close [X]

Call back for new
personal injury claims only

Leave your details to request a call back.

* Required fields

Yes No further information     

You are in: Home Page | Your Will

Important Information about making your Will

Thompsons Solicitors understand the concerns people have about dealing with the law. Over 90 years of representing the interests of working men and women and trade union members, has allowed us to develop a friendly, approachable service. This service is provided by BBH Legal Services Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Thompsons Solicitors LLP.

Thompsons Solicitors' Will-Making Service
What does making a Will involve?
Who will carry out my wishes when I die?
What happens if someone dies without making a Will?
What arrangements should I make about my children?
I don't want to leave anything to my family
Witnessing the Will
Living Wills
Can I ensure that my partner does not leave the assets inherited by him / her under my Will to someone whom I would not like to inherit those assets?
Assets which may not be covered by your Will
If I divorce or remarry does it affect my Will?
Civil Partnerships
If later in life I should become mentally infirm, can I arrange for a relative or friend to look after my affairs?
Where should I keep my Will?
When should I change my Will?
The Financial Checklist
Inheritance Tax
And Finally, Fees and Next Steps

Thompsons Solicitors' Will-Making Service

Making a Will need not be complicated. We offer this service for every client and their partner whether married or not and for partners of the same sex. This service can help you safeguard the interests of your family, friends and dependants – and you don't even have to visit us! Using our questionnaire, we can draft your Will from the information you provide.

The Wills questionnaire can be completed by either a single person (please give the details under the columns headed “Yourself”), or by a couple (please complete both columns “Yourself” and “Your Partner”). It is important for both partners to make Wills because you might die together. In any event you should provide for what should happen when you both die.

The word “partners” is used in this document to refer to all partners, whether married or unmarried regardless of gender or sexuality.

[Back to Top]

What does making a Will involve?

A legally drawn up Will is a written statement of your wishes.

It enables you to make important decisions that affect your family and friends after your death.

Decisions such as:
• Who inherits your estate (i.e. everything you own)? – your beneficiaries?
• Who will act as guardians of your children?
• Who carries out your wishes? – your executors (and your executors may also act as your trustees if your Will creates a trust).
• Why would you create a trust?
• Which charities, if any, are to benefit from your estate?

All of these issues can be incorporated in a Will. A properly drafted Will can spare your family and friends a lot of unnecessary work and heartache at a time when they are least able to cope with it. It also reduces the possibility of making your Will invalid or contestable. You can alter your Will or cancel it at any time, but we will advise on charges at the relevant time.

[Back to Top]

Who will carry out my wishes when I die?

Executors are people who administer – or execute – your affairs and being an executor does not prevent the person from also being a beneficiary of your estate. Husbands and wives or partners can appoint each other as first executors and two (or more) additional executors such as adult sons and daughters or professional people to act as substitute executors in the event of both deaths. Please consider the appointment of your executors with care*. The duties imposed by law on executors and trustees can be time consuming and can lead to personal liability. The partners of Thompsons Solicitors are willing to act as executors of your estate, either solely or with a relative or trusted friend. Even when a Will appoints an executor, a Grant of Probate must generally be obtained from the Probate Registry. In addition, Capital Tax and Inland Revenue returns may need to be filed listing full details of assets. For these reasons executors and trustees nearly always instruct a solicitor to deal with the administration of the estate. We have an experienced Probate Department staffed by skilled solicitors who deal with the administration of estates. Our costs are reasonable and are calculated on the basis of the amount of work involved, unlike the major banks who charge a percentage of the estate. Our costs can always be the subject of independent review and scrutiny by the Legal Services Ombudsman.

[Back to Top]

What happens if someone dies without making a Will?

• Everything you own will be divided up under fixed rules decided by law, not by you, these are known as Intestacy Rules.
• You leave your relatives and friends with the difficult task of sorting out your affairs.
One of the most common misconceptions is that if you die without a valid Will all of your estate will automatically go to your surviving partner. This isn’t the case. Your partner could even end up with insufficient money to remain in the family home.
The law does not provide for unmarried partners or children who are not biological children of the parents (other than adopted children) and if you have no surviving blood relatives then your estate goes to the Crown.

[Back to Top]

What arrangements should I make about my children?

You should consider appointing a legal guardian to look after your children who are under 18. When a parent dies the surviving parent normally becomes the legal guardian. But you may die at the same time in which case it would be wise to appoint another member of your family or a close friend as a legal guardian.

Your trustees have power to pay money to the guardians for the maintenance, education and general welfare of your children.

Please note: Unless the mother appoints him, an unmarried father will not automatically become the guardian of his natural child on the death of the mother.

[Back to Top]

I don't want to leave anything to my family

You don’t have to leave anything to your family in your Will but if you do not make suitable financial provision for members of your immediate family or other people financially dependent on you, they may be able to contest your Will and claim a share of your estate.

[Back to Top]

Witnessing the Will

There are very strict legal formalities which have to be complied with when you sign your Will. We will give you clear and detailed instructions of those requirements.

* These individuals may also need to act as trustees: for example, where money needs to be held in trusts for children under the age of 18 or where any other type of trust arises under your Will.

[Back to Top]

Living Wills

This is the name given to a Will which does not deal with matters after a person’s death but seeks to control medical treatment before that person’s death.

A Living Will may contain a statement or direction about that person’s future medical treatment when they are no longer able to communicate the circumstances in which they do not want medical treatment.

In a Living Will you can set out what medical treatment you wish to refuse in what circumstances. However treatment to cause death cannot be directed.

