Wills

More than 70% of people in the UK do not have a Will. Our highly qualified Will Solicitors can advise when writing your Will to protect your assets for future generations, to release capital to beneficiaries at a specific age, or to provide long-term care for a vulnerable person.

Why do you need to make a Will?

  • To ensure your money, your property and your possessions end up with the people you choose after your death.
  • To make sure your children are cared for in the event of your death before they reach 18 by appointing guardians.
  • To make sure your estate does not pay any more Inheritance Tax than necessary.
  • To appoint the executors you trust – your executors must follow the instructions in your Will after your death and will oversee the distribution of your assets to your beneficiaries.

If you die without making a Will (called dying “intestate”) or your Will fails because it has not been prepared correctly, then the law sets out who will inherit your assets according to a strictly ranked list of relatives. This may result in your family paying more Inheritance Tax at the time of your death and a distribution of your assets which does not reflect your wishes. If you don’t have any family then ultimately the Crown would receive your assets.

Our Will Solicitors are experts in writing Wills for individuals, couples, couples in second marriages, and people with children from previous relationships and business owners. We recommend that alongside your Will you put in place Lasting Powers of Attorney which are a crucial part of your lifetime planning; appointing the people you trust (your Attorneys) to manage your financial affairs and your health & welfare if you become unable to through incapacity.

FAQs

What does an executor have to do?

In short, an Executor is the deceased’s legal representative after their death. They are responsible for carrying out the deceased’s instructions as per their Will. The Executors make arrangements for the funeral, determine whether Inheritance Tax is due and may have to apply for a Grant of Probate They should sell the deceased’s assets and pay off the liabilities. Then they pay the inheritance to the Beneficiaries named in the Will. This process is called “administering the Estate”. The Executors should prepare a set of “Estate Accounts” which is a document that provides a financial overview of the administration of the Estate.

How do I become executor of an estate without a Will?

Where there is no Will, it will be necessary to appoint an Administrator. An Administrator has the same role of an Executor in circumstances where there is no Will or the Executor appointed in a Will cannot act. A person is eligible to appointed as an Administrator of the estate if they have an entitlement under the rules of intestacy. There is a list of people who will be entitled under intestacy which depends on which family members are surviving. For example, if a spouse is surviving they have first refusal to act as the Administrator; if a person has no spouse/civil partner, the deceased’s children will have first refusal to act as Administrator.

Can an executor of a Will change a Will?

No, an Executor must comply with the terms of the Will and distribute the estate to the beneficiaries in accordance with the Will.

Our Experts

Carla Brown

Partner, Solicitor and Head of Wills, Trusts & Probate

View All Experts
Andy Kirby

Private Client Consultant

View All Experts
Rebecca Suthers

Senior Associate & Chartered Legal Executive

View All Experts
Nicola Hall

Associate Solicitor

View All Experts
Marie Pethen

Associate & Private Client Executive

View All Experts
Katy Sewell

Associate Solicitor

View All Experts
Rebecca Chadwick

Solicitor

View All Experts
Cariad Medway-Smith

Private Client Executive

View All Experts
Theresa Mills

Solicitor

View All Experts
Paul Naser

Consultant Solicitor

View All Experts
Rose-Marie Stone

Paralegal

View All Experts
Florence Shoemaker

Trainee Solicitor

View All Experts
Louise Sutton

Chartered Legal Executive

View All Experts
Jo Tout

Probate Executive

View All Experts
Diane Vincent

Chartered Legal Executive

View All Experts
Samantha Barratt-Habgood

Secretary

View All Experts
Corinne Bowerman-Watson

Wills, Trusts & Probate Assistant

View All Experts
Jennifer Dinsdale

Paralegal

View All Experts
Emma Fidler

Secretary

View All Experts
Kim Houston

Secretary

View All Experts
Samantha Laird

Personal Assistant

View All Experts
Sally Shefford

Secretary

View All Experts
Amanda Vanson

Secretary

View All Experts
Julie White

Paralegal

View All Experts

Here to help

Our specialist teams can provide full service legal advice and assistance, providing practical and cost-effective solutions.

Our offices

Bournemouth
302 Charminster Road Bournemouth Dorset BH8 9RU
01202 525333 Contact
London
Office 309 107 – 111 Fleet Street London EC4A 2AB
02039 784720 Contact
Poole
14a Haven RoadCanford Cliffs, Poole Dorset BH13 7LP
01202 709898 Contact
Ringwood
Monmouth Court Southampton Road, Ringwood Hampshire BH24 1HE
01425 484848 Contact
Swanage
55 High Street Swanage Dorset BH19 2LT
01929 422233 Contact
Wimborne
39a East Street Wimborne Dorset BH21 1DX
01202 057676 Contact