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This section looks at what you need to think about, and do, when making a will or changing an existing will. Click on the subject you want to look at or scroll down:

Making a will

Every adult should make a will. If you were to die without a will - intestate - you may leave your dependants in a vulnerable position. Making a will is not expensive. Dying without one can be very expensive.

In some cases, the state becomes the sole beneficiary; those to whom you wish to leave your inheritance may get nothing. In others, there might be a bill for inheritance tax that you could have avoided; your beneficiaries will inherit less than you hoped.

We know that for many people, and despite these facts, making a will is something they would rather not think about. It reminds them of their own mortality, they worry that it might be tempting fate or that it will be too complicated especially when deciding who should inherit what.

Whether your will is simple or complex, our aim is to guide you through the process, offering suggestions to increase tax efficiency and save money. With our help, what seems like an onerous, complicated process happens smoothly.

Clients tell us that, despite their initial reluctance and fears, completing the process brings enormous peace of mind. Some find it strangely uplifting - they feel so much better having done it - and say that the process was much easier than they expected.

Solicitor Chiswick, West London: Wills, Probate, Inheritance Tax, Conveyancing

What you should do before meeting us:[ TOP ]

  • Think about who you want as your executors - and substitutes if one or more were to become unable to act as your executor. See the role of an executor and appointing an executor for more information.
  • If you have children, consider who should be their guardians if you were to die before they become adults.
  • Make a list of your assets (properties, shares, savings, investments, life assurance policies, endowment policies, pensions which pay lump sums on death, premium bonds, car, cash and anything else of value that will be counted as part of your estate).
  • Make a list of your liabilities (mortgages, loans and debts).
  • If you are a couple, make lists of assets and liabilities in your sole name and assets and liabilities in your joint names.
  • Make a list of everyone you want to benefit from your estate, and consider substitutes if any of them were to die.
  • List the full names (including middle names) and addresses of everyone named in your will.

We will then talk through your wishes and explore options open to you, such as trusts and gifts, to make sure your will is both tax efficient and easy to administer.

Solicitor Chiswick, West London: Wills, Probate, Inheritance Tax, Conveyancing

Changing a will[ TOP ]

It is almost inevitable that you will, at some point, want to change your will. Simple changes can be made by writing a codicil. For complicated changes, it might be necessary to draw up a new will. It is always best to seek legal advice before changing your will.

We will advise you on what is necessary, after considering all the implications including minimising your inheritance tax liability.

Solicitor Chiswick, West London: Wills, Probate, Inheritance Tax, Conveyancing [ TOP ]