Will writing

At OGR Stock Denton, our team of Wills Solicitors can help with all aspects of Will preparation and execution. Whether you’re in need of initial advice, you need help drafting your first Will, or you want to make sure an amendment to your existing Will is made correctly and will withstand any potential challenges, our Private Client team can help.

Industry research suggests that over 50% of adults in the UK have no Will in place. Regardless of your age or status or the size of your estate, getting a valid Will is vital. If you have a family, the need to get a Will is of paramount importance, as it is the only legal way to can expressly state what will happen to your child should you pass before they turn 18.

When Should you Hire a Wills Solicitor?

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.

If you need amendments to a Will or advice on estate and IHT planning as part of your Will writing service, then call our team today for an initial discussion about the range of services offered by our Private Client team.

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.

Using specialist solicitors for your Will writing

At OGR Stock Denton, our Private Client team offers great value for money, a professional service, and a personalised approach to ensures every single aspect of your Will writing and Will signing is done in complete accordance with the law.

If drafted with the help of an experienced lawyer, it can also help you to reduce your Inheritance Tax (IHT) liabilities and protect your assets. Please note that we can also act as executors and administrators for appropriate estates.

As a firm we also have a substantial amount of commercial expertise, regularly advising company owners who want to set their affairs in order. We take pride in a holistic approach and will consider all aspects of a client’s estate, including their business interests, pensions and assets.

For further advice on drafting or updating a will, please contact a member of our private client team today.

 

The Laws of Intestacy (England & Wales)*

Are you married / in a Registered Civil Partnership?
Yes
No
Spouse / Civil Partner gets everything
No
Is your net estate worth more than £250,000 excluding personal chattels?
Do you have a Child or Children?
Yes
Shared between them equally
Yes
No
Spouse/Civil Partner gets £250,000 plus personal chattels, plus half of the remainder. The balance goes to Children
Yes
Do you have a Child or Children?
Do you have a Parent or Parents still alive?
Yes
Shared between them equally
No
No
Spouse/Civil Partner gets first £450,000 plus personal chattels, plus half the balance absolutely. The other half of the balance goes to the Parent or Parents absolutely
Yes
Do you have a Parent or Parents still alive?
Do you have brothers and sisters?*
Yes
Shared equally among them**
No
No
Spouse/Civil Partner gets first £450,000 plus personal chattels, plus half the balance absolutely. The other half of the balance is shared equally among Brothers and Sisters
Yes
Do you have Brothers and Sisters?
Do you have a Grandparent or Grandparents still alive?
Yes
Shared equally among them
No
No
Everything goes to Spouse/Civil Partner
Do you have Aunts and Uncles
Yes
Shared equally among them††
No
Everything goes to the Crown. This means that a Government department known as the ‘BONA VACANTIA’ department takes it
 

*Note that half-brothers and sisters do not rank equally with whole blood siblings
**The children of any deceased brother and sister will take their share
Note that half-Aunts and Uncles do not rank equally with whole blood Aunts and Uncles)
††The children of any deceased Aunt or Uncle will take their share

 

* For deaths after the Inheritance and Trustees' Powers Act 2014 has come in to force.

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