Professional Will Writers – How can they help?
Take control of what will happen to your money and possessions after you die. Making a will is designed to make things easier for your loved ones when you pass away.
What is a will?
A will is a document setting out how you would like your assets to be divided in the event of your death. A will also allows you to make specific provisions for children or pets, make gifts and express your wishes in relation to funeral arrangements.
It’s a formal, legally binding document, and there are many rules about both drawing up the will and acting on it.
A will gives you peace of mind that your loved ones will be looked after when you die.
What types of will are there?
There are a few kinds of will, for different circumstances. The main types are:
Simple wills: This is the most typical form of will and includes the minimum requirements needed to administer and distribute an estate for straightforward situations.
Mirror wills: Here, a couple creates almost identical will documents. They might be married, in a civil partnership, or unmarried and have similar wishes about what happens after death. Often, when one of the parties dies, everything passes to the other person, with further provisions about how to divide the estate once both people have passed away.
Will trusts: Will trusts are a way to provide additional protection for your loved ones when you die, which allow someone to benefit from an asset without being the legal owner. Trusts are managed by trustees who you appoint in your will. Situations where will trusts may be appropriate include to minimise Inheritance Tax, to protect all or part of the estate from third party claims such as bankruptcy, remarriage and long term care fees or to protect inheritance for vulnerable beneficiaries.
Living wills: In a living will you set out your wishes about future medical treatment, in case you are later unable to make decisions for yourself. You can list specific medical procedures or treatments that you do not wish to receive. This document is also called an Advance Decision.
What should I include in my will?
You should think carefully about how your death will impact those in your family and what you wish to happen. Helpful questions to ask yourself include:
- Who will be your executor(s)? These people act on your behalf to fulfil your will.
- Who do you want to look after your children or pets?
- Who do you want to benefit from your will?
- Do you want certain items to go to specific people?
- Do you want to provide for people outside your immediate family – a charity, distant relatives or stepchildren from a previous relationship, for example?
- What should happen if any of your beneficiaries die before you?
- What are your funeral wishes?
When do I need to review my will?
Once you have written a will you should review it at least every 3-5 years. This is important as circumstances often change over time.
Major life changes are also an important time to review your will – such as getting married, having children or becoming a step-parent, getting divorced, if a close family member dies, or you gain new property or other assets.
Why use a professional?
It is possible to write a will on your own, but it is an important legal document that requires careful planning. Qualified professionals are sources of important legal advice, and their service includes asking you lots of questions to ensure that you have considered every eventuality.
It is particularly important to use a professional if you have a complex family situation, have many assets that mean Inheritance Tax may be applicable, have numerous properties or think your will could be complicated to act on.
What to expect from a professional
A solicitor or will writing service will explain all the details connected with a will and talk you through the main decisions. They will explain the options and give you confidential advice.
Once you have made the decisions they will write your will accordingly, and advise whether you need further legal services.
Professionals will also advise on other considerations such as choosing executors and whether you would like a probate service to help your loved ones access your assets when the time comes.
What does writing a will cost?
Many solicitors and will-writing services offer a fixed fee for a straightforward will. If you need more complex advice including tax planning and other services, you will need to explore the options. Feel free to request a quote before proceeding.
Usually, you can have an initial conversation about will writing free of charge before making a decision.
Choosing a professional
In England and Wales, you should check that the service belongs to one of these organisations:
- The Society of Will Writers
- The Institute of Professional Will Writers
- Solicitors Regulation Authority (if solicitors)
Members of these organisations must follow strict codes of conduct, attend regular training and
have sufficient insurance.
Expression Wills is a reputable provider of will writing services in London. Contact us, and you will be well looked after at every step.
Why Expression Wills
Claire has been really helpful throughout the process. She was particularly supportive in helping us decide who to appoint as guardians and trustees and gave us lots of insightful information to help us make the right decision for our family. We have been really happy with the service and would highly recommend Expression Wills.
I used Expression wills to take out my first will, Claire was very knowledgeable and the process was effortless. I would highly recommend Claire and Expression wills to anyone who needed a will.
Had wills completed for myself and my partner, we were already stressed as this was in the middle of our house purchase/sale but Claire made the whole process a breeze. Very informative and helpful every step of the way. Would definitely recommend to anybody thinking of getting a will done