Do you need guidance or can you write your Will by yourself?

You can write your own Will, without any help or legal guidance and as long as it is properly signed and witnessed it should still be legally valid in the UK. It’s just not recommended for a number of reasons: The problems with going it alone A Will is a legal document where errors can cause it to be invalid or ambiguity means costly mistakes are made after your death. The main problems are: You may not know or include all of important clauses which need to be used. By not using wording which has been tested in court you might be leaving yourself open to your Will being challenged in court after you die. By not having clear wording, your requests may not be carried out as you wanted them or lead to confusion or arguments for your loved ones. At Affio we help you to develop your Will step by step to make sure you’ve covered everything that’s important to you and your family. We’ll ensure all of the key wording and legal clauses are used, all of which have been written by a specialist barrister, so you can be sure that your Will is perfectly written and completely legal. Related Articles: Do I need a solicitor to make my Will? How do I make sure that my Will is legal? Do I need a solicitor to sign or witness my Will? Back to the Knowledge...

When does a Will become legally binding?

A will does not become binding until the person who makes it dies. Until that point the person making the will is not bound at all and can change their mind as often as they like by making a new will. For guidance on what makes a valid will, see How do I make sure my Will is legal? As always, we’ll be on hand to give you guidance and checklists every step of the way, so if you have any questions, you only have to ask. Back to the knowledge...

How does owning my house as a tenant in common affect my will?

You can co-own property with other people in one of two ways: As joint tenants; or As tenants in common Where co-owners of property are tenants in common, each of the co-owners has a separate share of the property. The shares can be in any proportion, so they can be equal or unequal. Unlike in a joint tenancy, when one tenant in common dies their share in property can be passed on under their will, just like other assets. Back to the knowledge...

How does owning my house as a joint tenant affect my Will?

Property can be co-owned in two ways: As joint tenants; or As tenants in common Where property is co-owned by joint tenants each of them owns the whole property and (while they remain joint tenants) the property cannot be shared between them. Property which is owned by joint tenants is not inherited under a will. When one joint tenant dies their share of the property goes to the surviving joint tenant(s) and the survivors then own the whole property – even if the deceased’s will says something different. If you want your share of jointly owned property to be inherited by someone who is not the other joint tenant, you will need to “sever” the joint tenancy. You can find information from the Government on doing so here: Change from Joint Tenants to Tenants in Common, Back to the knowledge...

What happens to my house if I die without a will?

There are a number of rules which apply to how your home will be dealt with if you die without a will. What happens will depend on how you own the property: As sole owner: If you are the sole owner of the property, without a will your property would form part of your estate and be distributed according to the rules of intestacy. As a tenant in common: If your home is owned on a tenants in common basis with someone else your share of the property will form part of your estate. Again, without a will, that share will be distributed according to the rules of intestacy. As a joint tenant: If you own the property as a joint tenant with someone else, your share of the property will automatically transfer to the other surviving owner. They will then have full ownership and responsibility for the property. This is the case whether or not you have a will. Intestacy rules If you die without leaving a will, then the state decides how your estate (money, property, personal processions etc.) is distributed, using their intestacy rules. These rules are thought by many to be old fashioned and more often than not will not reflect what you would have wanted to happen and can mean that key people such as your partner could be excluded. The rules used can be complicated, but here are some of the highlights: Currently if you are married or in a civil partnership, your partner will get the first £250,000 of your estate and all your possessions, no matter what their value is. The...