Will Solicitors FAQs
Our Will solicitors can help you ensure that your savings, property, pensions and other matters are dealt with in the way you want them to be after your death.
We can help you understand how changes in your circumstances might affect your Will and take steps to alter your Will and other succession arrangements accordingly.
We are based in Martlesham Heath and are conveniently located for clients seeking Will advice in Ipswich, Suffolk and East Anglia. For more information on how our Will Solicitors can help you, please call us now on 01473 611211.
How often should I review my Will?
In general, we recommend reviewing your Will every 3 to 5 years. But if one of the circumstances mentioned below occurs, it may need to be reviewed sooner than that. A review should ideally be carried out with the assistance of our Will solicitors in order to help spot areas that may need updating.
What sort of circumstances should prompt me to update my Will?
You need to review your Will if the assets you own change significantly, if there are changes affecting the people mentioned in the Will, or there are significant changes in your own personal circumstances.
Notable asset changes include, for instance, acquiring, selling or remortgaging a house, acquiring or selling a business, acquiring or becoming eligible for new life insurance policies, pensions or benefits. You also need to keep an eye on any specific cash amounts specified in the Will.
You will want to review your Will if someone mentioned in the Will dies, or your relationship with them changes significantly (e.g. divorce), or you become aware of additional people who need to be mentioned (e.g. a new child in the family).
You need to review your Will if your own legal status changes for any reason e.g. change of nationality, emigration to another country or change of marital status.
If in doubt, our Will solicitors can advise you whether a particular change is likely to require a Will update.
Please see our When To Review Your Will factsheet for more information
What happens to my Will if I marry or enter a civil partnership?
Marriage or Civil Partnership instantly invalidates any pre-existing Will (unless this was made expressly in contemplation of that marriage/civil partnership). This is the law. Before you get married or enter into a civil partnership you must therefore review and make a new Will (even if you want the terms of your Will to be broadly the same as before) which expressly refers to your forthcoming marriage/civil partnership.
Although my ex is living with a new partner, there are children from our marriage, and I am worried my ex may make a claim against my Will – can I prevent this?
It is very important that you take proper advice not only in relation to your Will and other succession provisions, but also the terms of your divorce.
We can then identify what rights your ex may or may not have, both as your ex and as the surviving parent to your children. We can then advise on appropriate steps.
Because this type of situation can often be complicated, we strongly advise that you seek help from our experienced Will solicitors.
I’ve heard about Wills being successfully challenged. What’s the best way to ensure this doesn’t happen or that a challenge can’t succeed?
When you die, it is important that those you want to inherit, do so with the minimum of stress, delay and cost.
You can do much to prevent a successful challenge to your Will – forewarned is forearmed!
The first step is for us to identify who might challenge your Will, on what grounds and the risk of that challenge being successful. Our Will solicitors can then advise on how to minimise these risks, if they cannot be prevented altogether.
I’m retiring to Spain but retaining UK citizenship – will my Will be valid?
Yes. However, your UK Will may no longer be appropriate for your new circumstances and Spanish law may override parts of your UK Will.
The Brussels IV Succession Regulations came into effect in 2015 and although the UK has opted out of these, the Regulations may nevertheless affect you and you should review your UK Will accordingly.
Before you emigrate, we can also advise you on the UK inheritance tax implications.
I run a small business – what happens to it if I die?
Are you a sole trader? Are you in partnership? Have you formed a limited company? Have you signed a partnership agreement or shareholders agreement? What do the articles of association say? Have you signed a cross-option agreement?
Making a Will is not just about identifying who inherits what. It is about maximising the value of any inheritance for your chosen beneficiaries.
We will therefore work with you to ensure that when you die, your business passes to your chosen beneficiaries, and the right people have the right information to maximise its value and minimise any inheritance tax for your estate.
Often there may also be regulatory issues specific to your business, which your executors need to know about. We will work these out with you, so that your executors are protected.
I’m worried about the inheritance tax burden on my family – is there anything I can do about it?
Yes, arranging your affairs and creating your Will in the right way can significantly reduce the taxes your family will have to pay. Getting advice from our Wills solicitors is essential to ensure the terms of your Will and other succession arrangements are both tax efficient and legally watertight.
I’ve heard about mirror or reciprocal Wills for couples – what are they?
Mirror (also known as reciprocal) Wills are typically made by couples, whether married or unmarried, or in a civil partnership. Typically, both persons leave their assets to each other. After both have died, the couple want their savings and property to pass to specific individuals; often their children.
It is important to differentiate between mirror Wills and mutual Wills. With mirror Wills, either person may change their Will as they wish later on, including after the first has died. Mutual Wills prevent you from doing this. Mutual Wills are very problematic and often lead to expensive litigation. There are alternative, much better solutions to mutual Wills. Please ask us.
As far as I can see, my Will wishes are exactly the same as the default legal position. So do I really need to make a Will?
That’s a big gamble to take! How do you know what your circumstances will be when you die?
What if someone dies before you?
What about inheritance tax?
What about pension death benefits?
What about potential challenges to your Will?
What about the extra cost of winding up an estate where there is no Will?
Making a Will is not just about making sure the right people inherit the right amounts or assets; it is about planning to ensure their inheritance is maximised and that your estate is administered smoothly and efficiently after you have died.
Will Solicitors Ipswich – contact us now to discuss your requirements.