Skip to content
Call us on: 01604 60 95 60

Get in touch

In need of legal advice? Leave us a message, we’d love to hear from you!

    X Close
    making a will with a solicitor

    Making a Will – Your Questions Answered

    PLEASE NOTE: Information in this article is correct at the time of publication, please contact DFA Law for current advice on older articles.

    A will is an important document that will ensure that your assets are looked after according to your wishes in the event of your death. The process of making a will can help give your friends and family, as well as yourself, peace of mind, ensuring that assets will be distributed in a preordained way, rather than resulting in any disputes.

    Here’s everything you need to know about making a will in England and Wales.

    Do you need a will?

    While there are existing rules which determine where your money or assets are allocated after death, a will can outline how you would like them to be allocated in a more specific way. Furthermore, these rules are predicated on things like marriage and civil partnership, so unmarried/unregistered partners may not be able to inherit the assets of a deceased without a will.

    When should you write a will?

    Ideally, you would write a will at the earliest possible opportunity. However, it is common for people to write their first wills when they come into ownership of a large asset, such as their first home. The document may need updating whenever new assets are gained or when certain other life events occur.

    What information do you need to make a will?

    If you do not already have one, a list of all your assets would be a useful document to create. This will likely include:

    • All bank and building society accounts, including current and savings accounts, and the value of each;
    • Any pension accounts, as well as how much money is in each;
    • Any stocks or other speculative assets;
    • Any properties owned;

    What do you include in a will?

    • Who should be the beneficiaries of the will, and how the assets will be divided between them;
    • Who should care for any children under 18;
    • Who will be the executor(s), the person(s) who will carry out your wishes and ensure the assets are divided as set out and pay any tax and administration costs.

    Do you need a solicitor to make a will?

    While there is no requirement to make use of a solicitor, it can be hugely beneficial to use a suitably qualified lawyer when making a will, particularly if the will is in any way complicated or involve different parties. For example, if you share a property with someone who you are not married or in a civil partnership with, you have children from multiple marriages, or if you have power of attorney for any dependents.

    Using a qualified lawyer will help ensure that the will is clear and effectively legally binding.

    Even if you make a will yourself, having a solicitor to check it is advisable.

    Do you need a will if you are married?

    While intestacy rules generally ensure that assets from a deceased person will move to their spouse, spouses can make use of some inheritance tax charges. A will can help ensure that spouses can take advantage of certain inheritance tax breaks and can make the inheritance process clearer if there are other claimants on your estate.

    DFA Law have a vastly experienced team of experts that can help with writing a will and ensuring that your assets are looked after according to your wishes. Find out more here.

    Back To Top