Here are a few of the questions we are regularly asked by our clients
Without a valid Will in place when you die, your estate will pass by a strict set of rules called the intestacy rules.
These rules do not suit everyone and can mean that some of your loved ones will not be included. A Will does more than leave money or property to your loved ones, it appoints guardians for your children, can protect assets by using a Trust and make provisions for the welfare of your pets. A well drafted Will can also incorporate Inheritance Tax planning and protect your estate for your family in the future.
You can leave funeral instructions in your Will, however this is not a legal requirement. If you have a pre-paid funeral pan, this can be referenced in your Will and a copy of the plan stored with it.
You can choose to leave your estate to the people you want to inherit. This can include family, friends, and charities. You can leave money by way of legacy, a fixed amount of money or in a percentage share of your estate.
You can also make gifts of personal effects such as jewellery, a car, book collection or other collectibles.
More and more frequently, we are seeing Wills being challenged or clients who have been disinherited as their loved one’s Will has not been prepared by a professional.
Having a qualified lawyer take your instructions and prepare your Will is the sensible and safe choice to make, to ensure that you get the correct advice and your loved ones are protected when you are no longer around.
There are many unregulated, uninsured and unqualified will-writing outfits available and it is important that you make sure you use a fully regulated and authorised law firm who have the up to date legal knowledge and expertise to ensure your Will is drafted correctly.
At Boyletts Law, we are continuing to provide a full service to our clients. We understand that the ongoing Corona Virus Pandemic and recent Government Guidelines has caused a lot of anxiety for all of us.
We have procedures in place to be able to meet our clients by way of virtual face to face meetings online, or at the office in Covid safe surroundings. You can also start your will online on our website.
We can take your instructions initially over the telephone or during a virtual meeting by video call. We can then provide you with a draft of your Will, together with our full letter of advice by post. We can then discuss your Will again over the telephone and make any alterations or amendments that you require.
We understand that we are living in unprecedented times and therefore, we are happy to work with you to find a way to take your instructions to create your Will in a way which complies with the strict set of rules governing Wills and also suit your circumstances and helps to keep you feeling safe.
The witnessing of your Will is very important as this makes sure it is a legally valid document. You must have 2 witnesses when signing your Will and this can be done in several ways.
We understand that the witnessing of a Will has caused a lot of anxiety for our clients. We can of course complete the witnessing of your Will at our office, either inside under Covid safe measures or alternatively, outside our office at a safe social distance. If you would rather not attend our office, we can arrange to witness your Will through the window of your home, with our team wearing masks and gloves, or even in your garden at a safe social distance.
There have been recent changes in the law so that Wills can be witnessed by online meetings, (known as a Zoom call). We can arrange the witnessing of your Will by a Zoom meeting if you wish and this is something that we could discuss in more detail over the telephone.
Anyone who wants to make a Will must have testamentary capacity. For the purposes of making a Will, this means that you must be able to understand the following:-
- What making a Will means and the effect it will have.
- What you own and how this might change, including what you may own in the future.
- Who might expect to be named in your Will and why you are choosing to either leave or not leave things to them.
If you have been diagnosed with dementia and want to make a change to an existing Will or make a new Will, you must be able to show that your dementia does not affect the ability to make decisions about your Will.
In order to protect you and your Will, if you have had a recent diagnosis of dementia or any other condition which could affect the way you make decisions, we would ask for you to obtain a letter from your GP in support of your wishes.
We charge a fixed fee for all of our services. Our charges for a simple Will are £150 plus VAT and for more complex Wills £395 plus VAT. The cost of a Will is always dependent on how complex your affairs are. We always let you know a fixed fee price in advance of carrying out any work.
Our fees are fixed at the outset and are inclusive of all meetings and telephone calls so you do not need to worry about telephoning us to ask us questions regarding your Will during or after the process as there will not be any additional charges.
At Boyletts Law we have procedures in place to be able to take your instructions by way of email, telephone and video calls instead. It is important to always receive professional advice on your Will and we are happy to work with you to speak with you at a time and in a way which is convenient for you.
Although these appointments are working well since the COVID-19 restrictions were introduced, we are still able to meet with you at the office during a face to face meeting.
We have full COVID-19 measures in place, with reduced staff in the office. We will ask you to wear a mask when entering the office and direct you to the hand sanitising station. When entering our meeting room, the Lawyer taking your instructions will be wearing a mask and sitting behind a protective screen.
We recognise the need to have flexibility in legal services, particularly in these difficult times.
We have a number of ways you can start your Will with us such as over the telephone, a virtual face to face meeting, a Will pack sent in the post, attending the office and starting your Will online.
Should you wish to start your Will online please visit our Start Your Will Now page and once submitted, one of our team will be in touch with you to discuss your instructions. We will then arrange for you to receive full advice and a draft Will will be sent to you either by way of email or in the post. After your Will has been approved, we can discuss the options available to you to complete the correct execution of your Will.
- Executors – the people who will carry out the terms of your Will.
- Trustees – the people who will manage funds within a Trust (these are usually your Executors).
- Guardians – if you have young children then you can appoint people who you wish to look after your children until they attain 18 years of age.
- Assets – Everything that you own such as Bank accounts, property, personal affects, shares, investments.
- Foreign Property – If you own foreign property, you will need to seek professional advice to ensure that this can pass via your English Will, and if you need to make a Will in the country where the property is owned.
- Business Interests – It is important to receive advice as to whether or not your business will be dealt with via your Will.
- Beneficiaries – These are the people you wish to receive your Estate.
- Claims against your Estate – It is important to let the Lawyer drafting your Will know if there is anyone you may feel may make a claim against your Estate after your death.
- Inheritance Tax – You can receive advice with regard to Inheritance Tax Planning should you wish to do so and this may result in you creating a Will which reduces any potential Inheritance Tax liability.
- Pets – You can include any provision for the welfare of your pets in your Will.
- Vulnerable Beneficiaries – It may be that you have children or a family member who are suffering with a disability or a condition which makes them vulnerable. It is possible to attend to this within your Will to ensure that they are properly taken care of in the event that you are no longer around.
Getting married or entering into a Civil Partnership will revoke any existing Will and you will need to make a new Will as soon as possible, or your Estate will be subject to the Intestacy Rules.
You can make a Will in anticipation of marriage or civil partnership and in doing this, after you are married or have entered into a Civil Partnership therefore your Will will not be revoked.
Make an enquiry
If you would like to arrange an appointment please contact our friendly team today on 01279 295047
or by completing our online enquiry form.