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A Will is a legal document that sets out what you would like to happen to your money, possessions, and property (also known as your 'estate') after your death. In your Will, you also decide who's responsible for dealing with your estate and handling your wishes (the executor).

If you do not make a Will, after your death, your estate will be divided according to the 'rules of intestacy'. These rules are fixed and may not reflect what you would like to happen, and also may not be tax efficient. With the help of an experienced Wills solicitor and effective planning, you can ensure your loved ones are provided for in the most tax-effective way.

Alongside writing a Will, people often make a Lasting Power of Attorney. Your appointed attorneys can make then make decisions for you if you lose the ability to manage your own affairs in the future.


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Benefits of writing a Will

There are many reasons why writing a Will is a good idea, these include:

  • Protecting and preserving assets for the benefit of your spouse, family or chosen beneficiaries

  • Providing for a spouse from a subsequent marriage, but protecting assets for the benefit of children from an earlier marriage.

  • Clarifying who inherits your personal items.

  • Minimising inheritance tax.

  • Appointing guardians for your children.

  • Expressing your funeral arrangement wishes.

  • Establishing trust funds.

  • Appointing executors to administer your estate.

  • Reducing stress for next of kin.

  • Avoiding intestacy rules (if you die without a Will).

Why choose our Will solicitors?

We have extensive experience preparing Wills at all levels of complexity. Every Will is bespoke and there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach. For every Will we prepare, we take the time to understand our client’s family background, details of all the assets in your estate, as well as individual aims and priorities. This ensures that we prepare a Will in accordance with specific needs, achieving all objectives in the most efficient manner.

Although Will writers are not regulated in the UK, as solicitors we are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. We also adhere fully to the STEP Code for Will preparation. This is designed to offer you the peace of mind that your Will writing solicitor is doing the best possible job in helping you plan for the future.

For the majority of our Wills, we charge on a straightforward, fixed-fee basis, providing you with the reassurance of knowing in advance what the cost will be.

Boyes Turner is also ranked by the legal directories, Chambers UK, and The Legal 500, as a leading law firm and has been for many years. When our clients require extra specialist guidance, we have other highly rated Private Client, claims, Family Law and Property solicitors too.

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Writing a Will FAQs

What happens if I die without a Will?

If you die without leaving a Will, there are a fixed set of rules called the intestacy rules that dictate who inherits your assets.

The rules only provide for certain family members and can create serious problems, particularly for the surviving partner in an unmarried couple and those in second marriages with stepchildren. Estranged family members can also benefit under these rules, which is unlikely to be in accordance with your wishes. Making a Will gives you complete control over what happens to your assets after you die and the peace of mind to know that you have made provision for those you want to benefit after your death.

What is included in a Will?

A Will is a legal document that sets out who will inherit your assets on your death. It will contain your wishes as to who your beneficiaries are to be and what they are to receive. It will also appoint one or more executors who will be responsible for carrying out your wishes on your death and can also appoint a guardian for any children. A Will can also include your wishes for any personal items and details of your funeral wishes. It is possible to set up a trust in your will to take effect on your death, for example for the benefit of a beneficiary who has a disability and / or who is in receipt of state benefits. Trusts can be an extremely effective way to provide for your loved ones, but it is an area of some complexity, and you should always take professional advice from a solicitor.

Who should I appoint as the executor of my Will?

Executors are responsible for ensuring that your wishes as set out in your Will are carried out on your death and for collecting in your assets, paying any debts, dealing with all paperwork and paying any taxes or other costs due before making the payments to the beneficiaries.

It is therefore important to appoint somebody who is responsible and organised. It is possible to appoint more than one executor, and being a beneficiary in the Will does not preclude somebody from being named as an executor.

We always recommend that you check in advance with those you have in mind that they are willing to be appointed as an executor, to help avoid any issues at a later stage. A named executor is not obliged to accept the responsibility.

Do I need to use a solicitor to make my Will?

You can write a Will yourself using a ‘Will kit’, however there are many benefits to using a solicitor as it is very easy to make mistakes, or miss out significant matters, which can cause unintended problems after your death.

Any misunderstandings or disputes can result in time-consuming, costly and stressful legal proceedings for your loved ones following your death. Therefore, it is recommended to seek professional legal advice when writing a Will.

Can I make changes to my Will after I have signed it?

Changes can be made to an existing Will either by making a new Will or by signing a codicil to alter the existing Will, depending on the extent of the changes. An existing Will should never be annotated to include alterations. We recommend that you review your Will regularly to ensure that it continues to reflect your current circumstances and wishes.

Where will my Will be stored?

If we prepare a Will for you, we will store it for you free of charge in our fireproof strongroom and also ensure you have a signed copy for your own records.

Can a Will be changed after a death?

It is possible for a beneficiary to enter into a ‘Deed of Variation’ after the testator’s death to vary the terms of the Will, provided they are aged 18 or over and have the mental capacity to do so. These can be useful tools under which beneficiaries pass funds down to the next generation to help with their own inheritance tax planning but care needs to be taken where a beneficiary is attempting to divert funds away from themselves due to their own personal circumstances (for example because they are in receipt of state benefits and wish to preserve those benefits). Beneficiaries can only amend their own share of the estate, and agreement may be needed from executors or other beneficiaries affected by the change. Care must also be taken when entering into a Deed of Variation to ensure that it is done as tax efficiently as possible.

How is a Will executed?

The Will must be in writing and signed in the presence of two independent witnesses. The two witnesses must also sign the Will in the presence of the person making it.

What can make a Will invalid?

For a Will to be valid, it needs to be made by somebody who is aged 18 or over, and it must be made voluntarily, without any pressure from another party forcing them to enter into it. A person must also be of sound mind when making a Will and the execution requirements referred to above must be adhered to. If there are any doubts over a person’s capacity to make a Will, it may be necessary to obtain a medical report.

What if I get married or divorced after making a Will?

Getting married after you have signed a Will would usually invalidate it, even if the Will makes provision for your new spouse. You can prevent this by making sure that your Will is made in expectation of marriage to your spouse when it is signed. Otherwise, a new Will or codicil may need to be made after your marriage to ensure that you do not die intestate. A Will does not become void or invalid in the event of a divorce, but your former spouse will be treated for inheritance purposes as if they had died on the date of the decree absolute, and so any gift made to them in the Will shall fail. Your Will should therefore be reviewed and updated to reflect the new beneficiaries in accordance with your wishes.

Who can witness a Will?

The person who is witnessing a Will, must be an independent adult, who is not related and has no personal interest in the Will. This is usually a neighbour, friend, or colleague.

You can have an executor witness a Will, as long as they are not also a beneficiary in the Will.

Our Will Solicitors

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