A guide to wills
What is a Will?
A Will is a legal document which allows you to outline your wishes for what should happen to your assets, including finances, property, valuables and any family heirlooms, upon your death. A Will also enables you to appoint a guardian for any of your children who may be under the age of 18 at the time of your passing, and an executor who you can trust to carry out all of your instructions and see to it that your wishes are met. Within your Will, you might also include details surrounding how you wish for your funeral to be carried out, including choice of music and readings.
Why do I need a Will?
Whilst it is widely believed that merely expressing your wishes to a trusted member of your family or a close friend is enough to see them enacted upon your death, unfortunately this is a common misconception.
The only way to guarantee that your wishes are fulfilled, your loved ones protected and your assets secured with those who matter most, is to write a Will.
How can I get my Will witnessed during the lockdown?
For your Will to be legally valid, you will need to sign it in the presence of two witnesses, who in turn will also need to sign it in the presence of the Will-maker.
Whilst many services are moving online due to the coronavirus lockdown, unfortunately this process does require that the Will-maker and both witnesses are physically present to provide signatures. It is not possible to have your Will validated by witnesses who are present virtually, such as via video call or telephone, or with a digital signature.
The team at DRN have been working hard over the past few weeks in order to adapt their processes for the safety and protection of staff and clients. Whilst most of our team members are working remotely, some are still stationed at our offices in Burnley, Ramsbottom and Colne to provide support with services such as writing or making amendments to your Will.
With glass screens now in place at our Burnley offices, we are able to safely meet these requirements, and we aim to reduce the likelihood of any direct contact between our employees and our clients. We have also actioned strict appointment times which allow visitors to arrive at and leave the premises safely with no crossover between clients. We are doing our utmost to sanitise the area and furniture between visits. Those who are required to visit our offices to provide signatures on any documentation are also advised that such visits are available by appointment only. We also ask that visitors attend appointments wearing protective gloves, and bring their own pen where possible.
You can find out more about the precautions we have recently put into place here.
How much will making my Will cost?
The cost of writing your Will is dependent upon the complexity of your financial affairs.
There are several aspects to consider, including if you have been divorced or have any children (from a current relationship or a previous one), or if you will need to involve details on any trusts you are associated with, or the ownership of any overseas properties, for example.
At DRN, we offer a comprehensive service and can provide practical, reliable and well-informed advice on:
- Estate planning
- Powers of Attorney
- Residential care
- Administering an estate (probate)
Our expert service is offered at competitive prices, starting at £175 + VAT. Please contact our team to discuss your specific circumstances in order to gain a more accurate idea of the costs involved. You can also fill out our online Will application form here.
Where should I keep my Will?
A Will should always be kept in a safe place which is easily accessible to you should you ever need to make changes or updates. You may decide to keep your Will at home, or hold it more securely with your solicitor, with your bank, or with a dedicated Will storage company.
Wherever you decide to keep it, please remember to advise your executor or a close friend or family member of its location so that they can access it when the time comes.
What should I do if I want to make changes to my Will?
Regularly updating your Will is recommended, as circumstances can change so often. You may decide to update your Will if you have recently been married or divorced, or if you’ve had children, moved house, started a new business, or made any changes to your assets that need to be reflected.
In order to update your Will, you will need to request for changes and alterations to be made officially in the form of a codicil. This document must be signed and witnessed in the same way as your original Will, and it is worth noting that there are no limits to the number of cocidils that can be added.
For bigger changes, you might consider making a new Will altogether. If this is the case, please speak to your solicitor about starting the process.
Start writing your Will today
The expert solicitors at DRN have several years of experience in handling Wills, Probate and Inheritance, and are dedicated to providing the very best standards of client service, including providing sound, reliable advice that you can trust.