Will Solicitors in Liverpool & Wirral
Did you know making a Will ensures that you protect and provide for the family members and loved ones you leave behind?
Nobody likes to think about what will happen after we pass, which is why we often push Will writing to the bottom of the to-do list. Dying without a Will, however, can leave your loved ones and assets in a vulnerable position. You may think that without a Will everything will go to your spouse or long-term partner. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Making a Will is the only way to ensure your lasting wishes are carried out.
Why make a Will?
There are many benefits to making a Will. Making a Will not only provides peace of mind that your loved ones will be taken care of, but it could also help to reduce the amount of inheritance tax payable after you have died.
How do I make a Will?
The first step towards making a Will is to define:
- What valuable assets you have, including property and possessions
- Who you want to inherit your estate, or any specific items
- Who should look after your children or dependants who are under 18 years old
- Who will be your executor and carry out your wishes
- What should happen if any of your beneficiaries die before you.
It is a good idea to consider who and what needs to feature in your Will before your first appointment. Once you have considered the contents of your Will, our solicitors and legal advisers can help you draft your last Will and Testament. If you are unsure about this give a member of our team a call and we can talk you through the information we are likely to need.
Do I need a Solicitor to make a Will?
Technically anyone can make a Will, however homemade or ‘DIY Wills’ come with a lot of risk. If you make a Will without a solicitor, it could cause issues for your loved ones when it comes to administering your estate, which could include higher costs and greater risk of disputes. Life is not simple, and many people need a Will that accounts for complex circumstances. This requires trusted, expert legal advice.
Everyone should have a legally binding Will, but some Wills are more complicated than others. When it comes to preparing your Will, you should ask a solicitor for specific guidance if you:
- Share ownership of a property with someone you are not married to
- Have dependants who cannot care for themselves and a trust may need to be set up to provide for them in the future
- Have been married more than once, or have children from another relationship
- Own a business
- Own overseas properties
- Our Will writing experts will help you to make allowances for your complex financial affairs, giving you peace of mind.
Get in touch with our trusted solicitors in Liverpool and the Wirral to discuss your circumstances, or alternatively you can call us to arrange a home visit.
Registering your Will & keeping it safe
Making your Will is not all that needs to be considered. Your Will is only legally valid if you have signed it and it is witnessed by two independent witnesses. Once your Will is legally binding, we can store it securely on your behalf free of charge and make arrangements for it to be registered on the National Wills Register. It is important that your chosen executors know where your Will is so that they can collect it in the future after you have died.
Updating your Will
The Government officially recommends reviewing your Will every five years. You should update or make a new Will when you experience a major change in your circumstances such as:
- Separation, divorce or dissolution
- An increase in the value of your own estate
- Inheriting money and/or assets from another estate
- Marriage or civil partnership (this will revoke (cancel) any existing Will unless a clause has been included to say it was made in expectation of that marriage or civil partnership)
- Parenthood and adoption
- Loss of a loved one (particularly a named executor or beneficiary)
- Amending Your Will
Once you have made your Will you cannot make any alterations to the document itself. But you can amend your wishes by either making a new Will or a codicil. Our Will writing solicitors and legal advisers can support you in making any changes to your Will.
Speak to a Solicitor about making a Will
Our team of friendly and caring experts are on hand to guide you through the process of making a Will. Get in touch with our trusted solicitors in Liverpool and the Wirral to discuss your circumstances, or alternatively call us on 0151 282 1700 to arrange a home visit.
Some related articles you may be interested in are below:
- Why make a Will
- Can you make a Will online
- Making a Lasting Power of Attorney from home
- Estate administration under lockdown
- Contesting a Will - what Netflix got right
The world of Wills & Probate is a minefield and one that tends to be faced during difficult times. We want to alleviate as much stress as possible in letting you know where you stand.
Our dedicated team have collated the questions they are most frequently asked, to hopefully get you up to speed with what you need to do. Feel free to call us on 0151 282 1700 if you have any other queries. Alternatively;
And a member of the team will be in touch.
What happens if I don't have a Will?
Dying without a valid Will is called ‘intestacy’. If you don’t have a Will, then the law will dictate who inherits your money, property and possessions. Intestacy laws, or laws regarding ‘dying intestate’, vary in each country of the UK. Depending on where you live in the UK, your estate may be passed to distant relatives or separated partners instead of your nearest and dearest. Making a Will is the only way to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes.
If you have children under 18 and die without leaving a Will, Court proceedings will be necessary in order to appoint someone to look after them. Naming godparents outside of an official Will does not count.
There could be more inheritance tax to pay on your estate after you have died if you do not leave a valid Will.
Get in touch with our team who can support you through the process and give you peace of mind.
Find out why you should make a Will
When should I make a Will?
You can make a Will as soon as you turn 18 years old (or 16, if you’re in the armed forces). At this age, you may not have any major assets to protect and may not need a Will. Wills are not just for people of a certain age; life can turn unexpectedly, so we recommend that you make, or review your Will, whenever your lifestyle or circumstances change.
It’s time to make a Will if you are expecting a big change or have recently:
- Married or remarried
- Separated or divorced
- Given birth or adopted a child
- Bought a house
- Earnt or inherited a lump sum yourself
- Been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness
- Taken up a dangerous hobby
- Experienced the death of a loved one or carer
Who will inherit my estate?
When you prepare a Will, you decide who will inherit your estate. You can leave different financial sums or even specific possessions to friends, family or any named person(s). You can also leave a gift in your Will to an organisation or institution, such as a charity or university.
However, if you do not leave a Will, you cannot decide who inherits the assets you leave behind. Only spouses and blood relatives can automatically inherit your estate. Your spouse will inherit your entire estate (up to £250,000) without inheritance tax. If your spouse is deceased, your children will automatically inherit everything, divided equally.
Contrary to popular belief, if you are not married, your partner is not legally entitled to any inheritance when you die. Whereas if you are separated but not officially divorced, your ex-partner will inherit most or all of your estate by default.
If you have no living relatives, your possessions will be absorbed by the state.
How much does it cost to make a Will?
The price of a Will is unique and will vary depending on the complexities of your situation.
Our fees start from £250+VAT for a single Will and £375+VAT for a couple.
If you need any advice regarding inheritance tax, overseas assets or setting up a trust our fees are likely to be higher.
Contact a member of our team to discuss your circumstances, what type of Will you need and any estimated costs.