wills and probate solicitors sheffield

Wills FAQ

Below are some of the questions we are asked most frequently about Wills. Please click on a question to see the answer.

Why do I need a Will?

There are many benefits to making a Will. Listed below are some of the most common ones.

  • Peace of mind. Knowing that your estate will go to the people and charities that you choose.
  • To make clear your funeral wishes.
  • To avoid family disputes. Where no Will is left it is not uncommon for families to fall into dispute about how your assets are shared out. By making a Will you can avoid any dispute by making it clear exactly what you want to happen.
  • Ensuring your estate goes to the people you would like. If you haven’t made a Will then you have died intestate, meaning that the law decides who your estate goes to and in some cases it could go to The Crown.free consultation
  • To make donations to charity
  • To protect your partner if you are unmarried. Unmarried partners have very little protection in Law (the idea of a common law husband or wife holds no bearing in English law). Including them in your will is the only way to ensure that they receive the assets you would like, otherwise they may receive nothing and your estate would go to other family members according to the laws of intestacy.
  • Ensure your possessions go to those you choose. Even if you don’t leave any money, you may have meaningful possessions which you would like to go to certain people.
  • Ensure your children are cared for in the manner which you choose. You can nominate guardians for your children; those who you would like to look after them if you died. 

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Who gets my assets if I don’t leave a Will?

The Laws of Intestacy will determine who receives your assets if you don’t make a Will. The laws specify how your estate is distributed to family members in a set order. If you have no family members then your assets will go to the Crown.

The risk of dying Intestate is that you will have no say in who gets what from your estate. You may have family members who you do not get on with, and they may receive your assets when you would prefer they didn’t. Also, if you are living with a partner but are not married, they may receive nothing.

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What if I make a home made Will?

A professionally written Will, based on advice from a Solicitor, can be surprisingly inexpensive and will give you the peace of mind that your wishes will be carried out. However, some people do choose to make a home made will, or use an off the shelf ‘Will kit’.

There are a number of dangers with these methods.

  1. You will not receive any legal advice from a Solicitor. When you pay for a Will with a Solicitor you are paying for the advice that they give you about how your estate should be planned, not just for the actual Will writing itself.
  2. Any mistakes made during the Will writing, due to lack of understanding of the law, could make the Will invalid. This will mean that the Will could be useless when you die, and your estate is then treated as if you had died intestate, with no Will.
  3. Wills have to be drawn up and witnessed in a very particular way. If there are any technical errors in this then the Will may be invalid.

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I have a Will, do I need to update it?

You should update your Will whenever your circumstances change substantially. The following changes would be instances when it is important to update your Will.

  • Marriage
  • Divorce contact us
  • Separation
  • Having children
  • Buying or selling a house, or other large asset

Also, it is recommended that you review your Will periodically to ensure that it still reflects your requirements.

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We are married, do we need Mirror Wills?

Mirror Wills are made when a couple make almost identical Wills. Each person effectively has the same Will but in reverse, for example, they leave everything to each other and possibly thereafter to the children.

The surviving partner is usually the executor (the person who deals with the estate when someone dies), although it is important to add an additional executor in the event that both partners died at the same time.

The cost of making mirror Wills is usually less than the cost of making two Wills independently.

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I have remarried and want to leave my property to my children from an earlier marriage. Can I do this in my Will?

Yes, this can be achieved by making a Life Interest Will. See our page on Life Interest Wills and Trusts for more information.  

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Can I appoint Guardians for my children in a Will?

Yes you can. Please see our page on Guardianship for more information.

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What Is an Executor?

When you make a Will you have to appoint someone to carry out your wishes and deal with your estate when you die. These are called Executors.

Executors can be anyone such as a family member, friend, a firm of solicitors.

Your solicitor will advise you on how many executors you need and who they could be, depending on the complexity of your estate.

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