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Will writing solicitors.
It's never too early to start looking after your family or loved ones. If you die without leaving a Will, your estate will be shared out according to the Laws of Intestacy: this can be complicated, taking months or even years, and can often be at a great expense.
MG Legal's expert Will writing solicitors can draft your Will as quickly as you need it. So, whether you would like your Will completing the same day, or you would like to consider your options for longer, our expert team are here to handle your matter as efficiently and cost effectively as possible.
How can our expert will writing solicitors help you today?
Remember, we’re not just experts at drafting Wills. Our team can provide specialist advice on all aspects of Wills, Trusts, Probate and Estate Administration. Click on the links below to find out more about the services our team offers.
Why do I need to make a Will?
• Firstly, to avoid inheritance being decided by the rules of intestacy which are derived from the Administration of Estates Act 1925, as amended, and which apply to property which is capable of being left by your Will.
• A Will is a flexible instrument enabling you to determine who is to benefit from your estate and the terms and conditions upon which they inherit.
• You appoint executors and trustees of your own choice, whereas on an intestacy, the choice is determined by court rules (rule 22 of the Non-Contentious Probate Rules 1987).
• A Will can incorporate additional powers for the Executors and Trustees which may be of assistance if, for example you want to include a Trust for children.
• You may appoint guardians for any minor children.
• There may be tax advantages in a carefully drafted Will.
• There may, under certain circumstances, be an opportunity to plan for future care home fees or for a disabled or vulnerable beneficiary where perhaps you might prefer not to give an absolute interest which might, for instance, affect the beneficiary’s entitlement to state benefits.
• Making a Will is likely to give you peace of mind that following your death, your affairs will be dealt in accordance with your wishes.
What can I leave to others in my Will?
Your Will may dispose of all assets held in your sole name, such as land and personal belongings, but can also dispose of intangible assets e.g. contractual rights, benefits and other interests which are capable of being transferred or assigned to another person. If you own property as “tenants in common” then your share of that property is also capable of being passed under your Will.
Professional will Executors:
There are advantages in appointing professional executors. They should be skilled and experienced in the administration of estates (we would suggest that you check the professional qualifications of the staff to ensure they have the required expertise). A professional executor will charge a fee for their services and, in return for that fee, you can expect the estate to be administered by a fee earner who is familiar with the applicable laws, has practical experience and, of course, you will also have the security offered by the firm.
Will MG Legal store my Will?
Absolutely. We are happy to store any Will drafted by us, free of charge.
Does a Will have to be Witnessed in Person?
Since the COVID-19 Pandemic hit the nation, and everyone was told to stay at home wherever possible, there has been an increase in the number of people who have taken steps to update or make their Will. Throughout the pandemic, whilst restrictions have eased and tightened, those who are vulnerable have, in some cases, continued to shield.
How would it therefore be possible for these people to make a Will? Legislators considered this issue and introduced The Wills Act 1837 (Electronic Communication) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Order 2020 SI 2020/952, which amended section 9 of the Wills Act 1837 – the section which deals with signature of Wills. This amendment meant that rather than requiring the physical presence of two witnesses when the testator signed their original Will, this could be done via an electronic means, such as a Zoom meeting. This amendment was put in place until 2022. The amendment did not change the number of witnesses required, or the law dictating who these witnesses can be (for example, a witness could not be a beneficiary of your Will or a minor).
Despite the fact that the Coronavirus restrictions have now changed, a further Amendment was made to the Wills Act (The Wills Act 1837 (Electronic Communications) (Amendment) Order 2022) extending the remote Will witnessing cutoff date to 31 January 2024. According to gov.uk, anyone isolating can have Wills witnessed virtually until this date, to allow the Law Commission time to consider potential reforms to the law surrounding Wills, and whether these laws should be made permanent. Research carried out by the Law Society suggests that 14% of legal professionals have made use of remote Will witnessing, which is a statistic the Law Commission will consider in their report.
Our team of Will drafting experts at MG Legal have made every effort during the pandemic to ensure that our client’s Wills were finalised efficiently and validly witnessed, visiting clients at their house and witnessing Will signatures through windows and doors to accommodate our client’s during a difficult time. Our team helped clients finalise their Wills and put their minds at rest from worrying about not having a valid or Will that correctly reflects their wishes in place.
