27 June 2024

Wills: What are they and why do I need one?

Wills: FAQs

Our Howell Jones Wills and Probate solicitors have answered some of the most frequently asked questions regarding Wills.

What is a Will?

A Will is a legal document which states what will happen to your money, property and possessions after you pass away.

It is incredibly important to ensure your Will accurately reflects your wishes and is correctly executed (or signed). It is unfortunately increasingly common to see problems with wills, like using the wrong witnesses or forgetting to have it signed causing the document to become invalid when you die. Using a solicitor should minimise the risk of things like this happening.

When will my Will take effect?

Your Will ‘speaks from death’, meaning it is only after you have passed away that it determines what happens to your assets and liabilities. If we help you write your Will, we can store the original document for you free of charge.

When do I need a Will?

Generally, it is advisable for all adults to have a Will in place but this becomes especially important if you have children, are older in years or in the event that your health is in decline.

What would happen if I didn’t make a Will?

If you pass away without leaving a Will, you will have died intestate (i.e. without a Will). Families with stepchildren and unmarried partners would have no automatic right to any of your estate and your assets would pass to beneficiaries laid out in the law (called the Intestacy Rules).

This could mean that those you wish to inherit on your death don’t inherit and could cause an unnecessary charge to inheritance tax. Preparing a will that provides for those most important to you gives you and them peace of mind that they will be looked after even after your death.

What should I consider including in my Will?

Whenever a Howell Jones lawyer meets you to discuss your Will, they listen to you, ask questions and advise you on the best structure for your will based on your specific family and financial circumstances and your assets. This includes who to appoint as executors, who you should choose as guardians and who you wish to leave your estate to after your death.

Sometimes this will be an obvious decision and a simple will is all that is needed. Other times it may be more complex because of a second marriage or relationship, you may have children from a previous relationship, there may be business assets or vulnerable or disabled beneficiaries or you may wish to do all you can to mitigate inheritance tax or protect assets for future generations.

At Howell Jones you will always have an experienced lawyer to guide you through the process and to ensure that the will you put in place works for you and your family.

If you are considering putting your Will in place, please contact Howell Jones Surrey solicitors on 0800 011 9813 to discuss your options.

our lawyers deliver an excellent quality service, independently recognised by The Law Society and our many returning clients.

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