Wills aren’t just for parents, elderly people, or those who are unwell – they’re beneficial for all adults, at any stage of their lives. Although it’s never something we like to give too much thought to, death is sometimes unpredictable, and a valid Will can make sure any family or loved ones you leave behind have complete clarity about your wishes.
There are many reasons why people engage a Wills Solicitor, including:
- To appoint a legal guardian for your children. Without this, the family courts would determine where your children will go if you die.
- To ensure that any assets you have go to the right people. If you fail to leave a valid Will, the Rules of Intestacy will determine where your money goes.
- To reduce the burden on your family during what will already be an incredibly stressful period for them. Aside from the cost of getting legal advice, there will be additional paperwork, and any delay in the release of any monies could prove to be detrimental to their quality of life once you’ve passed.
- To ensure that assets are left to your partner if you are not married or in a legal Civil partnership. With a valid Will in place, they would not otherwise receive any benefit under the Rules of Intestacy.
- To provide for stepchildren, adopted children, and biological children; and to put money aside for specific reasons, such as university fees or the cost of a car.
- To leave assets or money for non-blood relatives. Without a valid Will in place, this is not possible.
- To confirm an executor for the Will, this needs to be an individual you trust, as they are the person who ensures your plans are handled exactly as you wished.
As local solicitors that do Wills for private clients across London, we’ve helped individuals at all stages of their lives and with estates of varying values. If you are aged 18 or over, then getting a Will in place is important, and we can help you navigate matters with ease.
If you would like to take steps to get your estate and Will in order, call us today for an initial discussion about how we can help.
What happens if you Die Without a Valid Will?
Essentially, if there is no Will or no valid Will in place, the Rules of Intestacy will determine who will benefit from your estate after you die. These are a strict set of rules that apply to anyone, regardless of the value of their estate or who you have in your life at the time.
We’ve written a detailed article that will tell you all about the Rules of Intestacy and help you understand exactly what happens if you die without a valid Will.
Why Choose OGR Stock Denton
When you look for Solicitors that do Wills, you want to know you’re dealing with a team of professionals that add value to the process while delivering good value for money. Our Private Client team handles a range of services, including Estate and IHT Planning, Probate and Administration of Estates, Trusts, and more.
- Trusted and Established Wills Solicitor
- Friendly Team of Professionals
- Superb Value for Money
- Handle Matters Quickly and Effectively
- Excellent Levels of Client Service and Satisfaction
You need to make sure your Will is free from error and that it uses the correct terminology in order to avoid any confusion. Once you die, there are no opportunities to check what your express wishes were; so getting things right the first time around becomes critical.
Ensuring your Will is Legal and Valid
If you’ve already made a Will, you need a new Will, or you need to make changes to a Will; as local solicitors that do Wills, we can help ensure you get a legally valid Will that clearly and correctly expresses your true wishes. Here are just a few pointers about valid Will writing.
- You must make sure it is signed – while this may seem like an obvious step, it is one that arises from time to time; and something that can be easily remedied when you use a professional Wills solicitor.
- Testamentary Capacity – you must be able to demonstrate that you have testamentary capacity at the time you made and signed your Will.
- Unduly Influenced – you must not have been unduly influenced when writing your Will.
- Will Signing – The Will should have been signed in the presence of two independent witnesses*. From January 2020, remote witnessing was brought into law, with an end date of January 2022.
- Choosing the Right Witnesses for a Will is key – If you fail to use the correct witnesses, this could lead to your Will being classified as invalid. If you die, this may cause issues when it comes to executing your wishes. As a general guideline, you should avoid using a spouse or family member, a person under 18 years of age, a beneficiary or spouse/partner of a beneficiary, or a person who blind or partially sighted. The people who serve as your witnesses must also be of sound mind and have the adequate mental capacity to fully understand what they are witnessing.
Aside from this, making sure that somebody knows where your Will is kept is important, and ensuring your Will is kept fully up to date as your family or estate changes is also essential.
We have a related article that goes into more detail about why people hire professional Will Writing solicitors instead of taking the DIY approach. It’s a 5-minute read and could help answer any more questions you might have about local solicitors that do Wills.