What happens if I die without making a Will?
The "Rules of Intestacy" which date back to 1925 will decide who gets your estate and it's not as simple as you might think - everything does not automatically go to your spouse or children.
If you are married then everything will only go to your husband or wife automatically if the total value of your estate (including property) is less than £250,000. If your estate is worth more than this, then everything above this value will be split between your spouse and children. If you are not married, even if you have lived with your partner for many years, they are unlikely to be entitled to any of your estate. The same can go for step-children you live with as well as half-brothers and sisters.
Who should I appoint as my executors?
You can appoint your spouse, other relatives, friends or legal professionals to act as the Executors of your Will, you can appoint up to four executors. Many people appoint their partner in the first instance with children, friends or a legal professional as a substitute. Having a professional as one of your executors is beneficial as this person will have the technical and legal knowledge needed to administer your estate according to the contents of your Will and can also remain objective at this emotional time.
I have just got divorced, do I need to change my Will?
Following a divorce your ex-spouse is treated as having pre-deceased you, so they will not benefit from your estate. However, they will also not be allowed to act as your executor if they were appointed by you. If your ex-spouse was the sole beneficiary, then everything would be distributed according to the Rules of Intestacy.
We recommend that following a divorce, or any other major change in your life, you make a new Will or update your existing Will.
Why should I use a professional instead of just writing a Will myself or using an online service?
To make sure that your Will won't be contested after your death or incapacity.
A professional will ask you questions you might not have thought of which could otherwise be asked after your death when it is too late. We'll help you to ensure that you have a Will that does exactly what you want it to.
What if I need to change my Will?
It is easy to make changes to your Will. Once we have helped you to create your Will, we're always on hand whenever you need to make changes and we offer updates at a preferential rate for our clients.