Will Writing

Why making a will is important

Why make a will?

Having a Will in place is one of the most important things that you can do and is a quick and easy way to safeguard your loved one’s future and to protect your legacy.

Making a Will Can:
  • Ensure that those you wish to inherit your assets on your death actually get them
  • Enable you to appoint your own Executors and Trustees
  • Allow you to appoint Guardians for your children
  • Ensure that 'first' and 'second' families are treated fairly
  • Protect your assets (as far as possible) from the impact of care home fees
  • Help to minimise inheritance tax liabilities
  • Protect and provide for disabled or vulnerable beneficiaries
  • Be used to ensure the continuation of a family business
  • Give you peace of mind and avoid intestacy
“Making a Will is extremely important and my priority is listening to what you want to achieve and working with you to get the right Will in place for your needs.”
Gail Hawker
Founder of Athena Wills Ltd

What is a Will?

A Will is a legal declaration of your intentions as to how you wish to dispose of your property and belongings after you have died. It only comes into effect when you die and enables you to make important decisions now that will affect your family after your death. ​

What happens if you don't have a Will?​

If you do not make a Will when you die your Estate (everything that you own such as money, property and other belongings) will pass under the Intestacy Laws. These laws dictate who should inherit your belongings and in what quantities. The Intestacy Laws are applied in accordance with a pecking order of relatives. Click below to find out who might inherit from you under the Intestacy laws, you might be surprised by the results.
Who inherits from you?
What can be included in your Will as part of our:

Standard Will Writing Service

A Will is a legal document that allows you to pass on your possessions to benefit others, giving you control over what happens to your money, possessions and property after you die. You can also name important people to help take care of your estate on your behalf and appoint guardians to take care of your children. Below is what is considered as ‘standard’ inclusions in a Will.  If you require a Will that offers more beneficiary or asset protection, then we can talk about your options and you may decide to include a Will Trust in your Will as well as the standard provisions listed below.

Executors are responsible for safeguarding your possessions, dealing with the paperwork relating to your assets, paying debts and ensuring the instructions in the Will are carried out.

Trustees are responsible for managing any trust that might arise in your Will and for holding funds for children until the date specified in the Will or until a child’s 18th birthday. 

Executors and Trustees are often the same people, but you can appoint different people for each role. 

A Will can ensure your children are cared for in accordance with your wishes and you can safeguard your children’s interests by appointing legal Guardians to care for them if both parents die.

Guardians will care for children until they are 18. Due to the responsibility of the role, which may be a lifelong commitment, it is important to consult your proposed Guardians.

You can appoint a single person or a couple. Consider appointing substitute Guardians should your first choice be unable to act.

You can include specific gifts such as money, or make specific gifts such as your favourite painting, item of jewellery etc. in your Will.

Remember that if you leave something to your surviving spouse, partner or a friend in the belief that they will honour your wishes in respect of it, they are not obliged to do so.

If you are unsure of the legacies that you wish to leave in your Will at this time, you may wish to deal with your possessions by way of a non-binding ‘Letter of Wishes’ which would accompany your Will.

You may wish to leave a family pet to someone after you die. Some people leave a cash gift or donation to a charity towards their upkeep and maintenance.

You may choose to name your pet or pets in your Will. I’m happy to do this by the way, although it does mean that if your beloved pet crosses over the rainbow bridge before you, the Will would need updating if a new pet is then later adopted.

A solution to this is to state ‘dog or dogs’ (cat or cats) etc as this helps to keep it generic as such. Often people will continue to own dogs, cats or ferrets etc throughout their own lifetime.

You can provide for specific funeral arrangements in your Will.

Any details about your funeral in a Will are ‘wishes’ only and are not legally binding. It is always wise to talk to your loved ones about your funeral preferences.

You can specify whether you want your body to be buried or cremated.

You can also state whether you are willing for your body to be used for medical research. Donation must be pre-organised and it is not dependent on what the wills says. However it is referred to in the Will because it helps to indicate your wishes.

After your Executors pay any debts, taxes and other liabilities and any gifts have been gifted, the remaining assets in your estate is known as your “Residuary estate” or “Residue”.

You will need to specify who is to inherit the residue.

You can divide your residuary estate as you choose to include any person or cause that is special to you, such as your spouse, partner, civil partner, children, relatives, friends and charities.

You can gift your residuary estate outright or place all or part of your Residue in to a Trust fund which would be created upon your death.

Can I exclude people from my Will?

Yes, your Will should reflect your wishes and benefit those you wish to benefit. However, it is possible for certain persons to make a claim on your estate it can be show that at the time of your death your Will does not make reasonable provision for them. Any claim allowed, would be assessed by the Court. If it was anticipated that such a claim could arise it might be advisable to leave a letter to your Executor(s) setting out any special circumstances relevant to any possible claim.

How does marriage or divorce affect my Will?

If you have made a Will and then marry or re-marry your Will is automatically revoked and the rules of intestacy will apply. However, a Will can be made in contemplation of marriage.The effect of divorce is that your former spouse is presumed to have predeceased you and they cannot act as your Executor and any gift to them will fail. However, the rest of your Will remains valid.
If you already have a Will...

Is it up to date?

Even after you have made a Will, there may have been changes to your life which could immediately impact on the validity of your Will. You should review your Will regularly to make sure it still reflects your wishes, such as adding or removing beneficiaries if you change your mind regarding who you wish to inherit your estate. Your children may now be grown up and have children of their own who you’d like to include. Check your current Will and ask yourself:

  • Is it up-to-date and still relevant?
  • Does it still say what you want it to say?
  • Does it protect your home from care costs?
  • Does it minimise your liability to inheritance tax?
  • Does it protect your children if your partner remarries?

30 Minute FREE Consultation

The will writing service I can offer you:
  • I offer an online will writing service with the personal touch. One size does not fit all, so I offer a holistic approach to Will writing and the work I complete is bespoke to you individual needs. ​
  • Using modern video methods, I can talk to you face to face and enables me to offer friendly guidance and support when making your Will.​
  • Convenient and flexible meeting times, which are great for fitting in around work and family life. ​
  • I try my best to ensure the process is streamlined, informative and affordable.​
  • I am legally trained, fully insured and a member of the Institute of Professional Willwriters (IPW) and the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), so you can rest assure you are in safe hands. ​
Peace of mind for you and your loved ones

Who benefits?

Making a Will is a quick and easy way of giving security to your loved ones and peace of mind to you. 

The reality is that a person making a Will doesn’t benefit from it unless you count peace of mind as a benefit. Your loved ones, on the other hand, might find that dealing with your affairs will be a lot easier, quicker and probably cheaper when a Will has been written. 

Save your loved ones from added stress at an already anxious time and make a Will. It is never too early, but often it can be too late…