Wills (*Free Virtual Consultation)
What Is A Will?
A Will provides certainty. It ensures that your assets pass to the people you choose and that the right people (executors and trustees) manage this when you have gone. It allows you to appoint guardians for minor children, make gifts to charity, and to protect assets through the use of Will trusts.
Making A Will
Here at Horgan Legal Ltd., we want to make the process of putting important documents in place as easy as possible. We recognise that many of our clients have busy lives, therefore we can visit you in the comfort of your own home and at a time that suits you.
We will go over the legalities of making a Will, take instructions and answer all of your questions. Once the will is prepared we will visit you again to ensure all of the legal documents are signed correctly.
For your peace of mind our Wills are prepared by a specially trained will writer and as members of The Society of Will Writers, you can be sure you will receive a professional, regulated service and that we abide by the Industry Code of Practice.
We, will go over the legalities of making a Will, take instructions and answer all of your questions. We will also return to you to ensure all legal documents are signed correctly.
Who Should Have A Will?
In England and Wales, you have to be over the age of 18 to make a Will. The only exception to this rule is to members of the armed forces who can make a 'privileged Will' where the normal formalities governed by the Wills Act 1837 do not apply.
We would advise that everyone over the age of 18 considers having a Will made. Specifically, if you have children or grandchildren, support a charity, own property, or wish to protect assets for future generations, speaking to a member of our team is of even greater importance.
Should I Write My Own Will?
Problems arising from mistakes in your Will are only found after your death when it is likely to be too late to correct them. Although it is possible to write your own Will, professional advice should always be sought in an area so complex and important, and of course all of our work is covered by professional indemnity insurance.
What Happens If I Die Without A Will?
If you die without a Will you would die ‘intestate’. This would mean that your estate would pass in accordance with the rules of intestacy as stated at that time. This does not guarantee that your assets will pass to the people you would otherwise have chosen. Indeed, some people are excluded from benefiting directly such as step children and unmarried partners. Guardians for minor children will not be dealt with, and assets will not be protected. In essence you are not in control of the decision making process, but the State is.
What Are Mirror Wills?
Mirror Wills are two individual Wills normally made by couples. The Wills are similar and would normally reflect the other although each Will can be slightly different.
Some Need-To-Know Information
Wills, in some form or another, have been in existence for centuries and enable you to distribute what you own when you die.
Here are some simple facts to dispel some myths;
A marriage or civil partnership revokes a Will although you can make a Will in contemplation of either.
Divorce or annulment doesn't revoke a Will but treats the former spouse or civil partner as having died before you.
Your Will can include information about your funeral wishes but is unlikely to be read until after your funeral.
Inform your executors if you have taken out a pre-paid funeral plan to ensure that they don’t look at your Will (finding details) after your funeral has taken place – meaning you paid twice.
What Makes A Will Valid?
A Will is normally made valid by the signing and witnessing process known as the 'attestation'. Our advisers will explain everything you need to know but it needs to be signed in accordance with S.9 of the Wills Act 1837.
Where Should I Store My Will?
There are no formal rules about where you should store your Will, but it should be kept somewhere your executors will be able to find it. It also needs to be securely stored so that it is protected and provided only to those entitled to see it. There are professional storage providers for Wills, like ours and we register the location of the Wills we store with The National Will Register.
How Do I Update My Will?
It is vitally important that you review and revise your Will as your circumstances or those of your loved ones change.
Any future Wills will contain a clause which revokes any previous Wills.
We can review your existing Will without obligation always providing you with the best advice.
Some Misconceptions About Wills
Don’t assume that because you’ve been with your partner for years that they will inherit everything when you die. Only a Will can offer this assurance.
A witness cannot benefit from the Will they have signed and any gifts to them will be void/invalid.