We are currently offering Free Wills for NHS Frontline Workers during the month of May 2020. For more information please see below
We have close experience of the problems that can occur when clients die without leaving Wills, or when ‘home made’ Wills have been prepared.
We recognise that there are many do it yourself Wills or internet services offering to make your Will at low cost and we do not try to compete with such services but do beware because it is easier than you might think to write a will that is made invalid for reasons of uncertainty and ambiguity either in the text of the will or in the way it is signed.
For that reason generally we would recommend a meeting and we are happy to make a home visit (Please note during the current Pandemic we are not meeting clients but we can discuss your wills over the telephone) for no additional charge if you live in or near the South West London area and it is difficult for you to make it into our office here in Wimbledon Park.
With the benefit of a discussion with a solicitor you can take advice on the best arrangement to make to protect the interests of those closest to you. Before giving the advice a profile is taken of your family and financial position. We wish to ensure that your Will is tailor made to your circumstances. In many cases we put forward ideas which are reflected in the Will that we prepare for you, in doing so we draw on considerable experience in dealing with administration of estates.
We will advise as well on the probable inheritance tax (IHT) consequences and look at ways of reducing IHT. We will draw on our experience of administering estates not only in drafting your Will but also in putting forward ideas for your approval.
If you do not leave a Will then the rules of intestacy dictate the way your estate is divided. This may have unintended and unwelcome consequences. For example your long term partner may not inherit anything from the estate while a distant relative who you may hardly know does.
Remember that a Will should be made by a solicitor, a qualified legal executive, or member of the Institute of Professional Will Writers. Many will writing services are supplied by non qualified individuals who attend a two or three day training course.
- Single Will – £300 plus VAT
- Two Wills for partners largely in the same terms – £500 plus VAT
- The fee includes free storage of the original Will and provision of up to five certified copies. Also we would make no additional charge if any minor changes are needed to the Will within 6 months
- You will be charged these fees in the vast majority of cases unless your Will is very complex or lengthy in which case we will tell you what extra fee may be involved before commencing.
Free Wills for NHS Frontline Workers during the month of May 2020.
Questions and Answers
- How do I qualify for a free Will?
- What happens then?
We will then forward a Wills Instruction Questionnaire. Following return we will give you a call (so please leave a contact number and best time to call up to 8 p m) and aim to send by email a Will for approval within 3 working days. If approved, we will then send instructions over getting the Will executed ( I e properly signed and witnessed). After that scan and sign the executed Will to us, and return the original in an envelope marked Free Will to McGlennons,157 Arthur Road London SW19 8AD. We will then check it, and put a cover page on the original and keep it in a safe location at our office.
- Will you store the Will free of charge?
- Who will prepare the Will?
The Wills will be prepared and checked by either William Essex or Tony Brown, both practising solicitors with over 40 years experience of Wills preparation between them. In addition both William and Tony have extensive experience in dealing with administration of estates. That means that we will immediately advise you if we think that your wishes will cause complications or may be challenged, and can suggest other ways of dealing with your wishes.
- My partner is not a front line NHS worker and wishes to make a mutual Will with me. What charge will you make?
We refer to our website and the cost would be that of making a single Will; but during May the cost will be discounted to £250 plus VAT I e £300.
- What are the main things I need to consider before making the Will?
- Who will carry out my wishes? (my executors) (best to choose a replacement executor if your main choice dies before you or is unwilling or unable to act)
- When will my children inherit? (The default age is 18, but most people prefer 21)
- Should my estate go to one person, or in a number of shares? (If in a number of shares, consider giving legacies instead where the share is 10% or less)
- Any money or specific legacies?
- Any funeral instructions? Gifts of valuable possessions?
- What will happen if any of my beneficiaries or legatees die before me?
- Will there be inheritance tax (IHT) payable in my estate?
Generally the first £325000 is tax free, and in the case of a married couple (or in a civil partnership-CP) the first £650,000 is free of tax, with tax payable at 40% on the excess. There also reliefs for passing on an interest in you family home. However, anything you leave to your spouse or CP will be exempt from tax, the same applying to gifts to charity. We regret we cannot use this Initiative to consider ways of saving tax.
- If I do not make a Will, what happens to my estate?
Anything held in joint names will generally go to the surviving owner. However that depends on how the ownership of property, whether as joint owners or owners in common. The first £250,000 of money or property held in your sole name goes to your surviving spouse or CP, and after that to children, Please note it is particularly important to make a Willif you are in a long term relationship and want your estate to go to your partner
- Who can be my executors?
Generally it is common to make your spouse or long term partner your executor, I e the person who carries out your Will. There may be reasons why this is in appropriate. Otherwise you may wish to choose a close and trusted friend. Always a good idea to choose more than one executor. Make sure they get on with each other.
- I have no partner and wish to appoint my good friends an executors. Should I leave him/her a legacy?
Yes, this is recommended. According to the amount of work generally as sum between £5000 to £10,000 is suggested.or up to 2% of the estate)
- Can your firm be executors?
Certainly, McGlennons has acted as executors in administering some highly complex estates
- My children are under 18. What provision should I make for them?
First, appoint a guardian; usually this will be the children’s other parent but there may be reasons why this is not appropriate. You must ask any guardians (who could be close family friends or family members) whether they agree to take on the responsibility of looking after your children following your death. You must also appoint Trustees ( I e people you trust) to look after your estate until the children reach 21 (or some different age)
- Can my executors be my beneficiaries?
Yes, that is what usually happens.
- Does the Will decide how any death benefit is dealt with?
No. For NHS workers you need to complete form DB1 which you can obtain online. This is particularly important if you wish the benefit of your estate to go to your partner rather than your spouse or other next of kin.
- Who can witness my Will?
The Will should be witnessed by two adult people present at a safe distance when you sign. Neither of the witnesses should be a beneficiary named in the Will, or married to a beneficiary otherwise that beneficiary can lose his or her legacy or share of the estate.