Wills and Probate
Wills and Probate Solicitors
Making a Will won’t kill you! It is a fact that all of us should make a Will yet over two thirds of us never get round to doing so. Why not?
Don’t want to tempt fate? You’re not serious are you?
Don’t have very much to leave? Irrelevant!
Don’t have time? Not even half an hour?
Costs too much? Read on, you will be surprised!
You have made a home-made Will?
And we thought you didn’t like the idea of solicitors making lots of money! It is a known fact that solicitors make more money resolving problems arising from home-made Wills than they ever would from solicitor-drafted Wills.
You don’t need a Will. Everything will go to your spouse or children anyway?
If you do not make a Will, your spouse may only be entitled outright to the first slice of your estate. This may not even be the whole value of your home! Arguments and Tax bills may follow!
Do something about it now!
Instructing us to draft your Will is easy, please download and complete our basic Will questionnaire and return it to us at Cunningtons LLP, Great Square, Braintree, Essex CM7 1UD. Once we are in receipt of your complete questionnaire we aim to send you a draft for your approval within seven days. If you have any queries please contact Bryony Wilmshurst on 01376 567280.
Dying without a Will can cause a lot of unnecessary problems and heartache for your family and friends.
Even if you don’t have much to leave, someone has to administer your estate however small it is.
If you have children, who will become their guardians?
If you do have valuables, possessions and/or a house you really shouldn’t delay any longer. We will:
- Receive your instructions
- Prepare a straight-forward Will for you
- Send a draft for your approval
- Send the final Will to you with an explanation about how to sign it
- Store it for you if you return it – FREE OF CHARGE
- You can even pay by Debit Card
If your circumstances are such that a more involved Will is required then we can provide a free estimate of the likely costs to deal with this. We do recommend however, that at least you have a straight-forward Will prepared in the interim.
Frequently Asked Questions
The following are common questions we get asked about Wills and Probate. If you cannot find the answer here, please contact us for an answer.
A Will is a legal document which sets out what you would like to happen to your assets in the event of your death, who you would like to administer your estate, who you would like to look after your children and your funeral wishes.
If you are over the age of 18, have assets or children a Will is the only way to ensure that your wishes will be carried out in the event of your death.
Joint Wills are very rare and problematic these days. It is more usual to have Mirror Wills which is where you each have a Will but on similar terms. It is important to bear in mind that with Mirror Wills once you have left your estate to your partner, your partner is then free to do whatever he or she wishes with your assets, they could leave what they have inherited from you to a new partner. For more information please see Asset Protection Trust [link to Asset Protection Trust page].
An Executor is a person who will administer your estate in accordance with the terms of your Will, they will complete relevant tax returns and apply for the Grant of Probate before collecting in the assets and distributing them to your beneficiaries.
An Executor can be anyone over the age of 18, it is important that you appoint not only someone that you trust but someone who is capable of handling the administration of your estate in what is likely to be an emotional and stressful time.
Before appointing an Executor you may wish to discuss the matter with the person or persons involved to ensure they are willing to be named as Executor in your Will, although this is not essential and as the Will is personal to you, you might not wish to disclose details to an Executor.
If you appoint someone other than your Solicitor and they refuse to carry out the duties after your death then problems could arise.
Yes, we can act as Executors for you. Professional Executors will charge for acting.
A Guardian is a person or people who will look after your children in the event of your death, they will be responsible for bringing up your children.
A Will should be reviewed whenever your personal or financial circumstances change significantly or if your beneficiaries’ circumstances change significantly.
We recommend that you review your Will at least every five years to ensure it still accords with your wishes and is still appropriate for your circumstances.
Upon receipt of your instructions we aim to send you a draft of your Will for your approval within 7 days.
If there are no unforeseen circumstances it is likely that your Will will be signed within a month of us receiving instructions from you.
We would strongly advise against drafting your own Will or downloading a pro-forma on line.
There is an increasing amount of litigation that arises from incorrectly drafted Wills, often Wills drafted by people who are not legally qualified do not do what the person drafting them thinks they do which can cause significant problems and delays in the event of your death.
Often, it ends up costing far more to rectify any errors than the cost of a Will professionally drafted.
We can store your original Will free of charge in our Strong Room.
We will only release it to you during your lifetime upon receipt of your identification, to your Attorney in the event of loss of mental capacity if you have authorised your Attorney to have access to your Will under your Lasting Power of Attorney or to your Executors on your death upon receipt of your original Death Certificate and the identification and authority of all your Executors.
Wills and Probate Relevant Articles
News and views on Wills and Probate from Cunningtons LLP.