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If you are looking to prepare or amend a will to ensure your financial affairs are in order in the event of your death, JMW’s expert will writing solicitors are here to help.
A poorly drafted will can result in the document having no legal effect, meaning your estate could pass to undesired beneficiaries.
As fully-qualified will writers, we will help you to engineer a will that is valid and clearly addresses how your legacy should be handled, leaving no room for interpretation.
How JMW Can Help
On the face of it, your affairs may appear simple, but when you dig deeper, the reality could be very different. The preparation of a will provides you with an opportunity to review your financial affairs.
Our will writing solicitors will assist you through the process, ensuring your will achieves everything you want it to and complies with all legal requirements. We take a professional-yet-personal approach to help you protect your family’s wealth and assets, while making sure no challenges can be made against your legacy.
We have helped a variety of clients with different circumstances create strong, fair and legal wills. Our loyal client base includes business owners, entrepreneurs, sports professionals, entertainers and medical professionals.
The team can also help to make a will in accordance with Sharia law, for more information on this service, visit our Sharia Wills page.
Making a Will in a Crisis
During unprecedented times, JMW's will writing solicitors are well-positioned to assist individuals to put their affairs in order on an emergency basis. We can assist you with the following:
- Preparing a new will on an emergency basis remotely via telephone or video conferencing
- Reviewing a current will to give you peace of mind that the document does the job that you think it does
- Advising on any issues with a current will that is inappropriate for your circumstances and providing a fixed-fee quotation to rectify or improve the document
- Conducting a review of your worldwide assets and liabilities and advising on the steps you should consider to ensure your affairs in order
For more information on making a will in a crisis, visit our Emergency Wills page.
Why should I make a will?
Making a will is a positive act that can prove invaluable to your loved ones in the event of your death. With the right planning, you can ensure that your wealth and the gifts you wish to pass on reach the right people at the right time. In addition, a well-drafted will can help minimise the amount of payable tax, such as IHT.
What exactly does a will deal with?
Making a will can help to ensure each of the following are dealt with properly:
- You can appoint executors and trustees who you wish to administer your estate
- You can appoint guardians for any children under the age of 18, thereby ensuring that costly court proceedings and potential family disputes are avoided
- If your children are under the age of 18, you can ensure that sufficient financial provision is left for their health, welfare and educational needs. You can also allocate funds for use by the guardians to assist with the raising of your children
- You can ensure that your loved ones are provided for financially
- You can give specific gifts or legacies to your chosen beneficiaries, including friends, relations and charities
- You can set up life interest trusts to ensure that your spouse/partner has the right to remain living in the family home
- You can set up flexible provisions for young beneficiaries if you do not consider it appropriate for a child to inherit at the age of 18
- You can set up a protective trust to ensure that beneficiaries do not lose their right to receive means-tested state benefits
- You can ring-fence assets for the benefit of your surviving spouse/partner against the liability of care fees
- You can include tax planning tools to reduce your inheritance tax liability
What happens if I do not make a will?
If you do not make a will, your assets will be distributed in accordance with intestacy rules. This means that the law will dictate who can administer and benefit from your estate. This does not necessarily mean that your assets will pass to those whom you consider closest to you. If no blood relations can be located, your estate could pass to the Crown.
Failure to make a will can also mean that you are unable to pass assets to people who are not directly related to you, including stepchildren, common-law spouses and favoured charities.
If you are separated but not divorced, a lack of a will means your estranged spouse will inherit and be responsible for administering your estate. You will also have no say in who will look after your children when you die, if they are under 18 years old, nor will you have any control over the age at which your beneficiaries shall inherit.
Should young people make a will?
Although making a will is usually seen as something that is done in later life, there are various reasons why younger people should start thinking about making a will, including:
- Making clear and certain provisions for a partner, your children and your parents should you currently care for or assist them
- Avoiding a substantial amount of your assets from going to your spouse should you divorce or separate and die without a will
- Drafting a will with a marriage or civil partnership specifically in mind should you get married or civilly partnered - any will you have in place previously will be revoked unless this has been completed
- Drafting a will to ensure your estate goes to the right people at the right time should you cohabit or remarry after a previous relationship
Can I leave money to a pet animal?
It is legally possible to leave a legacy to your pet animal in your will. However, it is not a simple case of leaving a legacy directly to the pet animal. In law, a pet animal is not considered in the same light as a human, and is instead considered more of an asset.
There are a couple of options available to ensure that your pet animal is looked after in the event of your death. These are:
- Gifting your pet animal with an appropriate cash legacy to a friend or relative who you know will be able to care for your pet animal in the same way that you would
- Gifting your pet animal with an appropriate cash legacy to an animal charity that operates a re-homing service
Our will writing solicitors will be able to advise you on what's required to leave a legacy to your pet animal.
For help and advice on making a will or for more information about the process of writing a will, contact the team at JMW today. We will be happy to discuss your requirements during an initial consultation, so call us free on 0345 872 6666 or complete our online enquiry form and a member of the team will be in touch at a convenient time for you.