Under One Roof – A quick guide to making a Will

13 February 2020

By Sarah Gill, Paralegal, Wills, Trusts & Estates

As part of our Under One Roof campaign, Paralegal, Sarah Gill looks at the six basic steps involved in making a Will and why it’s a good idea to seek professional legal assistance when doing so.

Though it may be tempting to delay making a Will until a later date, it’s essential to have one in place if you want to ensure your estate is distributed
among your beneficiaries without complications. 

The six steps:

1. The contents of your Will

The first step in creating a Will is to have your estate valued and to determine what assets you have to distribute among family and friends. This
will involve looking at both your assets and debts to ensure that you have a comprehensive understanding of what you have to leave to your beneficiaries.

2. The distribution of those contents

Having established what assets, including personal belongings, you have to pass on to inheritors, you next need to determine how these assets will
be distributed. Most people writing their Will have a relatively clear idea of how they want to divide their estate and to whom certain assets will

3. Choosing an executor

The executor(s) of a Will are the individual(s) who ensure that the terms of the Will are carried out precisely and in accordance with your written
wishes. The executor(s) need to be willing to assume the role upon your death and should be someone who will carry out the role in an impartial manner.
They can be family members, a close friend, or a legal representative.

4. Your children and your Will

If you have children who are still relatively young, there are a number of considerations you may want to make when writing your Will. First, it may
be necessary to appoint a guardian for your children. The guardian would be responsible for their care should something happen to both parents. This
includes provisions for step and adopted children and how best to make provision for disabled children, immediately and in the long-term.

Second, if you’re not convinced that your children are of a suitable age to be made fully responsible for their inheritance, it may be a good idea to appoint
someone to manage it for them until they reach an agreed age, or set up a trust fund to be accessed by the child at a certain age (usually at age 18
or 21).

To take up this offer, contact us and quote “Under One Roof”

5. Witnessing the Will 

The final step in writing an official will is having it witnessed. To be valid, all wills must be signed and this process must be witnessed by two
individuals. Wills also need to be signed by an individual who is doing so voluntarily, without any coercion from another person, and who is in a sound
mental state and understands the consequences of their actions.

6. Making the most of professional legal advice

Though it is possible to write a Will without any professional legal advice, it is not advisable to do so. It may save you a relatively small fee in
the short-term, but it could result in a number of long-term problems that could prove costly to those you have chosen to inherit your estate. These

  • A smooth and complication-free probate process. If a Will is not checked over by a legal professional, there’s a greater likelihood that problems may
    occur when it comes to the point when the directions of the Will are carried out.
  • A Will that’s been created or checked over by a professional legal advisor offers peace of mind. You can rest assured that it is correctly drafted
    and valid.
  • Professional legal advisors will help you make the most of your estate. This is particularly important if the estate is liable to pay inheritance tax
    or have assets which may complicate matters, such as overseas property.
  • Will writing can involve some fairly complex legal concepts. For instance, assets left to young children can be protected until they’re of age in a
    number of different ways, including trusts and gifts. Each of these operates in a different way and has its own advantages and disadvantages. A
    legal professional will be able to advise you as to which is most appropriate for your specific circumstances.

Some life events such as marriage, divorce and separation which would prompt major changes, will require making a new Will. Minor changes to a Will can
be covered by a codicil (a legally binding amendment).

The Under One Roof Home Buyers Package
Cullimore Dutton Solicitors are delighted to offer
a new package to home buyers; the Under One Roof Home Buyers Package.

The Under One Roof Home Buyers Package includes all of the services required for a smooth property transaction, including:

• Truly Independent Mortgage Advice

• Tailored Life Insurance

• Expert Residential Conveyancing, and

•Specialist Will writing

all for one fixed fee of £2,500*

*The following terms and conditions apply
The fee of £2,500 covers Cullimore Dutton Solicitors Limited fees and does not include Stamp Duty or any other disbursements such as search fees etc.
Inheritance Tax Advice is not included as part of the Under One Roof Will writing service.

If you are considering your next home move and would like to benefit from our Under One Roof Home Buyer Package, or would simply like
to enquire about writing a Will, call 01244 356 789 or email info@cullimoredutton.co.uk and
quote “Under One Roof”.

Please note: This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.