How To Make A Will

Common questions on how to make a Will.

Why should I make a Will?

The best reason is the peace of mind of knowing that your wishes are going to be carried out.  From your choice of who will undertake the task of dealing with matters (your Executors) to who ultimately receives your assets (your Beneficiaries) a Will can set out your wishes to make the task as straightforward as possible.

What if I do not make a Will?

The law provides a default position identifying members of your family who will inherit.  But this will often not be what you wanted to happen.  It will also leave an element of uncertainty and worry for your family at what will already be a difficult time.

I am in a second marriage and want to look after my new wife and children from my first marriage?

This is an increasingly common situation and care needs to be taken to balance the needs of the surviving spouse and the children.  A well drafted Will can provide the flexibility to allow the surviving spouse to enjoy the property or income from investments whilst preserving the assets for the children.  There is of course no right answer in such cases but an experienced solicitor can advise on the options to try to get the balance right.

What advice would you give someone wanting to prepare a Will?

Get and fill in our questionnaire in advance of seeing one of Hart Reade’s solicitors.  This identifies many of the questions we will ask you and allows you to provide details of names and addresses of those that are involved.  It may also help you to identify some of the answers to those questions in order to make sure your Will covers the possible scenarios.  Remember that your Will should be able to cover some of your beneficiaries dying before you even if this is unexpected.

I want to leave a share of my Estate to charity but am concerned that it may disadvantage my family?

It is often best to leave your estate to be divided in percentages or fractions rather than in fixed amounts.  These can often get out of date as a result of inflation or changes in circumstances whilst shares can continue to take in to account such factors.  There is the added benefit that if you leave at least 10% of your Estate to charity you can take advantage of the lower rate of Inheritance Tax at 36%, rather than the usual 40%.

If you would like advice on how to make a Will please contact us.