Making a Will

Making a Will doesn’t have to be a costly or an onerous task; regardless of whether you choose to use one of the many Will kits on offer or prefer to use the support and guidance of a professional.

The most important thing is to ensure all your wishes are included and that it is a legally valid Will. Cheap Wills may seem attractive but if they are not legally valid, they may not be worth the paper they are written on.

For £120 our team of solicitors and qualified specialists will arrange a Will that fully meets your needs plus you get one year’s free Over50choices legal services membership worth £90. 

In addition to your professionally written Will, as a member you will have:

Purple tick Wills  Unlimited access to expert legal advice 24 hours a day

Purple tick Wills  Discounts on a wide range of legal services

Purple tick Wills  Free will updates

Whether it’s a dispute with an employer, family member or neighbour, advice on your rights as a consumer or unmarried partner or assistance with the legalities of moving home, Wills and probate, inheritance tax planning or trusts, we can help.           

To arrange your Will and become an Over50choices Legal Services Member please call 0844 880 2087  to speak to our friendly team of experts. Alternatively for more information go to Over50choices Legal Services.



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What is a Will?

The only way to make sure your money and belongings go to the right people and ensure you don't pay unnecessary taxes to the government is to make a Will.

Do you have property, children, step children, grandchildren? Are you married, remarried, living with a partner, divorced, separated? Yes? Well these are all very good reasons for making a Will.

Currently around two thirds of the UK don’t have a Will in place; worrying statistics when you consider the risks.  

Writing a Will doesn’t have to be expensive, complicated or morbid and it could save your family a lot of heartache. 
For just a bit of effort now, you will have the reassurance and security of knowing that when you die, your wishes will be adhered to and the things you’ve worked hard for all your life will go to the right people.   

In general terms Wills do five things:

1) Name the Executor of a Will 

The Executor of a Will are the people you nominate to carry out your wishes and sort out your finances when you die.  
This includes dealing with paperwork and paying off the mortgage or other debts out of money in the estate, so it makes sense to choose a trusted friend or relative as your Executor of Will.  
You could select a solicitor, accountant or bank but this may be expensive. It is also advisable to appoint more than one Will Executor, just in case something happens to one of them.

2) Distribute your estate

This is where you decide what happens to your belongings including property, money, investments, business, car, life insurance, jewellery and pets.

3) Mitigate inheritance tax

The law stipulates that you pay 40% of any assets worth over £325,000.  Although there may be no way to avoiding inheritance tax, you may be able to reduce the amount paid.

4) Appoint a legal guardian for children under the age of 18

This is particularly important for one parent families or unmarried parents who live together.  If there is no Will in place the Court will decide the future of the children.

5) Protect unmarried partners

Even if a couple have been cohabiting for a number of years, dying without a Will in place will mean the surviving partner does not inherit the deceased’s estate.

Dying without a Will

Dying without a Will in place means you have died intestate and the State will decide who inherits your estate according to the intestacy rules.

This could leave the people you care about in an extremely vulnerable position; for example, without a Will:

-  Unmarried partners can’t inherit from each other

-  Children from former marriages may not be provided for if you have remarried

-  Provision may not be made for children if both parents die

-  Married couples may not inherit the whole estate 

Quite simply the intestacy rules are old, antiquated and certainly don’t take into account the more completed lives we lead today so why leave it to chance, make a Will today.

How to Make a Will

Through a Solicitor

Although this used to be the expensive option, more Solicitors are offering deals for writing a single or joint Will so it’s worth shopping around. There are also a number of companies like Over50choices Legal Services who offer their legal services online.  You complete a Will template which is then checked by a Solicitor.    

Wills online
There are many companies that offer wills online, providing writing services and in some cases online  wills storage facilities allowing you to keep all your legal documentation electronically in a safe place.  As these sites may not be regulated, it is wise to only choose one that belongs to the Institute of Professional Will Writers. 

Charity based Free Wills

Many charities now offer solicitor will writing schemes which are very often free.  Whilst there is no obligation, the charities are hoping that in return for the free will service, you will leave a donation as part of your Will. 

DIY Wills
A cheap way to making a Will is to buy a Will template and do it yourself.  DIY Wills can be a good option if your circumstances are very straightforward but be warned, any mistakes could invalidate the Will and cause problems in the long run.

If you’re thinking of buying a Will, why not let us help you.  Our team of solicitors and qualified specialists are on hand to help you arrange everything and we will give you one year’s free Over50choices Legal Services Membership worth £90, which includes free access to our secure online storage facility.


Types of Wills

Depending on your requirements, there are a number of different types of Will for you to choose from:

Single Will
A simple Will suitable for an individual.  It includes the appointment of the executors, noting of any gifts and details the beneficiary who will receive the remainder of the estate once all other beneficiaries have received their inheritance and debts have been paid.

Mirror Wills
Similar to the Single Will but Intended for couples.  Mirror Wills are two Wills which are almost identical but for the name of the partner. 

Trust Wills
This is where one or more individuals are made legally responsible for holding assets such as land, money, buildings or shares on behalf of the beneficiaries.

Discretionary Trust Wills
Similar to Trust Wills but rather than you deciding how your Estate should be split, it is left to the Trustees to decide based on the circumstances at the time.   

