Will Writing Services
Seeking out expert will writing services could be hugely important to your future. By choosing to write a will, you will be able to ensure your assets and the needs of your family are protected after you die, while avoiding the stressful legal disputes and uncertainty that come when someone dies without a will.
Percy Hughes & Roberts’ wills writing solicitors are experts in helping clients make a robust and comprehensive will, providing tailored and easy-to-understand advice on what can be a complex process. With our will writing services, you will be able to create a will that takes all of your individual needs and circumstances into account, giving you peace of mind that your estate will be distributed according to your wishes.
Whether you are looking to write a will from scratch or are looking for a legal professional to review and ratify an existing document, the will making solicitors at Percy Hughes & Roberts can help you. Based in Birkenhead, we have been delivering the highest quality will writing services for clients across the Wirral, Merseyside and the North West for more than 100 years.
If you are seeking legal advice in order to write a will, give us a call today on 0151 666 9090, or send us an email query by filling in our online contact form.
How can our specialist will writing solicitors help you?
At Percy Hughes & Roberts, we provide comprehensive will writing services for clients from all backgrounds. Our team of lawyers are experts in this area of the law and will guide you through every step of the process. This includes:
- Explaining all of your options to help you decide how your will should be structured
- Deciding who will benefit from your will
- Identifying an executor for your will
- Arranging how your assets will be divided among your beneficiaries after you die
- Writing and checking over your will, according to your instructions to ensure it is legally compliant and covers all of your needs
It is crucial to seek legal advice when preparing a will, as this can ensure that your will is legally binding and prevent a complex family situation or other conflict from arising among your beneficiaries.
Why choose Percy Hughes & Roberts Solicitors?
Our specialist will-making solicitors have considerable expertise in all aspects of will writing, and can help you ensure your will is executed properly and legally. We are happy to answer any queries you may have and always provide clear and comprehensive advice.
We have a strong commitment to maintaining the highest possible standards of service. This is reflected by the accreditations our team has received from high-profile national organisations such as Lexcel, the Law Society's quality standard.
We have been providing quality, concise legal advice to clients for more than a century, and we are dedicated to helping members of the community receive the simple and cost-effective support they need when creating their wills.
Beyond preparing a basic will to ensure your estate is managed according to your final wishes, the experts at Percy Hughes & Roberts also provide advice on estate planning and relevant legal services. We help those with large estates to manage their finances according to their wishes, reduce their Inheritance Tax liability and ensure their loved ones enjoy the maximum possible benefit from their estates after they pass away.
Why do I need a will?
One of the most stressful aspects of approaching the end of your life is feeling unsure about what will happen to your family when you are no longer around to look after them.
By making a will, you can decide exactly what happens to your assets and possessions after you die. This includes having control over who deals with your estate and who will be responsible for looking after any children or other dependants under your care. Additionally, having a will means your beneficiaries will benefit from any tax relief or exemptions available to them.
If you die without a will, your estate is subject to intestacy law, meaning your assets may not be inherited by those you had hoped. Dying intestate could result in the following consequences:
- Unmarried partners or stepchildren do not receive a share of your estate
- Any donations you intended to make to chosen charities upon your death are not made.
- Your estate is claimed and redistributed by the government if no blood relations can be found
- An estranged spouse or civil partner may inherit your estate against your wishes
- You will have no say in who will look after your children, or when they will receive their inheritance.
- Your estate may be liable to pay more inheritance tax than would otherwise have been necessary
As such, creating a will is essential for anyone looking to ensure their wishes are carried out after they pass on.
What are the consequences of dying without a will?
A will is an essential part of any estate plan. It is vitally important everyone has an up-to-date will so that when you pass away, any unnecessary stress and pain can be avoided at an already difficult time for your family.
When someone dies without a will in place, strict laws come into force that establish all of the above. This is called intestacy, and it can often lead to unnecessary stress for the family of the deceased.
What is intestacy?
Intestacy is the condition of the estate of a person who has died without a will. This law follows strict rules in relation to how an estate is divided. It is often not the most beneficial way to split an estate.
The rules of intestacy follow a hierarchy of who should benefit from the estate. This order is as follows:
- Spouse/civil partner
- Brothers and sisters
- Uncles and aunts
These intestacy rules, however, do not account for the modern family. There are many situations in which this could lead to problems for your family, and mean your wishes are not carried out. Some of the problems with failing to make a will include:
You have no executor
If there is no will, there will be no executor appointed. In this instance, an administrator has to be appointed by the Court to deal with the estate administration.
You do not select guardians for your children
If you are the only surviving parent and you do not choose a guardian for your children in your will, this decision could potentially go to the family courts. The courts often choose immediate family. This could again lead to potential issues with the rules not considering the different structures that modern families can have.
There is no opportunity to provide a trust for your children
Without a will, you will have no opportunity to set up a trust for your child, appoint trustees, or determine a suitable age for your child to receive your assets.
“Common law” relationships are not recognised
Without a civil partnership or a marriage, you are not legally entitled to inherit if your partner dies without a will, no matter how long you have been cohabiting.
You have no funeral arrangements
Many people have strong preferences when it comes to funerals. This may seem trivial in the grand scheme of things, but do not underestimate how reassuring it is for your family to know your wishes have been carried out in relation to your funeral. Without a will, your family may not know your funeral arrangements.
There is potential for more legal costs
Rectifying any disputes after your death can incur legal costs. Litigation is often expensive and time-consuming, and contesting a will is no different. Costs are at the discretion of the court.
Do you need a lawyer to make a will?
