Frequently Asked Questions
Do I really need a Will?
For most people the answer is certainly Yes. A Will is the only way to ensure your assets go where you want them to go when you die. You will also be deciding who will deal with your affairs and who will be acting as guardians to any children under 18.
A Will gives you the peace of mind that your loved ones will know exactly what your wishes are, and they will not have to struggle with the complexities of administering your estate without a Will. Writing a Will can also protect assets for future generations.
How much does it cost to write a Will?
Our fees are amongst the most competitive in the UK, and our fixed fee for a Single or Joint (mirror) Will is £125
We will visit you in your own home, and once we have taken your instructions our fees are payable with credit/debit card, cheque or cash. We also have an extensive range of services and if additional work is required we will always quote our fees before agreeing to go ahead with any work.
How long does the process take?
A typical appointment takes approximately 1½ hours, during which time your consultant will give you all the advice and guidance needed, and will take your instructions for the drafting of your Will. You will receive your Will within a Month.
If you require your Will or Lasting Power of Attorney sooner than this we offer a Fast Track service for an additional charge.
What happens if I die without a Will?
When a person dies without a valid Will, the “Rules of Intestacy” apply. This means that the authorities decide how your estate is distributed, and it will be divided by the calculations that are set out in the law. If you want to be in control of who inherits when you die, you must write your Will, as assuming the authorities will “do the right thing” is a risky strategy.
Can I write my own Will?
A Will is one of the most important legal documents you will ever produce, and getting it right is essential. Working with a professional Will Writer ensures you get best advice, even on things you might never have considered, ensuring all of your wishes are carried out the way you’d like them to be.
There can be many problems with DIY Wills, even if you affairs are simple, and DIY Wills can often fail. You might save money up front compared with using a professional but if you get anything wrong you could be stirring up trouble for your loved ones after you die.
Can I change my Will once it has been written?
Yes, you can change your Will as often as you like during your lifetime, but you should not try and amend an existing Will by writing on it. It is important to make any changes properly otherwise they may not be legally binding. It’s also good advice for you to review your Will every few years to ensure it remains relevant to your current circumstances.
What do I do with my Will once it’s written?
After your Will is written, signed and witnessed, it is important to store your Will in a way that ensures it is protected from loss, damage or theft, and to let your executors know where to find it.
Lifetime Legal Services offer safe Will & House Deed Storage so that you don’t have to worry about misplacing the documents, or losing them in a flood or fire.
What is an Executor?
The Executor is the person nominated in your Will to carry out your directions. They are legally responsible for completing the probate process. An Executor’s duties include obtaining the estate information, collecting and arranging for payment of debts, completing necessary forms, ensuring tax is paid and distributing the assets according to the Will.
Executors can do this themselves, or they can appoint a professional to handle the process. There are strict regulations, and if the process is not managed correctly the Executor might find themselves personally liable for the deceased’s debts and any losses involved. Appointing a Professional addresses such concerns, as we can ensure that everything is taken care of correctly.
Can a Beneficiary be named as an Executor?
Yes, a Beneficiary can be named as an Executor, but a beneficiary cannot be a witness on your Will.
Who can be an Executor?
There is no requirement for an Executor to be a legal or financial expert. You can choose someone that you trust, although many people choose someone with specialist skills.
The main thing to consider when choosing who to name as Executor is that they have honesty, integrity and diligence.
Do I need to appoint guardians for my children?
Yes. If you die either without a Will, or with a will omitting your choice of guardians, the Courts will decide who takes care of any children you have under the age of 18.
The Courts do not know your children and therefore will not have an understanding of your wishes, so grandparents or close family members are not always an automatic choice.
What is Probate?
Probate is the process that Executors follow, before applying for the Grant of Probate. It is sometimes called administering the estate. Probate can be a complicated process, involving various forms that must be filed, and non-professional Executors will need to attend a court hearing to obtain the Grant.
How long does Probate take?
There’s no definite answer to this question, it generally depends on how complicated the estate is.
But it will usually take a number of months – between 3 and 6 months for a relatively simple estate to many more months for a complex situation. If you’d like to know more about the process, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.
What happens after I die?
Your executors will need to locate your Will. If Lifetime Legal Services are storing your Will they will already know how to contact us.
Our professional connections are able to act as executors to your estate if you or your executors wish.
We are very different to many solicitors and banks who also offer this service, as if we are appointed to act alongside family members in your Will there is no obligation for them to use our services after your death.
We always ensure and your family has the best advice without any commitment.
Can I protect a disabled or vulnerable beneficiary?
Yes, by adding a discretionary trust to your Will. This can help in the distribution of their inheritance. You will need to appoint trustees to manage this, and they can decide when and how the funds are to be distributed.
You will also make your wishes clear as to how you would like this to be managed.