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Making a will

Writing your will is an important part of planning for your family’s future. Our solicitors specialise in wills and probate. We can help you with making a will, a declaration of trust or a deed of variation.

Get in touch or call us on 0800 0131165

We combine legal advice with independent financial advice, so you can plan your Will in connection with your other financial plans.

Our large team of wills and trusts solicitors offer a comprehensive range of wills, trusts, tax, probate services including: 

  • Wills – drafting a new Will, updating your current Will, codicils and general advice, for example leaving money or property to charity. 
  • Trusts – legal arrangements to manage wealth for the long-term, tax planning and financial protection. Examples of what trusts can be used for include: passing wealth to children or grandchildren, paying school fees or care home fees.
  • Tax – our specialist tax accountants plan the most efficient tax solution for you, and those to whom you leave money or property in your Will.
  • Probate – sorting out the estate of the deceased person to obtain the Grant of Probate. Includes managing the paperwork associated with money, property, tax and any legal issues.
  • Declarations of trust - to set out who owns what percentage of a property. 

We work with you at every step. We'll explain your options, and how any decision might effect you and your dependents, in plain English. We make sure you're completely informed at every stage, so you fully understand the implications to you. We also explain the benefits, and any potential risk to you - so we can plan around it together.

For an initial chat, at no obligation, or fill out our enquiry form and a solicitor will get in touch.

Make a will - FAQs

What happens to my money if I die without a will?

If you die without a will, your money will be distributed under the rules of intestacy. Under intestacy rules, your next of kin can inherit your money and assets according to a strict order of priority.

If you have a spouse or civil partner and children, then your spouse/ civil partner would receive the first £250,000 of your estate and personal chattels. Anything above this amount would be split as to half for the surviving spouse/ civil partner and half equally between your children. If any of your children have predeceased you, then their share may pass to any surviving children of theirs. 

If you should pass away without any surviving spouse/civil partner, children or grandchildren then your estate shall pass in accordance with the following order of priority: 

  • Parents
  • Brothers and sisters (or their children)
  • Half-brothers and sisters (or their children)
  • Grandparents
  • Uncles and aunts (or their children)
  • Half-uncles and aunts (or their children)

If you have no surviving relatives as described above, then your estate would pass to the Crown. Having a properly written will in place means your wishes are known and can be carried out after your death.

What are the benefits of having a will?

The benefits of having a properly written will include:

  • You choose who inherits from your estate
  • You can choose someone to trust to administer your estate
  • Your family know what your wishes are
  • Gives the opportunity for estate and inheritance tax planning and management 
  • Makes appropriate provisions for minors or dependents 
  • Assists your estate in the event that the will is contested.

What is the ‘national will register’?

The National Will Register is an official register of wills in the UK. It is approved by the Law Society and used by many solicitor firms. If your will is registered, solicitors can easily find it after your death.

Do I need to register my will?

No – it’s not compulsory to register your will on the National Will Register. However, if you register your will it can make it easier for your family to know what your wishes are after your death.

What are the requirements for a valid will?

In order to be valid, a will should be:

  • Made by a person over the age of 18
  • Made in writing; the will can be handwritten or typed
  • Made by a person with mental capacity, who understands what they are doing
  • Made voluntarily and without pressure
  • Signed by the person making the will, with two witnesses present
  • Signed by two witnesses, in the presence of the person making the will, after they have signed the will themselves.

Can you create a will whilst in self-isolation?

Coronavirus and Wills

During this very curious and rather worrying time, it may be that you have turned your mind to sorting out the ‘to-do’ list.  “Get Will done” is often one of those things that’s been languishing at the bottom of the list for many people.

There are various issues to bear in mind with regards to making your Will in the situation we currently find ourselves in, ranging from how to give your instructions to your solicitor when unable to meet face to face, to having the Will witnessed. How is one supposed to do that while self-isolating or if you are in the category of most vulnerable people who should avoid leaving their house or proximity with others?

Here’s the bit about signing!  

You do have the sign the document yourself – electronic signatures are not accepted on Wills. You also need the signatures of two witnesses. The witnesses should be physically present – except where using the temporary relaxation to the law permitting witnessing by video conference mentioned below.

To obtain the needed signatures, there are various ways this can be done in the current challenging circumstances. For example, it may be that the witnesses could view the signing through a window in view of you and each other. 

The witnessing requirements are being relaxed to allow witnessing by video conference, although this is subject to complex requirements. We can supervise completion of Wills we prepare by video conference where appropriate.

When we send you your draft Will, we’ll include specific information about how to make sure it is completed correctly so that it will be valid.

Rules about witnesses

The rules state that the witnesses must:

  • be present at the time of signing (and they should be physically present except where relying on the temporary rules about witnessing by video conference mentioned above)
  • sign the Will to confirm they saw you (the Testator) sign
  • not be a beneficiary of any assets in the Will otherwise this makes the Will invalid
  • be of sound mind and know what they are witnessing (however they don’t need to see the contents of the Will)
  • be over the age of 18
  • be regarded as independent i.e. they must not be close relatives.

Learn more

We understand your situation and our expert team are here to help

Get in touch to speak with someone who can help you move forward.

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Tees coronavirus update

We’re open and here to help you. We’re running as normal with our employees all working from home.

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You can call us as normal on 0800 013 1165 or email us: hello@teeslaw.com.

You can also find contact details for all our advisers here. 

As a flexible and technologically-adept firm, we already had many home-working systems in place. We have now rolled this technology out to all our employees working for clients, so they can continue to work normally - and from home.

If you are a client, please be assured you can get in touch with Tees and we are still working on your case. To replace face-to-face meetings, we have the facilities to do video-conferencing, conference calls or just speak on the phone, as you need.

Due to the circumstances, please call us if you would have wanted a home visit, and we can organise the best and safest way of being in touch.

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