Frequently Asked Will Writing Questions


Frequently Asked Will Writing Questions

These are some of the most common questions we get asked.  If you find that after looking through these questions you still have further enquiries, please contact us.

If you die without a valid Will the outcome could be a legal and financial nightmare and an emotionally-devastating experience for your loved ones. Not having a Will at the time of death is called being Intestate. It means you have not left instructions.

You must be at least 18 years old to prepare a valid, legally-binding Will.

Easily, just contact us.  If we have visited you recently and the changes are straightforward we may be able to do it by post.  Otherwise we will arrange to visit you again and advise you what fees you might need to pay.  If you are a Family Assist or Willcare client please contact us to see what fees, if any, apply.

Contact us, we are very experienced in giving advice in these situations.  Our initial advice is free.  We help many families and beneficiaries with the job of administering the estate for you we will arrange to quote a fixed all inclusive fee in conjunction with one of our panel of partners.  Contact us to see how we can help or to discuss the next steps.

There are many types of pension plans and you should make specific inquiries to determine what will happen with your pension upon your death.

The death benefit payable under a life insurance policy is received by the deceased’s estate or by one or more named Beneficiaries. Insurance proceeds left to your estate are then dealt in your Will. Insurance proceeds left to a specific named beneficiary do not form part of your estate and pass directly to the named beneficiary.

Getting married or divorced may automatically revoke your Will. Please ask us for our fact sheet.

Your debts are paid from your estate prior to distribution to your Beneficiaries.


One of the duties of an executor is to determine the debts, including taxes, of the deceased person. The executor must determine what debts you have and must satisfy those debts, including taxes, from the proceeds of your estate prior to distributing your estate to your beneficiaries.

If there are not enough assets to fulfil your wishes regarding specific bequests of cash, these bequests will be reduced proportionately. If there are only enough assets to deal with your specific bequests, the person(s) you leave the balance of your Estate to will receive nothing.

It is extremely important that your Will be completed properly.

If your Will is not completed properly, there is a risk the Will will not be valid. If that happens, it is equivalent to dying without a Will, i.e. Intestate, and English law applies, distributing your estate in accordance with the formulas of the laws of the land. These laws are inflexible and may not reflect your personal wishes or the needs of your loved ones.

It is always possible that people may challenge a Will after your death. Such challenges are generally based on the argument that you were not mentally competent, or that others pressured you at the time your Will was made. While these challenges are generally unsuccessful, you should seek legal advice if you feel someone may challenge your will.

Your Will must be kept in a safe place and your Executors need to know where it is and how they can get access to it when needed.

Most of our client chose to keep their Will in our safe and secure storage facility.

Yes you should let your Executor/s know. We produce reference numbers for storage and a number to call when needed.

We also add you to the National Will Register so that there is a record to be searched in the future.

Your Will can be changed at any time by making a new will which will supersede the old one.

Enduring Powers of Attorney have now been replaced by Lasting Powers of Attorney.  A Power of Attorney comes to an end on your death.

A Will is needed to deal with distribution of your assets on death.

If you have children and die without a Will nominating a Guardian for your under-age children, English law applies. Typically, the law provides for the child’s surviving parent to take custody of your child but ultimately, the decision is up to the Court relying on what the judge feels is most appropriate for the surviving child. A relative, or other person, can apply to the Court for an Order appointing them as Guardian. Completing a Will and nominating a Guardian provides the greatest assurance that control and custody of your children is granted to the individual(s) you prefer.

Possibly not. There are many assets that may not pass to your intended Beneficiaries if they are not solely owned. For this reason it is important that you create an inventory as part of your overall estate planning. This way you can be sure that all of your assets will go to those you intend. Below we briefly summarise some specific examples of property that does not pass through a Will. If you have any questions, a financial Adviser, or estate planning professional can help you understand your own personal situation.

Some of your assets will pass outside of your Will because Beneficiaries are already named for them. For example, most individuals have already named Beneficiaries for their life insurance policies, pensions, retirement plans, and certain annuities.

If your property is held with another individual jointly and that co-owner survives you, it will not pass through your Will: joint owners with right of survivor-ship (usually spouses), tenants by entirety (spousal property) and revocable or irrevocable trusts.

A Court proceeding in which the validity of a Will is established and the appointment of the Executor(s) confirmed.

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