Ensuring that you have a valid will in place is a vital part of estate planning. Key elements of a will include:
setting out what’s included in your estate
specifying how you wish to divide your estate and who you want to have which assets when you die
appointing guardians to look after any children under 18
appointing executors to carry out the instructions contained in your will
If you die without a will, it is assumed that you die intestate. Your assets are then dealt with according to the Intestacy rules.
The intestacy rules are outdated and could lead to your estate being distributed in a way that you do not want. For instance, many modern relationships involve cohabitation and partnership without marriage. Yet the rules of intestacy do not recognise this type of ‘unofficial’ family structure. It is, therefore, important to have an up to date will in place to ensure that your assets are passed on exactly how you want.
Submit your details and we'll connect you with a lawyer who will provide you with a free 30-minute consultation.
During the consultation the lawyer will ask questions to help them to better understand your needs. They will provide you with a quote for the cost of writing your new will.
Once your will has been written, you will receive your document. You should store your will securely and consider registering it so that it can be easily found.
Mirror wills are a pair of near-identical wills created by a couple to ensure that each partner is provided for if the other dies. In each partner’s mirror will, they leave their estate to the other partner. On the second partner’s death, the estate is often passed to any children of the couple. For more information, read Mirror wills.
A codicil is a legal document which is used to make an alteration to an existing will. Creating a codicil can be more convenient and cost effective than creating a whole new will. This may be appropriate if you only want to change a few things about your current will. For example, you may wish to make specific provisions for new grandchildren.
The cost of creating a will depends on how complex your will has to be. You may want to include many detailed provisions leaving gifts to lots of different people. Alternatively, you may wish to create a simple will which leaves your whole estate to a single person.
Creating mirror wills can be cheaper than creating two entirely different wills, as two mirror wills are largely the same. Creating a codicil to an existing will can also be cheaper than making a whole new will.
You will also need to pay a fee if you want to register your will. It currently costs £30 to register your will with the National Will Register.