What is the process of drafting a Will?
Posted on 15th December 2017
The process of drafting a Will can be a daunting process: there can be so many unanswered questions. At MG Legal our expert team are on-hand to provide you with the advice that you need before you 'sign on the dotted line'.
With over 30 years' combined experience, our Wills department can advise you on the implications of your Will and can make sure that you're covered for a breadth of scenarios. To help you along the way, we have asked our expert team to answer some of the most commonly asked questions. Read your local solicitors for Wills' advice below.
It is becoming more common now-a-days for people to have a Will drafted long before they get to their late 60s. However, there are a number of common questions that we are asked at MG Legal when it comes to making a Will. Our expert team answer some of the most common questions to help you with your estate queries.
Q: I am married without children and want to leave everything to my spouse. Is it necessary for me to make a Will to do that? Does it not happen automatically?
A: We would explain that from 1 October 2014 new intestacy laws came into force. If an individual dies intestate (so they die without making a Will) fixed legal rules apply in order to determine who is entitled to your estate. Under these rules, if you die intestate, your spouse will be entitled to everything from your estate (up to a certain value; see below). In addition, these rules override any informal wishes you may have expressed. However, we would always recommend making a Will as, with law constantly changing and updating, it is important to ensure that your wishes are clearly set out in a legal document - the law will not necessarily always cover your spouse, unfortunately. We would not recommend leaving it to chance!
Q: I am married with children so what happens to my estate if I do not have a will?
A: In these situations matters can be slightly more complicated, as a few factors must be accounted for. If your assets are less than £250,000 and you die without making a Will, then your spouse or civil partner will be entitled to the whole of your estate and your children will get nothing.
However, if you die without making a will and your assets are more than £250,000 your spouse is entitled to:
• Your personal effects
• The first £250,000 of your other assets
• Half of your estate left over the first £250,000
After these deductions have been made, your children will be entitled to the other half of what is left after the £250,000 has been given to the surviving spouse.
As an example, if you die and your estate (also known as your assets) are worth £350,000, your spouse is entitled to £250,000 of your assets initially, with the remaining £100,000 to be split: £50,000 to your spouse, and the remaining £50,000 equally between all of your children.
Q: I have been with my partner for many years but we are not married: do I need to make a Will?
A: In the case where you and your partner are not married or in a civil partnership, it is important to note that your partner will not automatically be entitled to any of your assets when you die. This is despite of the length of the relationship, any children that you may have together, etc. Your partner will only be entitled to assets when you die if you stipulate this in the provisions of your Will. If you do die without leaving a Will, rather than your partner receiving any of your estate, it would be divided as per the Rules of Intestacy.
For example, it would initially be divided among your children, and then to other relatives if you do not have any issue (children). As a last resort, if you do not have any close relatives included in the provisions of the Rules of Intestacy, then your estate would pass to the Crown.
However, it is important to note that your partner may be able to claim some of your assets if they are in need or were financially dependent on you. This is a specialist area which MG Legal are able to provide you with advice on. To discuss any questions that you have, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01772 783 314.
Q: Do I need a solicitor to make a Will?
A: At MG Legal, we would usually answer this question for people like this: despite how little an individual may own in assets, it is always safer to have a solicitor draw up your Will just in case you get the formalities wrong. There are so many scenarios that individuals do not necessarily consider when writing their Will, and solicitors are there to help you cover a range of scenarios, and to think of the things that you might not – this way, your estate should be fully covered by the provisions of your Will whether your estate stays the same size, or increases ten-fold in the future.
Having a solicitor draw up your Will helps to give you peace of mind. If you have any questions that we've not covered, or you want to discuss making your Will generally, get in contact.
At MG Legal we always have a variety of offers available throughout the year relating to Wills – give us a call today to see how we can help you.
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Tagged as: Family Law, Inheritance, Lancashire Solicitors, Lancaster Solicitors, Longridge, MG Legal, Preston Law, Preston Solicitors, Wills
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