Making a Will

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:

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.

Hourly rates

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.

Will FAQs

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:

  • Your friends
  • Your work colleagues
  • Your neighbours
  • Your relatives

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.

What our clients say

  • "No improvement to service needed. Alison was the epitome of professional calm in going over options and maintaining patience, and indeed advised against a path that certainly would have achieved higher fees for her, but the correct call in retrospect. So I feel her advice was professional and unbiased. She was attentive in keeping me appraised of news, and maintained a polite and stress free approach which kept me calm and optimistic a final result in my favour would occur. Would recommend her, and the firm, to others." Anon
  • “Dealt with Alison primarily for Power of Attorney, very helpful and polite.” Anon
  • “I cannot think of any way that we could have had better service!!!” Anon
  • "Our solicitor has been extremely conscientious at all times, always available to advise and above all has always been very supportive and empathetic to my case. He really did make a stressful situation a lot easier for myself and my family" Mrs T
  • "We used this wonderful firm for a recent home sale and purchase, their service was outstanding. Everything was carried out with the utmost care and attention and all the staff including a senior Partner were so friendly and helpful. Absolutely top notch." Anon
  • "Over the past 8 years Teresa Braddon and her team have created my Will and have done numerous conveyancing transactions for myself and my family.  I have found Teresa and her Team most helpful and efficient. Everything was carried out with care and attention. All the staff including Teresa, a senior Partner, were friendly and helpful. I would recommend Braddon and Snow and their services." Tony Stavrou
  • "I would highly recommend Braddon & Snow to anybody, very professional and efficient service. They treat you like a person rather than just a number. I am mentally disabled and sometimes I do not get respect or understanding shown to me. Braddon & Snow couldn’t of been more kind and they always took the time to explain all the legal terminology to me so I understood. I would especially like to thank Emily Morten and Jane Blackett as they really went above and beyond what they had to. Value for money and excellent staff. Use this company."  Mr M Brooke
  • "Thank you all so very much for all your help and kindest attention over the years.   In every conceivable way you go out of your way, above and beyond any expectations. You are incredible, and all your team are unbelievably pleasant. I hope these few lines go a little way to thank you so very much."  Mr M Ledger
  • "May I say that Laya has been fantastic.  She has been an absolute delight to speak with, always giving clear and positive instructions and pacifying when necessary.  Please be assured we will definitely recommend your company and hopefully be in a position to use your services again and again." L Page
  • "We found dealing with Braddon & Snow very pleasant and relaxed.  We had a few problems dealing with the seller's leaseholder solicitors which needed a lot of patience and Teresa and Laya were very helpful at all times and very easy to communicate with." R & J Keith
  • It’s been an absolute delight and superb to work your Conveyance Team of Jane Blackett and Emily, providing first class services. Dedicated and smart resolutions to most difficult queries. Our sincerest and dearest appreciation for their magnificent services and friendly communication throughout
  • I appreciate the efficiency of your team (Louise, Sara, Elle, Melanie, Alex, Lauren etc) during this crisis. You were always easy to get and had a great phone forwarding system with access to the details on transactions. Everybody was very helpful, responsive and friendly. You can be proud of the company you work for. 
  • I cannot speak highly enough of the service given to me in the sale and purchase of my properties last week by Jane Blackett and Ken Sheppard at the Broxbourne office. They dealt with my matters promptly and with care and commitment. Nothing was too much trouble and they were always there to speak to me when needed. Everything was done with professionalism and courtesy. They ensured that everything was covered and I felt very confident in their dealings with all matters concerned. I recommend them without hesitation to give their clients a smooth and excellent service.
  • The best thing throughout this process was the professionalism shown by the Conveyancing Team at Braddon and Snow Solicitors, our case was handled by Melanie and her very able assistant Roksana.  Although we were frustrated and sometimes very ratty, they kept very calm and dealt with all of our enquiries and problems as they came along, most of all they kept us advised and up to date.  We in all honesty could not have asked for or been supported any better by these two Ladies. Towards the end, we were calling Roksana on a regular daily basis, and were delighted to hear her positive and cheerful friendly voice.  I would highly recommend these Ladies to anyone, unlike the Firm that they were dealing with, who would not even respond to their calls.