Do I need a solicitor to sign or witness my Will?

No. In fact a solicitor doesn’t need to have any involvement at all in your Will to make it legally valid. Your witnesses You can choose your own witnesses (you’ll need two of them) and they can be pretty much anyone as long as they understand what they are doing and are able to see your signature. In practice it a good idea to choose someone who is an adult and somebody whom you expect can be traced after you die, in case they have to give evidence about the signing of the Will. You should also be aware that if a beneficiary of the Will (or their spouse or civil partner) witnesses the Will then the gift to that beneficiary will fail. So its vital to have your Will witnessed by someone who is not a beneficiary. To read more about getting your Will witnessed and who to choose read the articles linked below. Getting your Will witnessed sounds like it should be a tricky task, but it’s not at all. We’ll remind you just how easy it is when you’ve finished putting together your will. It’s the very last step in the whole process, so once it’s done you’ll have a fully legal Will in place. Related Articles: Who can witness my Will? Do I need a solicitor to make my Will? How do I make sure that my Will is legal? Back to the Knowledge...

Who do I need to provide for in my will?

It is essentially up to you who you decide to leave an inheritance to in your will – there are no rules about who you must include. But before you decide to leave someone out you might want to consider the impact this will have after you’ve gone. If someone is excluded If you choose to exclude (or neglect to include) someone who is dependant on you financially they may be able to challenge your will in court. Find out more in our ‘When can your will be challenged in court’ article. A challenge to your will can be expensive and time consuming. It can also cause problems in relationships between your close friends and family, costs to your estate and no end of stress for your executors. It is always worthwhile thinking hard before cutting someone out who may have thought they had a reasonable expectation of inheriting something, just to save the heartache that will undoubtedly be caused after you’ve gone. When you write your will with us we’ll help you identify who the key people and those who are dependent on you are, so you won’t inadvertently cut someone out, but it is completely up to you who you include. Back to the knowledge...

When can your Will be challenged in court?

Just because you have a will it doesn’t mean everyone’s going to be happy with its contents when you die. Whilst everything might be very amicable now, start talking inheritance and those you care about might not completely agree with what your final wishes are, either through resentment or simply through not understanding your Will’s contents. A person can’t contest a will just because they’re unhappy with what it says. Sometimes wills are challenged in court on the basis that they are not legally valid, for example the person who made the will did not have the mental capacity to do so, or were coerced by someone else or the will was not drafted or witnessed properly. Additionally, certain people are entitled to make a claim against an estate if the will does not make reasonable financial provision for them. Who can make a claim? Spouses or civil partners. Former spouses or civil partners who have not remarried or entered into a new civil partnership. Children of the deceased. People who were treated as children of the deceased. Anyone who was wholly or partly looked after (maintained) by the deceased. Anyone who was living as husband, wife or civil partner of the deceased for more than two years before their death. This shows how important it is to make sure your will is correctly and clearly written and legally valid. We’ll guide you through all of the important steps involved in putting your will together and getting it correctly witnessed. To find out more read our ‘What needs to happen for a will to be valid?’ and ‘Who do...

How much does it cost to write a Will?

Writing a Will with Affio can cost nothing. With other providers the costs involved, much like anything, depends on a number of factors – how you have your will written, who does it and how complex your circumstances are. Typically having your will written by a solicitor starts at about £150 but people often use an unregulated will-writer and this is cheaper.  A recent survey found that most people pay between £50 and £150: Amount paid for a will Percentage of survey £0-£50 14% £51-£150 47% £151-£300 29% £301-£500 7% £501-£1,000 3% £1,000+ 1% Source: Legal Services Board/YouGov The Affio will was written by a specialist barrister, so you get the same legal language as a solicitor but if you don’t make any specific gifts it will be free. Which is nice, especially as you get to write it from the comfort of your own sofa. Back to the Knowledge...

Can the executor of my will also be a beneficiary?

Yes they can. In fact many people choose close friends or relatives to be their executors, so it is only natural that they will also be beneficiaries too. Your executors can receive any amount in your will, just like any other person. So, that could be a specific gift, property, a substantial share or even the whole lot – there are no restrictions on what you can leave them. Important The only rule you need to concern yourself with is that a beneficiary can’t be one of your witnesses. To read more about getting your will witnessed and who you can choose read our ‘Who can witness your will’ article. When you come to write your Affio will we’ll give you as much help as you need, when you need it, so you’ll be able to make informed choices and the right decisions for you and your circumstances. Back to the knowledge...