In the UK, 31 million people (59%) have not written a will. If they die without making a will, not only does the probate process become more drawn out and complicated, the people, charities or good causes they want to benefit from their estate won’t receive the possessions you want them to inherit, or they’ll miss out entirely.
Without a will in place, your estate will be equally distributed to the nearest family members, which may well be what you wanted. However, if you remarried or were living with a different partner, you may find that your children from a previous relationship don’t receive their inheritance. In addition, it’s possible that adopted, fostered, or step-children don’t benefit either. If you want to gift money or another asset to a charity, that won’t happen at all unless you have a will that specifies these details.
This is why writing your will is so important, but we know that it is not always an easy thing to do, particularly if you have multiple assets and/or assets overseas. Therefore, asking for help and advice from an experienced, professional will writer is essential. A will writing service near you makes sure you have covered all your wishes in your will.
Why use a will writing service near me?
You can write your own will using self-help will writing packs, which are available to buy from stationery stores or online. But if you want to make sure your will is written and prepared in the right way, or you have a large, complex estate, it is highly recommended that you use a will writing service near you.
You don’t have to use a solicitor to help write your will. Utilising an accountant or a specialist will writer will also ensure your will is legally binding and your wishes are set out in detail.
There are many benefits to using a will writing service near me, including:
- Will writers professional advice and support and can answer any queries you may have.
- They will make sure your will is legally binding, therefore potentially avoiding any disputes between members of your family.
- Advise when it is time to review and/or update your will should your circumstances change. Your personal or professional circumstances are likely to change as they grow older so, it is a good idea to review your will on a regular basis to make sure it continues to reflect your wishes, is still valid and includes all of your estate.
- They will ensure your will is in line with any recent changes to rules and regulations surrounding wills and estate planning, like inheritance tax reporting, the increase of probate fees and the rules around remote witnessing of wills, which is no longer allowed.
- Provide advice on who to choose as your executor(s), or they can act as your executor if you wish. This will avoid any conflict of interest should your executor also be a beneficiary.
- They can manage and advise on how to write a will for large, complex estates, including overseas investments and business assets.
- Ensure that all areas of your estate have been considered, including any funeral instructions, gifts to charity, your beneficiaries, care of your pets, guardians for your children and any smaller, more sentimental items.
- They can look after your will, as well as other important documents, such as title deeds, on your behalf or know where they can be found.
- Help to value your estate’s assets, such as cars, property or art, should it be needed for tax purposes.
Even if you are young, unmarried and have no children, it’s still a good idea to have a will written. You still have assets; like a car, jewellery, possessions, money in the bank, insurance policies, a pension and possibly a life insurance policy. By ensuring you have a legally binding will written by a will writing service near you, you can be sure your wishes will be followed should you die. If you are older, are married and do have children, the sooner you make a will, the more peace of mind you will have.
What to include in your will
There are certain elements that must be included in your will which a will writing service near me will be able to ensure you are included, such as:
- All your assets have been noted in your will, including money in all of your bank or building society accounts, pensions and insurance policies, shares and stocks.
- Set out all the beneficiaries of your estate and what you are bequeathing to each one.
- If you have children under 18 years of age, name the person you wish to look after them on your behalf.
- Naming your executor – this is the person or persons who will administer your estate, i.e. apply for probate, manage all the final steps, deal with your property and ultimately carry out your wishes.
The will must be signed by the testator, which is you, in front of and witnessed by at least two people, who will subsequently add their signatures to your will.
To ensure your will is valid and can’t be contested by others, the will must be:
- Drawn up by someone who is 18 years of age or over.
- Be made voluntarily and not under pressure from anyone else.
- Be made when you are of sound mind, i.e. you are entirely aware of the type of legal document you (the testator) and your witnesses are signing.
- Dated on the day your will is signed by you and your witnesses.
Make sure your will is stored in a safe place, for example, with your bank, your solicitor or accountant, or at home. If at home, tell someone you trust where they can find it upon your death. Having a will that can’t be found is as bad as not having a will at all.
You can also deposit your will with the Principal Registry of the Family Division of the High Court, a District Registry or a Probate Sub-Registry. There is a charge to do this, but it may speed up the probate process as they will be able to access your will quickly. There are also dedicated organisations that will hold your will, such as Certainty, but there is a charge to retrieve the will upon your death.
At Norfolk Will Writing, we have been helping our clients write their wills and assisting executors of estates and families manage the probate process for over 20 years. We offer a personalised service, keeping the process as simple and easy as possible. Our experienced consultants are on hand to guide you at every step. Contact us for your free consultation and to book an appointment with one of our consultants to discuss writing your will today or carrying out your executor duties.