Although it is possible to create your own will, doing so without a professional will writing service could make it more likely for mistakes or oversights to be made. This could result in a will that does not offer the level of protection you intended, or might even potentially result in your will being declared invalid, meaning your estate will be subject to intestacy law. You can find out more in our guide to the most common mistakes people make when writing a will here.
By working with an experienced will writing solicitor, you gain the following benefits:
- Common mistakes in writing the will can be avoided more easily
- Your solicitors will be able to handle the more complex aspects of the will writing process
- You will have greater legal protection and support if something goes wrong with the will
To learn more or to start writing your will today, contact the expert will writers in our wills and probate team today.
What are the common types of wills PHR can provide?
In simple terms, a single will is a last will and testament that applies only to one person. The term is used to contrast a single will with a joint will, which is a document shared between two or more individuals that usually concerns both their joint and individual assets. Joint wills are usually created by couples who are married or in a civil partnership, but even if you have a spouse or civil partner, you can still make a single will.
It is often better to make a single will, even if you are in a relationship and making decisions alongside your partner. There are downsides to joint wills, including the fact that neither party can change the will without the approval of the other. While this might seem like a benefit in some cases, it means that the will is locked in place after one party dies, no matter what circumstances may change - and this can make things very difficult for the surviving partner, without the freedom to manage their estate according to their needs.
You can assign any co-owned assets as gifts in a single will - you do not need a joint will to do this. However, these assets will be passed to any surviving owners automatically when you die, and if their will conflicts with yours, it will be the final surviving owner who gets to determine how the asset is bequeathed.
There are ways to create single wills that function in much the same way as joint wills but without these additional restrictions. These are referred to as mirror wills, which we will explain in more detail below.
Mirror wills are among the most common ways to overcome the problems of a joint will. It refers to two or more wills that are effectively identical and contain all of the same provisions. Like joint wills, this is a popular option for civil partners, spouses and unwed couples, although it does not have the same downsides.
Generally, wills of this nature will gift the estate to the surviving spouse, and if there is no surviving spouse, to the couple's children. This works in the same way as a joint will, but it is possible for a surviving partner to change their will if they need to.
It is especially important for unmarried couples to obtain wills if they wish to pursue this type of arrangement. If you die without making a will, your estate is distributed according to intestacy laws, which dictate that your spouse will inherit your estate; or, for larger estates, that it will be divided between a surviving spouse and any children the couple has.
This only applies to couples who are married or in a civil partnership, and includes those who are estranged or separated. If the deceased does not have a spouse, the estate will pass to their children or grandchildren; if there are no children, to their parents, and so on. If there are no living relatives to inherit the estate aside from an unmarried partner, it passes to the Crown.
This means that without a will, you may leave a long-term partner in a financially difficult position with nothing to inherit. It can also mean that people will inherit your estate to whom you do not wish to give it. The wishes you expressed in life do not affect how intestacy laws are applied - only a legally valid will can ensure your final wishes are carried out.
You do not have to assign assets to your partner in a mirror will, and there are many other potential structures that might benefit you in your specific circumstances. For advice on the legal documents you need to distribute your estate according to your wishes, contact Percy Hughes & Roberts Solicitors.
A will trust is a way to manage a valuable asset within your will, and have more control over it than you would if you bequeathed them directly to a beneficiary.
You can put assets into a trust and appoint trustees to manage them. In most cases, the beneficiaries you name in your will are then given profits when they reach a certain age, or when other conditions have been met. You can also appoint people whom you would otherwise be unable to name as beneficiaries to the will - for example, future children or grandchildren who have not yet been born.
Rather than naming beneficiaries, you might decide to leave your estate to be managed by a discretionary trust. In such cases, the trustees manage your assets and are able to make decisions about when to distribute them, how much to give, and to whom.
There are a number of benefits to this approach, particularly for high net-worth individuals or those with large estates who want to exert more control over their assets even after they die. This decision can be made as part of the estate planning process; estate planning can also help you to reduce your Inheritance Tax liability and may have other benefits for your loved ones, so it is worthwhile to discuss this option with a legal expert to determine whether or not it will be suitable for you.
Lasting Power of Attorney
A lasting power of attorney is not a type of will, but a different legal document that can have a significant impact on the management of your estate. This legal mechanism allows you to appoint one or more 'attorneys' to support you in making decisions about your health and welfare, property and financial affairs, or all of these subjects.
The lasting power of attorney is designed for circumstances under which an accident or illness affects someone's mental capacity and renders them unable to make their own decisions. Much like a trust, it gives another person the ability to make decisions about the management of your estate. However, someone with a lasting power of attorney cannot change an existing will without your knowledge or approval. The scope of their power will be specified in the document itself.
Can I nominate Percy Hughes & Roberts Solicitors as my executor?
When preparing a will, you must nominate an executor. They will manage your estate and distribute your assets according to your wishes after you die. Many people choose to name close friends or family members to take on this responsibility, but you can also assign the duties to a professional executor.
The expert wills and probate solicitors at Percy Hughes & Roberts can act as the executors of your will if you choose. This can help to ensure that your wishes are carried out correctly and efficiently, and avoid any potential conflicts that might arise between executors and beneficiaries.
Contact Percy Hughes & Roberts
To speak to the will writing solicitors at Percy Hughes & Roberts, give us a call on 0151 666 9090, or complete the enquiry form on our contact page to send us a query by email.
We pride ourselves on offering expert advice that's easy to understand, and we will be with you through every step of the legal process. Our offices are based in Birkenhead, but we service the wider Wirral, Liverpool, Cheshire, Merseyside and North Wales area, as well as clients nationwide.