At MG Legal, our Wills and Probate solicitors will continue to facilitate client’s Wills signings on a daily basis both in our offices and at home visits, however, we welcome the change to assist with those who are unable to meet in person to have a Will witnessed, such as those who are unwell and are unable to leave the house. If you are looking to update your Will or make a Will if you haven’t before, contact our specialist solicitors for Wills at your local office. Initial appointments can take place in your local office or via telephone, and we are happy to accommodate signature of your Will either through a home visit or at one of our offices.
We would always recommend having your Will witnessed in the physical presence of two witnesses, and will assist you with this so that you can finalise your Will as quickly as possible.
Destroying or revoking a will:
There may be two reasons why a Will is destroyed; either accidentally or to revoke it. If your Will is accidentally destroyed, it may be that it can still be declared valid. However, you should always seek advice from an expert Wills, Trusts, Tax and Probate solicitors to find out whether you should make a new Will if your old Will is destroyed.
It may be that your local solicitors for Wills suggests that you make a new Will in exactly the same terms as your previous Will to ensure that there are no issues when you die. Obviously, if when making your new Will you decide that you want to change a few or all of the clauses, you could.
If you no longer want your Will to be valid, there are a few different options regarding destroying a will and revoking a will.
Do I need a specialist solicitor for Wills?
Yes. It is always a good idea to ensure that you have a valid Will in place. Even if you consider your wishes to be simple and you feel that telling your loved ones will be sufficient, sadly, this is not necessarily the case.
Our expert Will drafters offer excellent fixed fee Will drafting to help ensure that your wishes are carried out after you have died. We also store your Will for no extra charge, so you know that it will be there when you or your loved ones need it in the future. To discuss making a Will, complete our online enquiry form and a solicitor for wills will contact you within one working hour to discuss your requirements. Alternatively, contact your local office to arrange an appointment.
Why do I need a specialist solicitor for my Will?
Our solicitors for Wills illustrate just how important it is to work with a reliable, and specialist solicitor for Wills when drafting your Will. The case our solicitors for Wills turn to, in order to explain why you need a qualified lawyer to draft your Will, is the case of Reeves v Drew  EWHC 153.
The case of Reeves v Drew, saw Mr Reeves, a man with a multimillion-pound value estate, amend his existing Will, with one written by a new solicitor charging notably low fees for the Will writing service.
The new Will left 80% of his multimillion- pound estate to one of his daughters, overturning an earlier Will which split the estate more equally across the deceased's relatives. In the legal case that follows, it was claimed that Mr Reeves had limited knowledge regarding the new Will, and questions were raised over his ability to approve the Will and its’ contents. In this case, where Mr Reeves had negotiated a suspiciously low fee for the Will writing service handling his large estate, the judge was not confident in the honesty of the solicitor, stating that: 'It is actually quite distressing to say I cannot safely rely on the evidence from an officer of the court but I do not think he was giving truthful evidence about how he took instructions, prepared the 2014 Will and the relationship between him and the claimant.”.
This is just one case that our specialist solicitors for Wills can use to illustrate the importance of working with an honest, reliable solicitor for Wills when drafting your Last Will and Testament. There might be a number of online lawyer services, offering Will drafting at low prices, and online services from companies with no legal qualification whatsoever, offering Will writing services that cost a fraction of the price of an experienced solicitor for Wills; but cases like that of Mr Reeves show just how important it is to ensure you are working with a reliable solicitor for Wills, who will have your best interests at heart, and the knowledge to advise you properly, when drafting your Will, so that your last wishes go as smoothly as you would have liked, when you are no longer with us.
If you are looking for a solicitor for Wills, offering a reliable and confidential Will writing service, then MG Legal’s solicitors for Wills are here for you. We work with care and honestly with all of our clients, and offer bespoke will writing services to ensure that your will is tailored to your specific wishes.
To speak to a solicitor for Wills today about our Will writing services, and how we can help you on a clear, fixed-fee, then simply contact us online here, and speak to a specialist solicitor within one working hour.
Can an Executor be a beneficiary under my Will?
It is a common misconception that an executor of a Will can not also be a beneficiary of a Will.
It is, however, perfectly normal (and perfectly legal) to name the same person (or people) as both an Executor and a Beneficiary in your Will, but it is important to ensure that the executor does not witness your will otherwise he/she will not be entitled to receive their legacy under the terms of the will.
Who should I appoint as Executors?
Appointment of Executors for your Will is a personal choice, and you may appoint individuals, a firm of Solicitors, or a corporation. If you are choosing to appoint individuals as the executor of your Will it is important to consider their age; it would make little sense to appoint somebody older than yourself as there is an increased chance that they may not outlive you in order to handle your estate after you pass away.
