Executors are people named in your will who will carry out your wishes after you die. They can be family or friends, or a professional person such as your solicitor.
Mirror Wills/ Mutual Wills
Mirror Wills are the standard Wills a couple may make which simply mirror each other. Mutual Wills are an agreement, between two individuals, to make their Wills at the same time on agreed terms with a legally binding obligation that the Wills shall not be altered after the death of the first person.
Testate means having made a valid will. Intestate means dying without having made a valid will.
Why make a Will at all?
The only way to make sure that your estate goes to specific people after your death is to create a will. A will tells everyone what should happen after your death, making the process less time-consuming, costly and stressful for your loved ones.
It is a widely held belief that without a will your spouse will always inherit your whole estate anyway. However, your spouse would only be entitled to £322,000 of your estate and 50% of the remainder; the remaining 50% is divided equally between your children.
If you are unmarried, your partner would not be automatically entitled to any of your estate. It is a common misconception that cohabitants have some legal entitlement to an estate.
If you are unmarried without children, your estate would be distributed to other living relatives according to the intestacy rules, which may not have been your wish.
If your marriage has broken down but no divorce has been finalised, your surviving ‘ex’ spouse might inherit your estate
The court may appoint a guardian for your children under the age of 18.
It is important to make a will even if you think you do not own much. You never know when this may change and making a will is not just about money; your will can also express the following, including:-
- Electing executors of your choice to deal with the administration of your estate.
- Appointing guardians to look after your young children and making financial arrangements for them growing up.
- Choosing your own beneficiaries and the distribution of your estate to each.
- Setting out any funeral arrangements.
- Making donations to charities of your choice.
- Giving a life interest to someone to remain living in the property.
Your will is only valid if two witnesses watch you sign it. The witnesses must also sign the will.
You should amend your will or create a new will when circumstances change. For example, if you have a child or you get divorced, separated, or marry. Getting married invalidates an existing will.
Why use a Solicitor?
Every will we draft is individually tailored to suit your needs and circumstances.
Making a will without using a solicitor can result in mistakes or something not being clear. Your executor will have to sort out any mistakes and might have to pay legal costs. This will reduce the amount of money in your estate. Mistakes in your will could even make it invalid.
Making a will determines your wishes after death, so it is crucial to get this right. As solicitors, we can assist you with guidance including who could be a suitable executor, how you can clearly express your wishes, advice on specific wording and ensuring the Will is valid.
For peace of mind do not leave it any longer
It is never too early to make a will. Wills are not just for the elderly. A will can only be made while you still have the mental capacity.
One of our team will be happy to answer your queries and arrange an appointment.
We offer a fixed fee for the preparation of a Will
Our prices including VAT are:
- £300 – Single Will
- £480 – Mirror Wills
We do not make any additional charge for the witnessing of the will or storage of the will
Please contact us for an appointment and/or for more details.