Why Make a Will? The majority of adults in this country have no valid Will. As a result, seven out of every ten people who die leave their loved ones with what may be unnecessarily complicated problems, at a time they are least able to deal with them.
If you die without a Will, the law will decide how your property is to be divided amongst the members of your family. This may not result in a true reflection of your wishes.
Making a Will is a relatively simple process for most people. It will give you the peace of mind knowing that your family will not be troubled by the complexity or expense that may result from an intestacy (dying without a Will).
Making a Will enables you to:
Choose precisely how your property and possessions should be dealt with in the event of your death Appoint an executor who will deal with all the necessary paperwork and procedures on your families behalf Create trust for your children and give directions as to who look after them Give particular gifts or sums of money to specific people or organisations Minimise and restrict tax liabilities Make a mirror Will with your spouse or partner What We Will Need To Know We will need to know the following details from you:
What you own Details of everything you own, including property, cars, personal valuables, stocks and share, bank accounts, insurance policies, any businesses you own, and pensions.
Who gets what Who do you want to leave these assets to? How do you want to divide your property between your loved one, friends or charities? Are there any conditions you want to attach to these gifts?
Family and other beneficiaries
Details of your family and marital status. Are you divorced, re-married or living with a partner? Do you have any children or any other dependants? Anyone who depends on you financially can ask a court to review your will if they feel you have not provided properly for them. If you give us the relevant details, we can tell about any legal pitfalls.
Guardians If you have any children that may still be under 18 when you die, you may need to name someone as their legal guardian.
Other wishes Do you have any particular wishes for your funeral? Do you want to be buried or cremated? Are there any other instructions? For example, if you want to be an organ donor this can be included in your will. However, it is also a good idea to carry an organ-donor card.
Executors of your will
You must also name the people you want to appoint as 'executors' of your will - the people who carry out the administration of your will after your death. These could be friends or family members, or a professional such as a solicitor, accountant or bank. A good combination would be a friend or family member and a professional. Ideally, you should choose someone who is familiar with financial matters. Make sure you ask your executors whether they are happy to take on this duty as there are long-term responsibilities involved. It is a good idea to ask some one younger than you are.
Dedicated Wills Service
Every client has his or her own individual needs and requirements when making a Will. We place a great emphasis on ensuring that a highly personal service is given to each client, whilst keeping the process as simple and inexpensive as possible.
Some Common Myths about Wills
1. "Making a Will with a solicitor is expensive". Our fixed fee scheme keeps the cost to an absolute minimum and means that making a Will is good value.
2. "I am not rich enough to need a Will". This is probably not true. Homes, cars and insurance policies alone can amount to a considerable sum. A Will is also used for a variety of purposes entirely unconnected to the amount of money you have, such as specific gifts or the appointment of guardians.
3. "I am too young to be so morbid." Making a Will does not in any way hasten your death. It does however, enable you to have the peace of mind that, in the event of an accident or sudden illness, the future of your family and arrangements for your possessions will e as you wish them to be.
4. " I do not need to worry as I made a Will years ago." Circumstances change and Wills need to be reviewed at regular intervals. Your financial position may have altered, or you may have married or divorced. (Marriage or divorce could invalidate any previously made Will.) One of the beneficiaries named in your Will may have died. If you have already made a Will and it is now quite old, we shall be happy to review it with you to see if any changes need to be made.
5. "My wife /husband will get it all anyway." This may depend on several factors and it is not always guaranteed. By making a Will, you can be sure.
The Cost Whilst there are many cheap will writing services as well as 'do it yourself' will kits, there really is no substitute for a will professionally drafted by solicitors. Generally speaking this would be prohibitively expensive for all bust the wealthiest of our clients.
However we have created a fixed price Wills Service which will be of benefit to the vast majority of our clients. Uniquely, the Service has simple procedures and a high level of personal advice. If you wish, or it is apparent from your circumstances that our Wills Service is not likely to be suitable for you, we shall discuss your specific requirements and provide you with an estimate of our costs for your bespoke will.
The Procedure When you instruct us to prepare your Will, we will send you a Questionnaire to complete and bring with you when you come for your appointment. A copy of this Questionnaire can also be downloaded by pressing the blue button above.
At the Meeting we can discuss with you all the details of your Will and give advice on any other aspects on which you may be unclear.
When you are completely satisfied that your Will truly reflects your wishes, we will prepare the final document. Please note that we will not retain or store the original executed will, but hand it to you and merely retain a copy for our own records.
Signing The Will Once the will has been drawn up it is not effective until and unless it has been properly signed and witnessed. There are several rules affecting the signature process which, if not followed correctly, will make your will invalid. For example, witnesses and their husbands and wives cannot benefit under the will. Invariably we will use members of our staff to act as witnesses to your signature.
Where To Keep The Will It is important to keep your will in a safe place and tell your executors or a close friend or relative where it is. As explained earlier, we do not provide a wills storage service and would recommend that you use your bank's safe deposit box.
Keeping Your Will Up To Date You should review your will at least every five years and after any major life change such as getting separated, married or divorced, having a child or moving house.
It is possible to make minor changes (or 'codicils') to your existing will. However it is best to deal with any major changes by getting a completely new will drawn up. In both cases it is best to consult us first.
Legal services are provided by Chhokar & Co Solicitors who are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority (SRA No: 078981). For further information please see the SRA Code of Conduct. VAT No. GB 676 065 120. Registered office: 29a The Broadway Southall, Middlesex UB1 1JY United Kingdom. Unhappy with our service?
Tax and accounting services are provided by Chhokar & Co Limited trading as Chhokar & Co, Chartered Accountants. Registered in England (Registration No: 07994976). Registered office: Herbert House 27-29 The Broadway Southall, Middlesex UB1 1JY United Kingdom
Consulting services are provided by Chhokar & Co Consulting, a business name of SSC Legal Limited. Registered in England (Registration No: 03972539). Registered office: Herbert House 27-29 The Broadway Southall, Middlesex UB1 1JY United Kingdom