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What does a basic will offer me?

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Control over sharing your estate

You decide how much you want family, friends, and charities to inherit.

Security for loved ones

Security for your kids and pets

Relax knowing that your loved ones are in capable hands. 

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Your own personal touch

All wishes included in your will are yours and yours alone.

Creating a basic will allows you to:

  • appoint people you trust to look after your children under 18 years (called guardians)

  • appoint people you trust to carry out the terms of your will (called executors)

  • name the people or charities you want to benefit from your estate (called beneficiaries)

  • leave gifts of specific items or fixed sums of money (called legacies)

  • create trusts to help protect your assets for future generations, protect against residential care costs or help vulnerable or disabled beneficiaries

  • state your funeral wishes

A will is one of the most important legal documents you will ever sign. If you die without a valid will in England or Wales the law can decide who has responsibility for children under 18 and who receives your money, property, cars, pets and all your other belongings.

Your will deals with your belongings (such as your property, bank accounts and personal possessions) that you own at the time of your death, not at the time you write your will. So even if you don’t have much to leave now, your financial situation could change significantly in the future, particularly if you expect to have paid off your mortgage or are likely to receive an inheritance at some point.

Making a will clarifies your wishes and enables you to give your loved one’s financial protection after you die. If you are a couple with similar wishes you may want to make mirror wills, which are separate wills that mirror one another, with each person leaving their assets to each other or the same beneficiaries.

How much does it cost?

A Will costs £199. Mirror wills are £349 for two people.

Find out more about our will prices. 

Start your will in 3 simple steps

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1. Getting Started

Book a call with one of our legal advisors at a date and time that works around you.

2. Writing the will

On your appointment, you will be guided through the drafting process by one of our expert legal advisors, making sure that you always understand and helping to build a will tailored to your needs.
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Will is finalized and signed

3. Finalising your will

Once you’re happy with the Will, we’ll send it out for you to sign and make it legally-binding. Once signed and witnessed, your Will should be stored somewhere safe.
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If you get stuck at any point our team are just one click away to answer your questions.

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Top questions for basic Wills

What is a Basic Will?

A Will is a legal document that is used to decide what happens to an individual’s estate and loved ones after they pass away. This Will, prepared by a person or Testator,  is used to outline how they want their estate to be divided up between their loved ones, often referred to as Beneficiaries. 

A Will for a single person is referred to as a ‘Single’ or ‘Basic’ Will and is suitable for those who want their own personal wishes to be followed by the Executors of their estate.

What is a Mirror Will?

Mirror Wills, sometimes called joint wills are a popular choice for married and unmarried couples that share common wishes for how their wills are written. Mirror Wills are two individual legal documents that are identical in structure, with the exception of the partner’s name and any personal wishes for funerals. 

  • To use an example for how a mirror would work is that between a married couple with children, they can decide to leave their entire estate to each other if one of them passes away and should they both die, the children will receive everything from both parents.
What is a Testator?

The person who wants to draft a Will is called a Testator. To prepare a Will, Testators must have full mental capacity, be over the age of 18 and willing to register a will by their own decision and not because of outside influences.

What is an Estate?
An estate is the collective sum and value of an individual’s assets. These assets include properties, personal possessions, money and even family heirlooms that are left by the owner after they have passed away. When writing a Will, it is important to specify how the Testator wants their estate to be managed by your Executors, as well as state what items or assets will be left to your Beneficiaries.
What is an Executor?

An Executor is an individual that is chosen by a Testator to manage their estate and carry out the terms and wishes of their Will. When choosing Executors, they must be over the age of 18, have full mental capacity and should be someone that you trust, either a friend, family or a professional e.g. solicitor.

Executors are responsible for the following tasks:

  • Securing all of the Testator’s assets, properties and valuables as soon as possible after they have passed away.
  • Meeting any leftover payments or debts that they Testator may have, using their estate if necessary.
  • Granting any Beneficiaries named by the Testator their inheritance from the estate.

It is possible for the Testator to name up to four Executors to administer their estate. This can help to make the estate more manageable, while also making sure that there are backups in case one Executor can’t carry out their duties.