The position of executor is a fiduciary appointment; that is to say that the person must be honest and diligent and must exercise their duty in good faith.
Can I prepare a Will for my parents?
Yes, you can help your parents to draft their Will. We would, however, advise you not to.
A Will prepared by a child of the Testator may be rendered invalid on the grounds that there may have been undue influence or pressure.
Can I instruct an Executor to destroy my Will?
Put simply, no. An instruction to your Executor alone to destroy a Will would usually have no effect. If you are unable to destroy your Will yourself, and you wish to destroy your Will so that your Estate passes under the Rules of Intestacy, contact our Wills, Trusts, Tax and Probate Solicitors to find out what you should do.
Can MG Legal help to revoke my Will?
When our expert Wills, Trusts, Tax and Probate Solicitors are instructed to help a person make a new Will or amend their previous Will, our team will always include a clause in the new Will which revokes any previous Wills made (unless they have made a Will in another country which the client wants to remain valid, in which case any previous Wills expect the specific Will are revoked).
There is no need for a separate Deed of Revocation, or a separate statement to revoke the previous Will; correct signature of the new Will in the presence of two witnesses, who also sign, will be sufficient.
If you want to destroy your previous Will after your new Will has been correctly signed, this is your choice; you may feel that it offers an extra layer of protection against your previous Will being used as your final Will once you have died.
MG Legal's will writing guide:
When our solicitors for Wills are arranging an initial appointment for our new clients, they often worry that they won’t have all of the information that our team will need, and they ask: “What information do I need to know?”
Our solicitors for Wills always explain that as long as you can give us basic information, such as your details, and a list of your assets and liabilities, we will be able to get any further information from you at a later date. However, if you want to make sure you are prepared prior to your initial appointment with our team of solicitors for wills, we’ve put together below a list of the information that we will need from you to include in your Will.
1. Your name and address - we will need to include your full name and, if applicable, any other names you are known by. For example, if your birth name is A B C Smith, but you usually go by B C Smith, we would usually include both names for clarity. We would also usually include your current address, to help identify that your Will belongs to you (in case there is more than one A B C Smith living in the same area).
2. Your Executors - these is the person or the people that you will be appointing to deal with your Estate after you have died. They will be responsible for a number of jobs, and you can read more about the full role of an Executor in our blog on the subject.
Our Wills solicitors would always advise clients to appoint someone that they trust to deal with their Estate, after all, this person will be responsible for ensuring that your wishes are carried out.
If you perhaps don’t have a close family member or friend that you would want to appoint, you can always choose to appoint a professional, such as our team of Wills, Trusts and Probate experts.
3. Your Trustees - more often than not, people will appoint the same Executors as Trustees, and the clause in the Will just refers to the appointed people as both. However, if you wish to appoint separate people for both roles, you can. You Trustees, for example, would act in any Trusts of your Will (so, if one of your beneficiaries is a minor when you die, the Trustee would hold their share of the Estate until they attained the legal age to inherit themselves).
4. Funeral Wishes - our Wills solicitors would recommend never going into too much detail in this section, as if you change your mind or your circumstances change, you don’t want to need to change your entire Will.
Instead, we would generally only include a simple direction about whether you prefer cremation or burial or, preferably, we would not include these provisions at all. Instead, they can be typed or written into a separate note to your Executors to be placed alongside your final signed Will. The added benefit of this, is that if you change your mind in the future, you can always remove or alter the note.
5. Gifts of personal items - we will generally ask whether there are any personal items which you wish to gift to anybody. The most common types of gifts that our team sees is items such as jewellery, family memorabilia or sentimental items, or cars. We will need as much description about the gift, as possible,
Another option that our Wills, Trusts and Probate Solicitors often discuss with our clients when they wish to make gifts of person items, is including a clause in your Will which leaves all of your personal items to your Trustees (also the same people, usually, as your Executors) for them to distribute in accordance with any wishes made known to them within 3 months of your death. This could take the form of a letter, verbal expressions made to them, or notes left on items.
6. Gifts of any money - these are referred to as Pecuniary legacies, and you could choose to leave a sum of money to charities, friends, family or an organisation.
The amount you leave is up to you, however, it’s always worth noting that if your Estate value decreases (for example if you have to have care and the fees mean that your estate value has decreased), the gifts would not decrease, and therefore the remainder of your Estate passing to your residuary beneficiaries may also decrease.
To prevent this from happening, some people choose to leave their chosen legatees a percentage of their residuary estate, instead of an outright gift of money.
