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What is a Will and what are Solicitor’s Will charges

We brought nothing into the world and can take nothing out of it. This poses the obvious question ‘what happens to our property upon our death?’.

Distributing property upon death is determined depending upon the Testators intentions (the Testator is simply the person who has written and executed a last Will and Testament).

Simply put, if the Testator decides to make a Will and complies with the statutory requirements ensuring that the Will is valid then he or she can leave their property to anyone at their own discretion.

If the Testator dies without making a Will then they are termed an intestate person meaning that their estate and property will pass under the rules of intestacy. The rules of intestacy seek to protect spouses, civil partners or biological children and the Testator`s estate and property is split between these parties although much will depend on the individual circumstances of each case when determining who gets what.

The rules of intestacy do not protect unmarried partners, step-children, friends or pets and therefore the best way to determine how your property is distributed upon your death is simply by making a Will.

Choosing the right person/company to prepare a Will for me.

Will writing is not an area of law which must be carried out by a regulated professional. This means that unqualified and unregulated individuals and organisations prepare Wills for people – in fact they prepare 180,000 Wills each year!

The Legal ombudsman commented on unregulated legal services in 2011, stating:

“One service which crops up a lot is will writing. It’s a service carried out often by will-writing firms who aren’t regulated. Because of this, customers are left with little means of redress when things go wrong”.

All Solicitors firms are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority which means that if you choose a Solicitor to prepare your Will then you can be sure that they know what they are doing! After all what`s the point in having a Will which is invalid and fails for uncertainty? None at all.

The Formalities for preparing a valid Will

There are certain formalities which must be met to ensure that a Will is valid in accordance with the law and a Solicitor will ensure that these statutory requirements are fulfilled. The formalities for creating a valid Will are as follows:

  • The Will must be in writing
  • If the Testator cannot sign the Will then some other person must sign it in his presence and by his direction. It is crucial that the Testator must have intended his signature to give effect to it.
  • The signature to the Will must be made or acknowledged by the testator in the presence of two or more witnesses who are present at the same time.
  • After attesting to and witnessing the signing of the Will , the witnesses must attest the Will by signing their signatures in the presence of the Testator.
  • ¬†Beneficiaries cannot witness a Will. If a Beneficiary does witness a Will then they will not be able to receive a gift under it.

How much does a Will cost?

Drafting a Will is one of least expensive services that Solicitors provide. Here at Laker Legal Solicitors our fees for Will writing start from £50 + VAT for a basic Will and £90 + VAT for a mirror Will (A mirror Will is a Will for you and your partner and they are usually very similar). Most Solicitors charge more for the service, but our business model means that we are usually less expensive than other Solicitors firms.

If the Will is particularly complicated then Solicitors tend to charge a little more, but this can depend on the complexity of the Testators intentions. In truth most Wills are straight forward, depending of course that the person drafting the Will knows what they are doing, and you don`t become a Solicitor by chance!

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