What is a Guardian?

When a Testator has children under the age of 18, they need to nominate an individual to act as their children’s legal Guardian and take responsibility for them if the Testator passes away unexpectedly. To choose a Guardian to care for your children is a huge responsibility and is something that must be discussed in great detail between the Testator and their potential Guardians. 

Guardianship is a role that should only be given to people you trust implicitly to safeguard your children, with siblings, parents and extended family being the most common choices.

What is a Beneficiary?

A Beneficiary is someone who is eligible to receive some form of inheritance from a Testator’s estate after being named in their Will. Beneficiaries can be chosen from anyone the Testator wants to give their estate to, with the most common choices being their children, grandchildren, siblings or even charitable organisations.

While Beneficiaries can be chosen regardless of their age, a Testator can decide when a Beneficiary under the age of 18 can access their inheritance. If this decision is made, a child named as a Beneficiary will have their inheritance placed into a Trust and managed by Trustees named in the Will. 

When deciding how to divide up an estate between an Testator’s Beneficiaries, there are three types of gifts that can be given:

  • Pecuniary Bequest – Giving a fixed sum of money to a Beneficiary e.g. leaving a child money for a car.
  • Specific Bequest – Leaving a Beneficiary a single item or asset e.g. Handing down a family heirloom to a grandchild.
  • Residual Bequest – Reserving a percentage of the total estate’s value for a Beneficiary after all bills and fees are paid e.g. Giving 40% of remaining assets to a spouse.
When does a Will start?

A Will becomes valid after the Testator has passed away and control of their estate is passed over to Executors who administer the estate, arrange funeral proceedings and give inheritance to the Beneficiaries.

Can funeral wishes be included in a Will?

While preparing a Will, a Testator can declare their wishes for funeral arrangements and they should be arranged. Unless the Will is opened before the funeral, it isn’t always possible to carry out the deceased’s wishes and even if it is found, the Executors have no legal obligation to follow these instructions.

What if I have nothing worth leaving?

A Will accounts for the Testator’s total estate at the time of their passing and not at the time of registering the Will. Fortunes can change in the future and the size and value of an estate can grow considerably over the Testator’s lifetime.

Who do I need to make a Will?

When preparing a Will, Testators must provide the following information:

  • Personal information including the Testator’s full name, date of birth, home address, relationship status and the names and dates of birth of any children.
  • A breakdown of valuable assets owned by the Testator that they wish to be included in their estate. These assets can include financial assets such as stocks, shares and bank accounts or personal possessions such as vehicles, clothing, jewellery and properties. When calculating the net value of an estate, existing debts such as mortgages and loans should always be considered. 
  • A list of the Testator’s chosen Beneficiaries and their full names and addresses. 
  • The nomination of people that the Testator wishes to act as Executors to their Will and estate. Testator’s can select one or more people to fill this role, as will as replacement Executors if necessary. The chosen individuals’ full names and addresses must also be included. 
  • The selection of legal guardians to care for any children under the age of 18 if the parents both die. The full names and addresses must also be included. 
  • The full names and addresses of the people nominated to act as Trustees if the Testator has a portion of their estate being placed into a Trust. 
  • Identifying any pets and how they should be cared for after the Testator passes away. 
  • A Letter of Wishes to be included within the Will. This letter can be used to specify the inheritance that Beneficiaries can receive, convey a Testator’s last wishes for the care of their loved ones or simply as a means of saying their final goodbyes to friends and family.
Who signs my Will?

For a Will to become a legally valid document, it will need to be signed by the Testator, their chosen Executors and Trustees while being witnessed by two independent witnesses. These witnesses must be present at the signing to confirm that the Testator isn’t being influenced in any way and if needed, give evidence for or against should the Will ever be challenged. 

Because Witnesses must be unbiased towards the outcome of the Will, the following parties cannot be a Witness: 

  • Family members, including children, parents or partners. 
  • Beneficiaries
  • People who lack mental capacity to understand the importance of the signing
  • Anyone under the age of 18
Still have questions about basic wills?