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30 March 2020

Writing and Updating a Will: Your questions answered from our Solicitors

5 mins

How much does it cost to create a new Will?

Bindmans LLP offer a fixed fee to create new Wills which is competitive and affordable. The cost of the Will depends on each individual’s situation so depending on if you are married or have children this can impact the price. The size of your estate and the number of assets you have will also be a factor. Whenever your solicitor has all of your information, then they will be able to provide you with a quote so that you are clear on what the fees will be. To get you started, there is an initial document at the bottom of this page which will allow a new quote to be emailed to you for you.

What is the process to put together a new Will?

First of all you need to contact and instruct a solicitor to help write the Will for you. Then once your solicitor has all the information for your estate then we can provide you with a fee quote. When you are happy with the quote then the solicitor can draft the Will for your approval which will take normally around 1-2 weeks. If the matter is urgent, alternative arrangements can be made in special circumstances.  This will include how you have decided to distribute your estate, any guardianship positions to appoint, charitable donations or funeral wishes. The executor of the Will should also be chosen at this time. Whenever you are happy with how the Will has been drafted, it will need to be signed by you and by two witnesses before being filed.

Why is it important to have a Will in place?

If you die without a Will in place, then the Law will decide how your assets are distributed. Therefore, if you have set views of who you want to leave certain gifts or money to, then it is highly advisable for you to create a Will. The process of creating a Will isn’t difficult, so it is better to arrange it whenever you are fit and healthy so you don’t need to worry about it in later life.

Should a Will include funeral arrangements? 

Yes, if you have fixed ideas of how you want your funeral to be then you absolutely should include these in your Will. Perhaps you want to set aside money for it or have particular wishes for your burial arrangements. If this is the case then you should include funeral arrangements in your Will.

How often should I review my Will?

It’s good practice to update your Will whenever you go through any big life changes. For example, if you get divorced, move house, or if there are any changes in your family circumstances. It’s easier to update your Will during a calm period so that you can keep your affairs in order. Even if you do not have any big life changes, it is advisable to review your Will every 5 years to make sure that your wishes are the same.

How to correct a mistake in a Will?

For those who are alive and have capacity, it is a straightforward and usually inexpensive process to correct a mistake in a Will. In this situation, you would add what is known as a codicil to your Will. This is really an appendix to your current Will which reflects the correction. There isn’t a limit to how many codicils that you can add but if you add too many and things start to become unclear then it could be easier, yet more expensive, to create a new Will.

Should I change my Will after divorce?

After a divorce, the last thing you will want to do is speak to a solicitor but it is important to review your Will at this time. Depending on your circumstances and if there are children involved, you should update your Will straight away. If you do not re-marry and have left your assets to your partner in your original Will and do not update it then they would still rightfully inherit what you had intended for them.

What happens if I disagree with my parent’s Will?

If you aren’t happy with what your parent's have left you in their Will, think they were influenced by someone else when making their Will or think that your siblings are due to inherit wrongly then this is what is known as contentious probate. This is a complex area of the law and requires a specialist probate lawyer to assist you. Bindmans LLP have a contentious probate team who can assist. You can contact the head of the team here.

How much Inheritance Tax will I have to pay?

The rate of Inheritance Tax which you would need to pay presently is 40% above the tax-free threshold. However, this depends on the value of your estate. 

How do I know if I have to pay Inheritance Tax?

Under the current laws, if the value of the estate is below £325,000 or if everything above is left to your spouse, civil partner, a charity, or a community amateur sports club then Inheritance Tax is not required to be paid.

 

If you need any advice from our solicitors, please do contact us by email or telephone +44 20 7833 4433 to speak to the Wills, Trusts, and Estates team.

How can we help you?

We are here to help. If you have any questions for us, please get in touch below.