GUIDE TO MAKING A WILL

A R SOLICITORS Property Specialists... Solicitors Established 1954 AUSTIN RYDER & CO Property Specialists... SOLICITORS

 AUSTIN RYDER GUIDE TO MAKING A WILL

Why should you?

It is strongly recommended that everyone should make a will. It is a relatively inexpensive and straight

forward procedure.  Although it is possible to write a will without a solicitor’s help this is generally not

advisable as there are various legal formalities that you need to follow in order to make sure that the

will is valid. If you try to make one without the help of a solicitor then there is a real risk that you could

make a mistake which may cause difficulties for your beneficiaries (who might include your family and

friends) after your death.    Furthermore, without a will the State may direct who inherits so that it is

possible that your relations, friends and favourite charities may get nothing.     

It is especially important to make a will if you are not married or  not in a registered civil partnership (a

legal arrangement that gives same-sex partners the same status as a married couple).  This is because

the law does not automatically recognise co-habitants (partners who live together) as having the same

rights as husbands, wives and civil partners.  As a result even if you have lived together for many years

your co-habitant may perhaps be left with nothing if you have not made a will.

A will is also important if you have young children or dependants as without a will there could be

uncertainty who will look after or provide for them if you die.

It may also be important for you to receive advice on how inheritance tax may apply to your estate.    

It is also important to obtain legal advice about making a will if for example there is a risk of other people making a claim on your estate

when you die perhaps because they depend upon you financially and consider that they have not been sufficiently provided for if at all.

Alternatively if you want to include a Trust in your will, possibly to provide for young children, save tax or simply to protect your assets in

some way after you die it is recommended that you seek legal advice. Other complicating issues that may arise is if your permanent home is

not in the UK, you are not a British Citizen or perhaps if you live in the UK but have overseas property or indeed if you own all or part of a

business.   

Once you have had a will prepared then it is important that you review it on a regular basis to reflect any significant changes in your life for

example marriage, civil partnership, separation, divorce or if your civil partnership is dissolved. We can advise you as to what changes are

necessary in order to keep your will updated.

What information do we need in order to assist you?

The information that we will generally require from you in order to prepare a will includes for example:-

What you own, such as, property, personal assets, valuables, investments, monies, insurance policies and pensions etc.

We will need to know who is to benefit from your estate. For example do you wish to divide your property and assets between your

dependants, friends or even charities and of course if young people are involved you may wish to specify that they must attain a

certain age before they receive any inheritance.

We will also need to know about your family and status, whether you are divorced or had a civil partnership dissolved.  If so whether

you have re-married or entered into a new civil partnership or perhaps are living with someone without necessarily being married to

them or being a civil partner. In particular do you have any children or other dependants?

It is possible that anyone who depends upon you financially can in the event of your death ask a Court to review your will if they feel

that you have not properly provided for them. Are there any such persons?

If you have young children, that is any children who may still be under 18 when you die then you may wish to name someone to

become their legal testamentary guardian (someone who would take responsibility for their interests in the future).

You may have particular wishes for the manner in which your funeral should be carried out. For example would you wish to be buried

or cremated or do you have any other specific instruction?    

Who will carry out your wishes?

In the will you must name the people you want to appoint as Executors of your will, that is to say the people who actually carry out the

administration of your will after your death.  These could include friends, family members or even a professional such as a solicitor. Ideally

you should choose someone who is perhaps familiar with financial or administrative matters. It is of course important that you ask your

proposed Executors whether they would be happy to take on this responsibility. We will need the full names and addresses of the executors.  

Of course we can act as your Executors should you so wish.

Signing your will

Once a will has been prepared it is not effective until the will has been signed. There are specific rules affecting the signature process which

if not followed correctly will make your will invalid. For example witnesses must be entirely independent and not beneficiaries under the will. 

If you instruct us to prepare and deal with the will then we can often arrange for our staff to act as witnesses in order to avoid such

difficulties.    

Looking after the will

Once you have made your will it is of course important to keep it in a safe place and ensure that you have informed the executors, relations

or friends where it is kept. Alternatively we are sometimes asked to store wills for clients and we are happy to do this free of charge.     

Changing your will

As previously mentioned it is important to review your will on a regular basis and particularly after any major life changes. It is possible to

make minor changes (codicils) to an existing will but in any event it would be best to consult us should you need to make any such changes.

Please contact us

We would be very pleased to advise you further in relation to the process of making a will and if you have any enquiries in this regard please

do not hesitate to contact us either by telephone, e-mail or calling into one of our offices. We can then advise you of the costs involved and

arrange for you to see one of will and probate specialists. We can in some cases arrange a home visit.

Austin Ryder and Co is there to help you. 

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GUIDE TO MAKING A WILL

Solicitors Established 1954 AUSTIN RYDER & CO A R Property Specialists... Tel: 020 8804 5111 SOLICITORS

 AUSTIN RYDER GUIDE TO MAKING A WILL

Why should you?

