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Last week, we shared the latest statistics on will making in the UK, and as we approach Free Wills Month, we wanted to remind you why it’s important to make a will and offer some helpful tips on getting started.

Where to start

Making a will can feel overwhelming and a task many of us tend to put off until something prompts us to act. Some people avoid thinking about why they need a will, while others find it confusing, and some feel they need more assets to make it worthwhile. However, making a will is more straightforward and much cheaper than most believe.

If you are considering will writing, your first step should be to consult with a reputable solicitor. It is possible to write your own will if you are confident about your wishes, but there are many legal requirements to consider before the document is legally binding.

Why do I need a will?

Having a professionally written will can help you and your family avoid complex and challenging legal situations. A will is a legal document that clearly outlines your wishes for how you would like your assets and property to be distributed after your death. If you don’t have a will, your money or property will be allocated according to legal rules, which may not reflect your wishes.

What types of will are there?

Depending on your circumstances and the complexity of your estate, several types of wills are available. It is always advisable to discuss which will be the most beneficial for you.

The most common types of wills are:

Simple will: This type of will suits you if your affairs are straightforward and you want to leave your estate to your spouse or child (ren).
Mirror will: This type of will is used by a couple when they would like their wills to reflect similar terms. Although the wills are made together, they can be changed at any time without the need for permission from the other person.

What will happen when I speak to a solicitor?

Radshaw Solicitors offers consultations by phone, video call or in person, or you can complete the process by post if your will is relatively straightforward. Most solicitors offer a consultation where a legal representative will learn about your circumstances and wishes. If you have more complex requirements or would like to talk about tax-planning or asset protection options, such as setting up a trust, we recommend having a more detailed consultation.

Before talking to a solicitor, there are a few things you should consider, such as the value of your estate, inheritance tax (IHT) allowances, how you own your assets, who you want to leave your assets to (i.e., your beneficiaries), and who you want to be the executors of your estate.

After the consultation, the solicitor will draft and discuss the will with you. Your will is only legally valid when it is formally witnessed and signed. If your circumstances change, our team can also update your existing will. If you need any assistance with creating a will, please do not hesitate to contact our team. They are always available to answer any questions you may have.