[Back to Top]

Can I ensure that my partner does not leave the assets inherited by him / her under my Will to someone whom I would not like to inherit those assets?

This can be ensured by giving your partner only a limited interest in your estate. This will mean that both your Will and the administration of your estate will be more complicated and that your estate will have to be held by your trustees upon trust. Examples include giving the right to live in your home to your partner during your partner’s lifetime (or perhaps until your partner’s (re)marriage); giving your partner the right to the income generated from the remainder of your estate during your partner’s lifetime (or until your partner’s (re)marriage). This may involve work which falls outside the Wills scheme and is something for which we may have to levy an additional charge.

[Back to Top]

Assets which may not be covered by your Will

• Death benefits under a pension scheme are usually distributed at the discretion of the pension fund trustees. You should therefore let them know of your wishes. Often, they will require you to complete a nomination form indicating whom you would like to benefit, we would advise you to review your nominations annually.
• Life assurance policies, if written in trust, are payable to the named person(s), whatever your Will may say, we would advise you to check these annually.
• Assets in joint names may pass to the survivor. If you wish to leave your share of jointly-owned assets to someone other than your co-owner, you may need to take steps to divide the ownership of those assets. If, for example, the jointly-owned asset is your home you should have the wording of the title deeds checked. Normally, the title deeds are worded in such a way that your share would automatically pass to the other owner on your death. This requires conveyancing work such as drafting a declaration of ownership. This work falls outside the Wills scheme. We have expertise in this area should you require this additional service.

If the property concerned is a joint bank or building society account you could perhaps transfer your share to a new account in your sole name so that you can leave that money to someone other than your co-owner.

[Back to Top]

If I divorce or remarry, does it affect my Will?

• A divorce treats former spouses as if they were omitted from the Will. No gift will pass to them, and even if they are named as executors they cannot act as such. However, the rest of the Will remains valid.
• Marriage and remarriage are somewhat different. A marriage usually cancels any previous Will.
• As a result you could find you have no Will at all and the intestacy rules would apply.
• If you have set a date for a wedding please inform us so that an appropriate clause can be included in the Will to prevent your Will being cancelled.
• If you are married and co-habit with a new partner without getting divorced, do make sure you make provision for your new partner and any children. Otherwise, the legal spouse might be able to inherit under a Will you have made and not cancelled, or under the intestacy rules.

[Back to Top]

Civil Partnerships

The dissolution of a civil partnership has the same effect on the partners’ Wills as does divorce for married couples. The formation of a civil partnership revokes the partner’s Will unless made in contemplation of their civil partnership. If you are (or about to be) in a civil partnership, please tell us.

[Back to Top]

If later in life I should become mentally infirm, can I arrange for a relative or friend to look after my affairs?

This is possible by way of a Lasting Power of Attorney which is a separate legal document that should not come into effect until you are incapable of managing your own affairs. You cannot make provision for this in your Will and it is not a service that we can provide.

You should, if you believe it is necessary, contact a local solicitor who will need to see you.

[Back to Top]

Where should I keep my Will?

You can lodge this with your bank or at the Probate Registry.

[Back to Top]

When should I change my Will?

You do not need to make a new Will if anyone named in it changes address – you can simply leave a note of the new details with your Will. We advise that you should review your Will every two to five years, and especially when there is any major change in your life, such as marriage, separation, divorce, remarriage, or a death in the family.

We are always happy to discuss changes in your Will and will re-write your Will, we will advise on charges at the relevant time.

[Back to Top]

The Financial Checklist

To assist us in preparing your will we need a list of all of your assets which should include your home, life policies, your savings, car and other effects and at the same time, a similar list of all your liabilities such as mortgage, overdrafts and other debts so as to work out the approximate value of your estate. We have included the checklist as part of the questionnaire.

[Back to Top]

Inheritance Tax

Inheritance Tax or IHT as it is sometimes referred to is levied on a person's estate when they die.

For more information, visit the GOV.UK website.

[Back to Top]

And Finally, Fees and next steps

Thompsons Solicitors LLP provide this Wills writing service through their wholly owned subsidiary firm BBH Legal Services Limited of Eastham Hall, Eastham Village, Wirral, CH62 0AF.

Fees are £100 plus VAT for a single Will and £140 plus VAT for a joint Will (through your union you may have access to a Will making service, please contact your union for further details).

Please print off and complete the questionnaire giving full forenames and full addresses in block capitals of everyone you wish to mention, e.g. Rebecca Ann Windsor not Becky A. Windsor. Your application will be returned if not properly completed.

Blind or partially sighted visitors to our site can access the Wills questionnaire as a Word document by contacting us on 0800 051 4218 or info@bbhlegal.co.uk. If you are unable to print the questionnaire for any reason, contact us on 08000 051 4218 and we will be happy to send you a copy in the post.

For all other enquires about your Will please call 0800 051 4218.

UNISON members Online Wills Service can be accessed here. FBU members Online Wills Service can be accessed here.

We are an equal opportunities firm and all our services are available equally regardless of sex, race, age, disability, sexual orientation or religious belief. (Our service does not cover Northern Ireland or Scotland).

[Back to Top]

Contact us about your accident or injury
Call us for free on 0800 0 224 224 Call us from your mobile on 0330 123 123 0 (charged at local number and free when covered by inclusive minutes) Request a call back Text CLAIM to 82010 (standard network rates apply)
Client Photo

"Life may not be the same but I´m a positive person and determined to make the best of it and Thompsons have been a real help with that."- Roger