Property Wills
Your share of the property is placed into trust protecting its value and preventing it from having to be sold for your husband or wife’s care home fees once you’ve gone.

Flexible Trust Wills
A way of protecting the value of assets for future generations.  Your assets are held in a trust which pays income generated to your surviving partner for their lifetime.  When your partner has died, the assets are distributed to the beneficiaries.  

Living Will
A living Will or Advanced Decision gives you the opportunity to dictate the type of treatment you wish to receive in the event that you are physically unable to communicate your wishes.  


Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a Will cost?

The cost of a Will depends on whether you use a DIY Wills template, use a wills online service or go to a solicitor. It will also depend on the complexity of the Will; simple Wills start from around £80 whereas more complex Wills written by a specialist who deals with trusts could cost in the region of £500 to £600. 

What should I include in my Will?

You should set out:

• Your executor(s)
• Who you want to benefit from your Will (the beneficiaries)
• What happens if the beneficiaries have died 
• Who should look after any children under 18

How can I be sure my Will is secure?

Once you have your Will in place, make sure you tell the Will executor, a close friend or a relative where it is.  To keep it safe, you could choose to store your Will:

• with other important documents (like your birth certificate) at home
• with your solicitor
• with your bank
• with a company that offers Wills storage facilities, like the Over50choices safe and secure vault 

Do I need a Solicitor to make a Will?

You don’t need a Solicitor to make a Will but it may be worth getting either a Solicitor or someone who is suitably qualified in estate planning like the team at Over50choices Legal Services to check the document once you’ve completed it, just to make sure it is legally valid. Mistakes are easily made so you don’t want any errors causing financial or emotional problems when the time comes.

Also it may be worth getting advice from a solicitor or suitably qualified person if your Will isn’t straightforward.  For example:

• You share a property with someone who isn’t your husband, wife or civil partner
• You want to leave money or property to a dependant who can’t care for themselves
• You have several family members who may make a claim on your Will, e.g. a 2nd spouse or children from another marriage
• Your permanent home isn’t in the UK or you are a resident in the UK but have property abroad
• You have a business

How can I be sure my Will is legally valid?

A legally valid Will must be:

• Made by a person who is 18 or over
• Made voluntarily
• Made by a person of sound mind
• In writing
• Signed by the person making the Will in the presence of 2 witnesses
• Signed by the 2 witnesses, in the presence of the person making the Will

The witnesses cannot be beneficiaries of the Will and must be over 18.

What are the common mistakes for DIY Wills?

Here are some things to look out for if you do decide on making your own Will:

• Make sure it’s a legally valid Will by conforming with the formal requirements
• Take into account all the money and property
• Include what should happen if a beneficiary dies
• Ensure any changes to the Will are valid and witnessed by two people
• Be aware of the impact that marriage or divorce can have on a Will

How often should I update my Will?

Life is constantly changing so it makes sense to check and where necessary update your Will every few years.  You should definitely revisit your Will if you are:

• Getting married, remarried or registering a civil partnership
• Getting divorced, separating or dissolving a civil partnership
• Having children or grandchildren
• Buying or selling property

Or you may have just had a change of heart.  What seemed important to you 4 years ago has changed and so you want to reflect this in your Will. 

Keep in mind that any changes made to the Will need to be legally valid so it may be worth getting them checked by a solicitor.  Alternatively why not speak to one of the team at Over50choices Legal Services on 0844 8802087.

How can I buy a Will?

Making sure you have a legal Will that covers all of your possessions and wishes is vitally important so it’s helps to have support from the experts.

We know that most people don't know where to start when making a Will, so when you buy a Will with Over50choices legal services you get free legal advice every step of the way!  

For £120 our team of solicitors and qualified specialists will arrange a Will that fully meets your needs and in addition you get one year’s free Over50choices legal services membership worth £90. 

As a member, you will have unlimited access to expert legal advice 24 hours a day and benefit from discounts on a wide range of legal services, including free Will updates. Whether it’s a dispute with an employer, family member or neighbour; advice on your rights as a consumer or unmarried partner or assistance with the legalities of moving home, Wills and probate, inheritance tax planning or trusts, we can help.

To arrange your Will and become an Over50choices Legal Services Member please call 0844 8802087 to speak to our friendly team of experts. Alternatively for more information go to Over50choices Legal Services.

How do I get a Free Will with Over50choices?

We are currently offering a Free Will worth £120 and 3 months legal services membership to all customers buying a Funeral Plan through Over50choices.

For more information, go to Free Will Offer.

What are the Intestacy Rules?

When someone dies without leaving a valid Will, they are said to have died ‘intestate’.  In this situation, the estate must be distributed according to the ‘intestacy rules’, a statutory set of rules that decide who will inherit and in what priority. 

You shouldn’t assume that your husband or wife will inherit the whole estate as you may find according to the ‘rules of intestacy’ that although they have priority over other beneficiaries, they may have to share the inheritance with other family members.

Unmarried couples should also seriously consider making a Will because according to the rules of intestacy, they have no inheritance rights and will not even be allowed to administer their partner’s estate.

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Over50choices Ltd (Reg No. 8411985) Coldharbour Barn Modbury Devon PL21 0SD. Authorised & regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA 594280).

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