishes about who your money and property goes to after to die are respected, including treasured possessions, family heirlooms and pets.
- To make your estate more tax efficient and minimise Inheritance Tax.
- To leave money to charity.
- To make sure your children will be looked after by people you trust.
- To provide for vulnerable loved ones.
- To give your family peace of mind and to reduce the risk of disputes arising after you pass away.
- To give you peace of mind that your wishes have been recorded and must be followed.
What happens if you do not leave a Will?
When someone dies intestate (dies without leaving a Will), their estate will be distributed according to the Rules of Intestacy.
This can sometimes have sad and unexpected consequences. Only certain people can inherit under the rules, such as spouses, civil partners, children and other close relatives. Unmarried partners and step-children cannot inherit.
So, if you are not married or in a civil partnership and/or you want to provide for your step- children, you must make a Will.
When is the right time to make a Will?
The right time is now. No one knows what the future holds, so even if you are young, it is worth thinking about making a Will just in case.
At the very least, you should think about making or updating your Will around big life events, such as:
- Marriage or civil partnership
- Having a baby
- Adopting a child
- Buying a home
- Moving in with a partner
- Getting divorced or dissolving a civil partnership
Certain life events, such as marriage and divorce can affect the validity of your Will, so it is important to update it around significant life events.
What makes a Will legally valid?
Wills must fulfil certain legal criteria for it to be legally valid, including:
- You must be 18 or older when you made the Will.
- You must have made the Will voluntarily (no one can force you or influence you into making a Will).
- You must be ‘of sound mind’. This is called having ‘testamentary capacity’. For example, if someone is diagnosed with dementia, they may not understand what making a Will means so they lack testamentary capacity.
- You must understand and approve the contents of the Will.
- The Will must be in writing.
- You must sign the Will in the presence of two witnesses.
Who can witness a Will?
The main criteria affecting who can witness your Will are:
- The witnesses must be over 18.
- They should not be a beneficiary or a spouse/civil partner of a beneficiary (otherwise their gifts in the Will may be invalidated).
Potential options for witnesses (so long as they are not also beneficiaries) could include:
Can a Will be challenged?
Yes, a Will may be challenged after you die if:
- Someone thinks it is not legally valid (for example, it was not witnessed properly or the testator was under undue influence).
- Someone has been left out of the Will or not left as much as they need (they may be able to make a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.
Speak with our Wills solicitors in Hoddesdon & Broxbourne
For a friendly, informal discussion about how our Will solicitors can help you, please get in touch.