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...

Reasons why you might want to consider using a solicitor

There is no legal requirement to use a solicitor to make your Will. Most people’s affairs are relatively simple and straightforward and in most cases you can make a Will without the help of a solicitor. If your affairs are more complex Of course, if things are more complicated then using a solicitor might be something you should consider. Complicated arrangements could include: Being responsible for a person who will need ongoing care and financial support after your death, for example a child with special needs. Owning overseas assets. If you don’t have any complex arrangements to consider, then using Affio to make your Will should suit you perfectly. We’ll take you through the process step by step, asking questions as we go to determine what you’re looking to achieve and any arrangements you want to include to ensure you get a properly drafted legal will, tailored to you and your circumstances. 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...

Can making a will save on inheritance tax?

Making a will is always a good way of making the best available use of your inheritance tax (IHT) allowance and minimising the amount of IHT payable when you die. Planning What a will can’t do though is reduce the value of your estate available for taxation, this will instead need some forward planning and this is something a financial advisor may be able to help you with. There are a number of options available to you, which may include disposing of some of your wealth while you’re still alive in the form of gifts (known as potentially exempt transfers). This should be done carefully though as there are rules associated with making gifts in that you have to survive for at least seven years after the gift is made, for it not to have any liability for IHT. There are however, certain allowable gifts and amounts which can be made completely free of IHT liability, no matter how long you survive afterwards. Find out more about IHT thresholds and the amounts payable please see the links at the end of this article. Charities and political parties One way of using your will to reduce your liability for IHT and the rate of tax you’ll be charged is to consider a gift in your will to a charity or a political party. Such gifts do not count towards your IHT allowance, are IHT exempt and reduce the overall value of your estate when any IHT liability is calculated. Plus if you choose to leave at least 10% of your estate to charity, rather than being charged 40% inheritance tax...

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...

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...

How do I appoint trustees in a Will?

If your will includes a trust, you must appoint trustees. To keep things simple, with an Affio will your trustees and executors will be the same people, so the same qualities of a good executor will also apply to your trustees. Ideally trustees should be someone: You trust to follow the instructions you make in your will and for any trusts needed. Who is organised and good at paperwork. Willing to take on the role. Who will have the best interests of the beneficiaries at heart. Who is likely to be around after your death, so probably younger than you are. Whatever arrangements you choose to include in your will, we’ll keep it simple, explaining everything you need to know and giving you all the information you need to make the right decisions for you. Related Articles: What is a trustee? Back to the Knowledge...