Common Questions - Making A Will
Q. How long does will writing take? Is it a lengthy process?
Will writing does not need to be a lengthy process at all. After the first appointment, initial draft Wills are usually sent to our clients within ten working days. Naturally, more complex Wills take longer to prepare, but once the client is happy with their draft Will, an appointment can be arranged for the Will to be signed and witnessed.
Q. Is there anything I shouldn't include in my will?
The main purpose of a Will is to divide your assets in accordance with your wishes. It is not advisable to include reasons for divisions or a long list of personal possessions in a Will. It is important to remember that a Will can become a public document upon death and that your personal possessions may change over time. We advise all our clients to provide explanations, details of personal possessions & any other non-binding issues in a Letter of Wishes to be stored with the Will, which is confidential to your Executors.
Q. Does my Executor need to be involved with the Will writing process?
No, your Will is your own private document. Some people choose to tell their Executors that they have been appointed & may also inform them of practical information such as who they bank with and funeral wishes. Others choose to detail this information in a letter stored with their Will.
Q. What happens if my Will is out of date for some details? E.g. guardianship of children that have grown up.
A guardianship provision which relates to grown-up children should not affect the overall validity of a Will, but it is best to check your Will with a solicitor. We always advise our clients to do a full review of their Will every 5 years or after a life changing event such as the death of family member or a relationship breakdown. It is also important to note that a Will is revoked by marriage. If you are worried that your Will is out of date or needs amending, it is advisable to see a solicitor.
Q. Why should I use a solicitor for my Will rather than doing a DIY will?
Many DIY Wills do not contain all of the provisions and powers Executor's need in order to administer a person's estate effectively. This can leave your Executors in a very difficult position. Legal professionals have undergone specialist training on the latest laws and interpretations of Wills in order to ensure the clients' wishes are adequately portrayed in their Will. Many clients also benefit from specialist trust and tax planning advice from solicitors which can help protect assets for many years to come.
A recent report from the Solicitors for the Elderly has focused on the risks of DIY Lasting Powers of Attorneys and Wills. Read our news article reviewing 'What are the risks of DIY Lasting Power of Attorney's and Wills?'
To find out more or discuss your individual requirements in further detail, our dedicated Wills, Trusts and Probate solicitors will be delighted to help. Contact us today on 01603 693500 or email us using the 'Make an enquiry' form. Appointments available at our Norwich, North Walsham, Brooke and Sheringham offices.