Professional legal advice to ensure that your will reflects your wishes
More than half of all adults in the UK don’t have a will. When someone dies without a will, their property and assets are distributed according to the “rules of intestacy”, which rigidly set out who may inherit a person’s estate. In some cases, when no heir can be found, everything will pass to the state. By making a will, you can avoid any unnecessary stress and conflict when you’re gone, and ensure that your loved ones are looked after according to your wishes.
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Why should I make a will?
You may be thinking about making a will because your family circumstances have changed. It is especially important to have a valid, up to date will in place if you are married or in a long-term relationship, have children or other new beneficiaries, or if you have purchased property or other significant assets. Sometimes people become estranged from their family and want their estate to be handled by someone else. In these cases a will ensures that any assets or arrangements are managed by people that are trusted.
Many people think that “common law” partners automatically inherit an estate, but this is a myth. Writing a will is the only way to make sure that your partner is taken care of exactly as you planned.
Trusts can also be used to pass on money to loved ones in a tax efficient way. Our wills and probate solicitors can help you to do this where possible and will discuss the best options with you.
Why use a solicitor to make a will?
You could write a will using an online or off-the-shelf template. However, by working with us, we will ensure that your will is valid and properly reflects your wishes, with nothing left open to interpretation. This reduces the risk of any conflicts and of somebody challenging the will in future.
A solicitor will also deal with the more complicated aspects of writing a will. For example, they will help you to ensure your will is written in a tax-efficient way. As part of our wills service, we’ll also keep your will safe for you. By storing your will in a specialist archiving facility, you can be sure that it won’t get damaged or be tampered with.
Using a solicitor to write your will may not be as expensive as you think. Our fees are competitive and we offer a tailored, personal service so you can have peace of mind that your wishes will be carried out.
What does will writing involve?
You may think you don’t have time to write a will – but getting your affairs in order needn’t be difficult or time-consuming. We have a number of locations across Yorkshire and can even arrange home visits. Our lawyers are of course available via email and phone after the initial meeting too, so creating a will that fully reflects your wishes needn't take long at all.
Down-to-earth and approachable, our wills lawyers are experienced in helping people plan for the future. We will make the process as straightforward as possible, explaining each step in a clear, jargon-free way.
When you make an appointment with a wills solicitor, they will take you through the keys steps in writing a will, including:
- Identifying all of your assets and any property that you own – anything that will be passed on in your will.
- Setting out who will inherit your property and assets – this could be your partner, family members, friends or charities.
- Appointing executors – the person(s) who will carry out your wishes when you are gone and deal with any other administrative duties linked to your estate, such as settling debts and closing bank accounts.
- Naming guardians of any children under 18 years old.
- Setting out any other wishes, for example, funeral arrangements.
Who can be an Executor?
An executor is somebody you appoint in your will to carry out your wishes, manage your estate and handle any funeral arrangements. An executor can be a family member or a close friend who you trust and who is willing to carry out these duties. For a fee you can also appoint a professional executor, such as one of our solicitors. This is particularly useful when an estate is complex.
How can Switalskis help me?
Our team includes lawyers who have been advising wills & probate clients for almost three decades. Two of our wills solicitors are full members of the Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners (STEP), which means that they have undergone a rigorous assessment of their skills and experience in advising clients on trusts and estates matters.