Who can make a Will?

As long as you are over the age of 18 and have the requisite “testamentary capacity”, you can make a Will.
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Do I need a Will?

Signing a Will is primarily about making the lives of those you leave behind easier and protecting their inheritance. Many people do not fully understand how their estate will be divided if they die without a Will; in fact, the truth can be surprising. Not making a Will is still a choice and it is important that you understand what will happen on your death.
At Timbrell Law, we believe everyone should make a Will because you never know what is lurking around the corner. That said, making a Will should be at the forefront of your mind if:
  • You own property.
  • You own or have an interest in a business.
  • You are cohabiting with a long-term partner.
  • You are getting married or remarried.
  • You are starting a family or have children under the age of 18.
  • You are getting a divorce or have separated.
  • You want to make gifts to godchildren, wider family, friends or charity.
  • You want to skip a generation and provide for your grandchildren.
  • Your estate will have to pay inheritance tax.

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What is wrong with a DIY Will?

There is no reason why a DIY Will should not be valid; however, the onus is on you to get it right.

Ultimately, preparing a Will without professional advice can lead to problems later down the line. If your Will is ambiguous, incorrectly signed, fails to deal with your entire estate or attempts to do something not permitted by the law, these failings will only be discovered on your death causing problems for your family and those left to deal with your estate.

Similarly, whilst you might believe that a simple Will is all you need, speaking with a professional can tease out issues that you simply have not considered.
If you don’t want the hassle of meeting with a solicitor face to face, we can help you prepare a Will remotely and out of office hours. This way you still receive the benefit of a professionally drafted Will, but at your convenience.
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I don’t have a significant amount of money, should I bother with a Will?

Yes. Whilst you may not have a large estate now, this could change in the future.
Similarly, as part of preparing your Will, you should also consider any death in service benefits and life assurance that may pay out on your death.
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My children are still young, should I wait until they are 18 to prepare a Will?

No. For parents of children under the age of 18, the best way to appoint legal guardians for your children is through your Will. This ensures that should something happen to both of you, the legal guardians chosen by you will have parental responsibility immediately and be able to concentrate on looking after your children.
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What happens to my assets, if I die without a Will?

If you die without a Will, the division of your estate will be governed by the intestacy rules. The resulting effect may not be as you would have wanted, so it is important to be aware of the position.
Not making a Will is a choice to accept the effect of these rules. They will also determine who has the authority to administer your estate.
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What do executors do?

Your executors are responsible for administering your estate after your death.
They will need to notify third parties, collect in details of the assets and liabilities in your estate, apply for a grant of probate, inform the beneficiaries of their entitlement, collect in your assets, settle any debts, taxes, legacies, funeral and administration expenses and distribute the remainder in accordance with your Will.
Your executors might be family members, trusted friends or even your business partners.  Alternatively, you may wish to appoint a professional, such as a solicitor or accountant, to act.
Where you appoint non-professionals, there is nothing to prevent them seeking advice at the time.  This may include help obtaining the grant of probate or assistance with the estate administration as a whole.  For details of how Timbrell Law supports executors, click here.
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Can I include funeral wishes in my Will?

Yes, you can include funeral or cremation wishes in your Will. These wishes will not be binding but are normally followed where possible.
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What type of gifts can I make under my Will?

Under your Will you can make specific gifts of property, personal possessions or cash. These will be distributed from your estate first, following the payment of any debts, funeral and administration expenses and any tax due, the remainder will be divided amongst those named as your residuary beneficiaries.
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Can a Will help protect my property against care home fees

For couples, protection can be obtained through Asset Protection Wills. If you would like to know more, please get in touch.
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When is a Will valid?

A Will is valid from the date it is signed providing it is executed properly.  A common reason for the failure of DIY Wills is the fact that they have not be properly signed and witnessed. 
All Wills prepared by Timbrell Law include clear signing instructions and are checked by a professional after you have signed.
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Where should I keep my Will?

It is incredibly important to keep your original Will safe so that your executors can prove your Will on your death.  Wherever you store your Will you must consider the risk of fire, flooding and theft. Timbrell Law offers storage of original documents for an annual fee.
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How often should I review my Will?

You should review your Will whenever your personal circumstances change.  We make sure to stay in touch with our clients to make changing your Will as easy as possible.
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