What is a Will?
A Will is a legal document you create that sets out what happens when you die. This includes who will inherit your estate, how your possessions will be distributed, what sort of funeral you would like and who will bring up your children. A Will can also reduce the amount of Inheritance Tax that may be payable on any money or property that you leave behind.
What happens if I die without a valid Will?
If you die without a valid Will your estate will be divided up according to the Rules of intestacy, as set out in the Inheritance and Trustees' Power Act. This governs who inherits strictly based on the bloodline.
How can DQR Wills & Probate help?
Just because you can do something yourself doesn't mean you should. There are many online templates that you could use to write your own Will. However for a Will to be legally binding it must be valid. Leaving an invalid Will can create more problems for your family than leaving no Will.
DQR provides a fully certified Will Writing service. As specialists in this sector we offer a fixed price service which is nearly always better value than using a solicitor. As a member of The Society of Will Writers we:
Who needs a Will?
Recent research carried out by the insurance company Royal London found that 54% of adults do not have a Will and 5.4 million people have no idea how to make one. Additionally 59% of parents either do not have a Will or have one that is out of date.
Under the Rules of Intestacy not all of your assets will pass to your spouse if your estate is valued over £270,000 (inclusive of property). This can be very complicated and can involve your biological children inheriting. Being married does not mean everything automatically transfers to a spouse!
This is also known as being common-law partners and is not recognised in law (no matter how long you have lived together!) An unmarried partner cannot inherit anything unless they are named in a Will. Do you want to leave your partner only owning half a property or unable to deal with your funeral?
If something happened to you would you want to choose who looked after your child and give them instructions on how you would like them to be brought up? One of the few ways to legally nominate guardians of your choice for any child under 18 is to write a Will.
If you die without a Will and you are married your legal Next of Kin is your spouse. If you are going through a divorce and have not obtained the Decree Absolute then you are technically still married and your spouse would be responsible for your affairs and would potentially inherit your estate.
Getting married revokes (cancels) a Will unless you have one written specifically mentioning the intention to get married.
The Rules of Intestacy are governed by legislation and strictly relies on the bloodline. You can only choose who benefits from your estate if you have a Will written.
Having a Will can in some cases save the Executors going through probate. Some institutions will not ask for a Grant of Representation if there is a valid Will in place.
Executors are the people who become your Personal Representatives and have a legal responsibility to make sure that the wishes in your Will are carried out. Without a Will the responsibility of administering your estate falls to your Next of Kin. Depending on your individual circumstances this may not always be the most suitable person.
Do you have any possessions that you would like to leave to a particular individual? The only way to make sure this happens is to name them and the item in your Will.
If you would like to choose to leave a gift to a friend or a charity then they cannot inherit anything unless you get a Will written.