Making a will

For many of us, making a will is something we know we should do but never quite get round to. Of course, it is important not to put it off. The good news is that with Davisons solicitors, making a valid will could be much quicker and easier than you think with our will writing services.

Will solicitors

Our Private Client team has a wealth of experience in will writing. We make the process fast, straightforward and hassle-free. You will be able to relax knowing that you’ve planned for whatever the future may bring.

What is a will?

A will is a legal document in which you specify what you would like to happen to your estate (everything you own) after you pass away. You can also appoint guardians for any young children. Every adult should make a will because it is the best way to protect our loved ones.

In your will, you can also share other things that are important to you. For example, you might talk about your funeral plans or what you would like to happen to any pets.

Why use a solicitor to make a will?

You do not have to use a solicitor to make a will, but it is advisable. Any mistakes in a will can make it invalid or open to challenge after you pass away.

  • We will make sure you consider all possible eventualities that might affect what you include in your own will.
  • We will provide you with a professionally drafted Will, which expresses your wishes clearly. We can also advise you about inheritance tax to maximise the amount your beneficiaries receive from your estate.
  • We have indemnity insurance, so in the unlikely event that mistakes are made, your loved ones (the beneficiaries of your will) are protected. We are also regulated for quality by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

At Davisons, we offer you further peace of mind by storing your will as part of our service to keep it safe from loss or damage.

How much does a will cost with a solicitor?

We are completely transparent with our fees and will advise you of the cost during an initial appointment. The cost of our will writing service depends on several factors, including, for example, the complexity of your estate and whether your will is likely to contain trusts.

What if I die without a will?

A person who passes away without making a will dies ‘intestate’. This means the court decides how their estate will be shared according to the rules of intestacy. The court may also appoint guardians for young children. The court's decisions may not be what the person themselves would have wished.

Under the rules of intestacy, the first £270,000 of an estate plus half of the remainder goes to a spouse or civil partner. If there are children, they receive the other half. If there are no children, then the spouse or civil partner inherits everything.

Where a person is not married or in a civil partnership, there is no automatic right to inherit. Any children will inherit the estate instead. If somebody passes away with no immediate family, their estate is divided amongst the extended family.

Have a question or need some help?

How much can a beneficiary receive?

When someone dies, all their debts are paid out of their estate (mortgage, credit cards, bills, funeral costs etc.) by the executor of the will. What is left is potentially subject to inheritance tax which is chargeable at 40% on the value of the estate over the £325,000 threshold.

There are ways to reduce inheritance tax so that your beneficiaries receive more of your estate. Some assets fall outside of an estate and are not subject to inheritance tax. These include life insurance, pension plans and trusts.

At Davisons, we can advise you on how to reduce inheritance tax when drafting your will. If you pass away without a will, your beneficiaries are likely to pay more tax as the rule of intestacy are not tax-efficient.

What is the role of an executor?

A will executor is responsible for managing an estate. They close bank accounts, sell property, pay debts and taxes and share the estate amongst the beneficiaries. It is a responsible role, and the person should be chosen carefully.

An executor can be a friend or family member, and they can be somebody who will inherit from your will. You should always talk to your executor to make sure they understand what is involved and are happy to take on the role. An executor can be held personally liable for any loss that arises from a mistake they might make, even if they acted in good faith.

A professional, such as a solicitor, can also act as an executor. This is advisable if you think your will is likely to cause contention.

Are you considering making a will?

Our caring, friendly solicitors take the stress out of making a will. They know the questions to ask and will guide you gently through the process. Whether your affairs are straightforward or more complex, our will writing service ensures that your will is valid and right for you.

With expert knowledge in all areas of wills, we will put you at ease and explain everything clearly using plain English. We can also store your will safely - protecting it from loss or damage.

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Wills FAQs

How many executors can you have?

You can choose up to four executors.

It is a good idea to appoint more than one executor in case something happens to one executor, and they cannot fulfil their role for whatever reason.

How much does an executor get paid?

An executor is not automatically entitled to be paid even though a huge amount of work and responsibility is involved. You could decide to make a specific gift in your will for your executor in return for them carrying out the role.

An executor is entitled to claim back any expenses from the estate. If they have paid inheritance tax or probate fees, they need to provide the beneficiaries with receipts for these payments.

If a professional executor has been appointed, then they will charge a fee for their service.

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