Frequently Asked Questions – Wills

What is a Will and why do I need one? 

A Will is a legal document that outlines your wishes regarding the distribution of your assets after your death.  It allows you to appoint guardians for any minor children and to appoint executors (the people you wish to manage your affairs on your death).  It is an essential document to ensure that your assets pass to the people that you want them to. 

Who can make a Will? 

Generally, anyone over the age of 18 with mental capacity can make a Will. 

Do I need a solicitor to create a Will? 

No, you can create a Will yourself but it is advisable to consult a solicitor to ensure that the Will is legally binding and deals with your assets in the way that you wish.   

What should I include in my Will? 

Your Will should appoint at least one Executor (the person you want to manage your affairs after your death), a guardian if you have children under the age of 18, any specific gifts to beneficiaries (this could be money or specific gifts) and how you want the remainder of your estate to pass.  You can also specify funeral arrangements if you wish. 

Can I change my Will? 

Yes, you can change you Will either by completing a codicil or by writing a new Will.  It is very important to change your Will if your circumstances change and we recommend reviewing your Will every 5 years or after a significant life event to ensure your Will still carries out your wishes. 

What happens if I die without a Will?

If you die without a valid Will in place then you will be considered to have died intestate and your assets will be distributed in accordance with the intestacy rules.  This is usually to a spouse and children but if you do not have a surviving spouse or child then the rules dictate the next entitled beneficiaries.  This may not align with your wishes and we would always recommend getting a Will in place. 

Can I disinherit someone in my Will? 

Yes, the law in England and Wales allows you to have testamentary freedom.  You can choose not to leave assets to certain individuals but you must show that you have considered them and provide clear reasons for not including them in your Will as some beneficiaries (for instance children) will have a right to contest a Will if excluded from it. 

Can my Executors be beneficiaries? 

Yes, your executors can benefit under your Will however you must ensure that your witnesses are not beneficiaries.  Any beneficiary that witnesses a Will, or whose spouse witnesses a Will, cannot benefit and the gift to them will fail. 

Where should I store my Will? 

It is crucial to keep your Will in a safe and accessible place that your Executors will be able to locate.  We can store your Will in our strongroom free of charge. 

Can I make provision for pets in my Will? 

Yes, you can specify who you would wish to care for your pets and you can provide funds for their maintenance in your Will. 

These FAQs provide a brief insight into Wills but is not a substitute for legal advice.  We are happy to discuss your individual requirements and will tailor our advice to your specific needs. 

Contact Madeline Harris at or 020 3924 8462 to discuss further.