During the current pandemic, sadly we have received a lot of calls from people whose minds have been focused on getting their affairs in order and enquiring about making a will. This is not a bad thing and a lot of clients have taken the opportunity to leave a gift in their will to charities who are sadly struggling with reduced funding at this difficult time.
As we move towards thinking of giving gifts at Christmas again a lot of our clients are making a will and leaving a legacy to a local or national charity as a way of giving in the future when they themselves may be finding times hard. If you are wondering about what is involved, here are some frequently asked questions that may help.
1. Why should I make a will?
If you do not make a will, then the law decides who inherits your assets on your death rather than you deciding. This could mean cohabitees, friends and charities all lose out in favour of a distant relative with whom you have no close relationship. It is also an opportunity to consider how assets can be protected from possible care home fees.
2. How much does a will cost?
A basic will for a single person costs £150 plus VAT. Mirror Wills for a couple cost £200 plus VAT. If your circumstances require a more complicated will, you will be given an individual quote at our initial free first appointment. There are also some charitable schemes we use where the charity will cover the cost of your will.
3. What do I need to bring to my first appointment to make a will?
Two forms of ID plus an idea as to what you would like to happen to your assets when you pass away. Also, the names and addresses of people you would like to mention in your will. At the moment we are also offering remote appointments without the need to come to the office.
4. How long does it take to make a will?
After the initial appointment we will send you a draft to approve then meet again to sign your original will. This typically takes a couple of weeks, but if necessary, we can usually turnaround your will within one week. Again, at the moment we are also enabling remote signing without the need to attend the office.
5. Can a beneficiary also be an executor?
Yes, but a beneficiary cannot witness your will. If we prepare your will, and you are attending at the office to sign your will, we will provide the witnesses and ensure your will is executed correctly.
6.Why do I need a grant of probate if I have a will?
Probate is the process of confirming a will is a valid will, it is the final will of the deceased person and the people wanting to use the will are in actual fact the executors named in the will. Probate will be necessary where there are bank accounts with significant sums in and always when someone owned a property when they died.
Although our Saddleworth clinic remains closed for the time being, our Oldham office is open for client’s by appointment. We are still offering our free, confidential, initial clinic advice over the telephone on divorce, children matters, domestic violence, accident claims, disputes, property, wills, probate, powers of attorney company and employment issues.
Please telephone 0161 624 6811 for a confidential telephone appointment with one of our specialists.