7. Your residuary estate - this is anything that is left after any liabilities, debts, testamentary expenses, funeral expenses, pecuniary legacies and legal fees have been paid out.
You can choose as many people as you want to divide your residuary estate between, with our Wills, Trusts and Probate Solicitors seeing some Wills naming around 35 people.
At this stage, our local solicitors for Wills would also discuss with you whether you wish to include any longstop provisions, in case the initial beneficiaries predecease you or the clause fails for any other reason. This could be as simple as a clause leaving everything to your initial residuary beneficiaries’ children, or you may want to name completely different people; the choice is yours.
Even though some Wills are more complicated, and may require additional information, the above is a list of the basic information that we would require from all of our Will drafting clients.
When you contact our Wills, Trusts and Probate Solicitors to discuss making a Will, we will arrange an initial appointment with you at your local office, or at your home if this is more convenient, and we will talk you through the above points, step by step, letting you know if we need any further information.
How can I ensure my Will is located after my death?
This question is actually more common that you'd think, and appears to concern quite a few of the clients our solicitors for wills work with.
So, in order to put your mind at rest, and indeed, answer your question, our solicitors for wills are pleased to advise that at MG Legal's solicitors for wills we register all Wills drafted by our offices, with “Certainty” which is a National Wills Register. There is no charge to any of wills our clients for this service. Certainty do not receive a copy of the Will, we will simply record with Certainty that you have made a Will with our firm (the Will remains a private document and MG Legal will not release your Will at any time without the appropriate authority).
Can I include funeral wishes in my Will?
When you write your Will, your Executor has the legal duty to dispose of your body in a way which is compatible with the law. You may express your wishes for the way you want your body to be disposed of i.e. cremation or burial; how you wish the ashes to be disposed of, or provision for a gravestone etc. However, although such wishes are usually observed by the Executor, they are not legally binding upon meeting them.
In the UK there is no specific law against the scattering of ashes, provided you obtain permission from the landowner. However, for those of you who perhaps wish to have their ashes scattered in a specific place, do be aware that some local authorities now charge for scattering ashes in parks. If you want your ashes scattered in a river, do bear in mind the Environment Agency has a policy for this.
What if I want my body to be used for medical or scientific purposes?
It is possible for you to direct that your body (or parts of it) are used for medical or scientific purposes after your death (Human Tissues Act 2004). If so, it is important to make sure that your family is aware of your wishes.
How many Executors can I appoint?
There is no limit on the number of executors you may appoint for your Will; however, Probate will only be granted to a maximum of 4 executors.
For practical purposes, it is usual for a person to appoint 1 or 2 executors for your Will, and to also perhaps consider appointing substitute executors. The substitute executors would act in the event that those first appointed either died before you or were otherwise unable or unwilling to act.
If you are looking for expert legal advice and assistance when writing your Will and appointing your executors, simply contact our solicitors for wills online here, and speak to a solicitor for wills within one working hour about how we can help you.
Can I appoint my solicitors, MG Legal as Executors?
Yes, this is a service that our solicitors for Wills offer to all of our clients. There is no charge to appoint MG Legal as executors when making your Will with our specialist team. If we act in the administration of your estate, the work carried out would be chargeable at the fee earner’s standard hourly rate + VAT.
If you want to appoint MG Legal as your executors, then please contact our offices, for a confidential discussion about how we can help you.
If you are undecided, see our full discussion of the benefits of appointing a solicitor as the executor of your Will, here.
What if I want to exclude a family member from my Will?
When writing your will, it is entirely up to you who your assets are left to, within reason. When our solicitors for wills discuss excluding a family member from a will, it is often easier to use an example to explain the process:
Jack has three children, Anna, Kim and Peter. His relationship with Peter has broken down and, as a consequence, Peter has had no contact with his father for 10 years. Jack therefore does not wish to make provision for Peter in his Will.
Jack is free to leave his estate to whomever he likes, however, this freedom is limited somewhat by statute. The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, provides that certain classes of people may apply for financial provision from a deceased’s estate and this includes a spouse or civil partner, a former spouse or civil partner, who has not remarried or entered into another civil partnership, a child of the deceased, somebody treated as a child of the deceased or any person who was being financially maintained by the deceased prior to his death.
The Court will take into account, amongst other things, the circumstances of the applicant, the size and nature of the estate and, where relevant, the conduct of the applicant.
To learn more about your specific wishes, and speak to a solicitor for wills in a confidential and judgement-free way, simply contact us online here and speak to a solicitor for wills about our fixed-fee legal services.