Wills

Advice regarding your will

If you have a question about wills, trusts, taxes or estates during this time of uncertainty - our leading wills and probate solicitors are here to assist you

If you have a question about wills, trusts, taxes or probate during this time of uncertainty - our leading solicitors are here to advise and assist you.

Can I make a will urgently?

Yes, wills can be prepared for you at short notice. Your instructions and wishes will be discussed and a draft would be prepared by your solicitor. Once reviewed and approved by you a final version would be sent out to you to sign at home.

Do I need a face to face meeting with a lawyer to make a will?

A face to face meeting is not necessary. Lawyers routinely work with clients over the phone and/or by email. Your instructions will be taken and your questions answered. Once you are happy with the draft prepared, the final version will be sent to you with guidance on signing it at home.

Slater and Gordon also offer an Essentials service where you can make a will online immediately.

During isolation and social distancing – how can I get my will witnessed?

The law states that documents must be signed by two people who are neither relatives or beneficiaries of the will and that this must be done in person. There is no virtual solution – a will cannot be witnessed and signed via email or video communications such as Skype. Our advice is that signatures will still be valid as long as each party can see the other sign – either, for example, by watching through a doorway or window or outside from a safe distance.

Can I make a home-made will?

Yes you can – but unfortunately you run the risk of it being wrongly drafted, signed or including invalid provisions. It is always recommended to use legal professionals to prepare your will.

You can contact Slater and Gordon lawyers today to receive help and guidance in making your will. Alternatively, our online Essentials service takes you through a simple workflow to produce a will you can print and sign at home.

What happens if I don’t make a will?

If you should die without a will in place, your estate will pass under the legal rules of intestacy. This may mean your estate passes to people you do not wish to benefit (for example, distant family or even the Crown), rather than to your loved ones.

Making a will is particularly important if you are cohabiting with a partner, but not married or in a civil partnership, they will not automatically benefit from your estate if you have no will.   If you have children, you may also wish to use your will to name guardians or trustees for them. 

I’m the executor or administrator of someone who’s passed away. What should I do at this time of uncertainty due to Coronavirus?

Despite the current pressure on public services, the usual requirements still apply when dealing with a bereavement:

  • A death should be registered within five days, but registration can be delayed for another nine days if the registrar is told that a medical certificate has been issued. If the death has been reported to the Coroner you cannot register it until the Coroner's investigations are finished
  • You will need to make arrangements regarding the funeral
  • You will need to deal with the deceased person’s property, assets and liabilities: notifying banks, pension companies, insurers etc, identifying, declaring and collecting in assets, paying liabilities, and distributing to beneficiaries (‘administering the estate’)

Slater and Gordon can help with the full estate administration, should you wish.

You may need to apply for a Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration to deal with some elements of the estate.

Slater and Gordon’s fixed fee for preparing and submitting Grant applications (including HMRC paperwork) starts at £1,000 plus VAT for a straightforward application and the process can be made easy for you.

For further information read our guide on contesting a will.

To speak to a member of our team, please contact us online here and we will call you back.

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