It is strongly recommended that everyone should make a will.    It is a

relatively inexpensive and straight forward procedure.  Although it is

possible to write a will without a solicitor’s help this is generally not

advisable as there are various legal formalities that you need to

follow in order to make sure that the will is valid. If you try to make

one without the help of a solicitor then there is a real risk that you

could make a mistake which may cause difficulties for your

beneficiaries (who might include your family and friends) after your

death.    Furthermore, without a will the State may direct who

inherits so that it is possible that your relations, friends and favourite

charities may get nothing.     

It is especially important to make a will if you are not married or  not

in a registered civil partnership (a legal arrangement that gives same-

sex partners the same status as a married couple).  This is because

the law does not automatically recognise co-habitants (partners who

live together) as having the same rights as husbands, wives and civil

partners.  As a result even if you have lived together for many years

your co-habitant may perhaps be left with nothing if you have not

made a will.

A will is also important if you have young children or dependants as

without a will there could be uncertainty who will look after or

provide for them if you die.

It may also be important for you to receive advice on how inheritance tax

may apply to your estate.    

It is also important to obtain legal advice about making a will if for

example there is a risk of other people making a claim on your estate

when you die perhaps because they depend upon you financially and

consider that they have not been sufficiently provided for if at all.

Alternatively if you want to include a Trust in your will, possibly to

provide for young children, save tax or simply to protect your assets in

some way after you die it is recommended that you seek legal advice.   

Other complicating issues that may arise is if your permanent home is

not in the UK, you are not a British Citizen or perhaps if you live in the UK

but have overseas property or indeed if you own all or part of a

business.   

Once you have had a will prepared then it is important that you review it

on a regular basis to reflect any significant changes in your life for

example marriage, civil partnership, separation, divorce or if your civil

partnership is dissolved.   We can advise you as to what changes are

necessary in order to keep your will updated.

What information do we need in order to assist you?

The information that we will generally require from you in order to

prepare a will includes for example:-

What you own, such as, property, personal assets, valuables,

investments, monies, insurance policies and pensions etc.

We will need to know who is to benefit from your estate.   For

example do you wish to divide your property and assets between

your dependants, friends or even charities and of course if young

people are involved you may wish to specify that they must attain

a certain age before they receive any inheritance.

We will also need to know about your family and status, whether

you are divorced or had a civil partnership dissolved.  If so

whether you have re-married or entered into a new civil

partnership or perhaps are living with someone without

necessarily being married to them or being a civil partner.    In

particular do you have any children or other dependants?

It is possible that anyone who depends upon you financially can

in the event of your death ask a Court to review your will if they

feel that you have not properly provided for them. Are there any

such persons?

If you have young children, that is any children who may still be

under 18 when you die then you may wish to name someone to

become their legal testamentary guardian (someone who would

take responsibility for their interests in the future).

You may have particular wishes for the manner in which your

funeral should be carried out.  For example would you wish to be

buried or cremated or do you have any other specific instruction?    

Who will carry out your wishes?

In the will you must name the people you want to appoint as Executors

of your will, that is to say the people who actually carry out the

administration of your will after your death.  These could include friends,

family members or even a professional such as a solicitor.    Ideally you

should choose someone who is perhaps familiar with financial or

administrative matters.    It is of course important that you ask your

proposed Executors whether they would be happy to take on this

responsibility.    We will need the full names and addresses of the

executors.   Of course we can act as your Executors should you so wish.

Signing your will

Once a will has been prepared it is not effective until the will has been

signed.  There are specific rules affecting the signature process which if

not followed correctly will make your will invalid.    For example

witnesses must be entirely independent and not beneficiaries under the

will.  If you instruct us to prepare and deal with the will then we can

often arrange for our staff to act as witnesses in order to avoid such

difficulties.    

Looking after the will

Once you have made your will it is of course important to keep it in a

safe place and ensure that you have informed the executors, relations or

friends where it is kept.  Alternatively we are sometimes asked to store

wills for clients and we are happy to do this free of charge.     

Changing your will

As previously mentioned it is important to review your will on a regular

basis and particularly after any major life changes.     It is possible to

make minor changes (codicils) to an existing will but in any event it

would be best to consult us should you need to make any such changes.

Please contact us

We would be very pleased to advise you further in relation to the

process of making a will and if you have any enquiries in this regard

please do not hesitate to contact us either by telephone, e-mail or calling

into one of our offices.      We can then advise you of the costs involved

and arrange for you to see one of will and probate specialists.   We can in

some cases arrange a home visit.

Austin Ryder and Co is there to help you. 

Austin Ryder © 2009-2014 - authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority SRA website www.sra.org.uk    European Commission platform for Consumer Disputes http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/odr/  -  Vat No 232782366 Cookies