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Making a will is essential if you want to ensure your loved ones are provided for and your wishes are followed after your death, but every family is different and deciding on what to do can be a stressful and difficult process for many people.

We have an excellent team of will solicitors and probate experts here at Lester Aldridge to help guide and advise you every step of the way, explaining all of the practical and financial implications, to make sure your will accurately reflects and protects your interests.

Wills often form a critical part of inheritance tax (IHT) and estate planning structures for you and your family. Wills can be drafted to achieve maximum tax efficiency and flexibility with protection and controls built-in.

Other people whose affairs are more simple and straightforward require only simple wills and we draft these too without all the legalese and jargon.

No matter what your personal circumstances, our team of wills and probate solicitors are on hand to advise and guide you to the best solution.

How our solicitors can help with writing a will

Our friendly team will help you get the maximum benefit from your will. Whether you want to keep your assets safe, make tax savings, or donate to charity; we can help draw up a new will or review an existing will to make sure it meets your needs and provides peace of mind.

We consider in detail your objectives and family relationships to draft a will that achieves maximum IHT flexibility with making provisions for those you wish to benefit.

We can advise on making a will for those in second or later marriages, those with stepchildren, cohabiting partners or those estranged from their children.

We provide solutions for our clients and their families that span generations.

How do I make a will?

The first step is a meeting with you to discuss your ideas. Using our knowledge and experience, we advise and direct you to a few simple options. Once objectives are agreed upon, we draft the will and liaise with you to refine it until it accords with your wishes. We provide detailed advice before finalising the documents.

Once your will is signed and finalised, we store it for you free of charge.

To complete a Will questionnaire, please click here.

How long does it take to make a will?

Depending on the scope and depth of your objectives and your personal circumstances, the meeting, advice, drafting and execution phases can be completed in a few weeks. We can give you time estimates at the time of clarifying your instructions.

Who do we help with drafting a will?

  • We help all those who require advice in relation to wills and how they wish to leave their estate.
  • We help those whose affairs are simple and straightforward where no inheritance will be payable.
  • We help those looking to donate to charity or create trusts for the disabled.
  • We also help those with significant wealth and business interests that require advice on IHT and protection planning.

How much does writing a will cost?

Costs for writing a will vary depending on how complex your affairs are. At Lester Aldridge, our will charges are fixed where possible. The fee for a straightforward will containing no trusts (for a single person) is usually £350 plus VAT and the fee for a pair of straightforward wills containing no trusts (for married couples or civil partners) is £450 plus VAT.

Why choose Lester Aldridge for making a will?

Few firms our size or smaller have such a dedicated team of experts in will drafting and planning that can also draw upon the knowledge and expertise of trust and tax experts and those who specialise in the care of the elderly.

If you wish, we can happily store your will for you in our secure archives facility, giving you security and peace of mind.

Making a will during lockdown COVID-19

During the Coronavirus pandemic, we have seen an increase in people wanting to make or amend their will. Understandably, during such a time of uncertainty, it is important to make sure your legal affairs are in order, and our solicitors are here to help.

We offer a contactless will writing service, with appointments available over Zoom, Skype, or Whatsapp. On the video call, we would gather all the information needed to draft your will (or wills, if you require mirror wills for your partner or spouse). Further correspondence is usually over email, where we would send your initial draft for you to review. Once the will is finalised, we post it to you, and you would check and sign it in the presence of a witness. This could be a socially distanced witnessing, with a neighbour perhaps, or we can arrange a socially distanced signing at our office in Bournemouth. Your will can be then be stored at our secure archive facility free of charge if you wish.

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Frequently Asked Questions

A will is a crucial document. It is vital that a will is drawn correctly; otherwise, there can be serious (and expensive) consequences. A well-drawn will can also reduce your family’s inheritance tax bill.

For your will to be legally valid, you must be 18 or over and have testamentary capacity. It is essential for everyone to make a will, even if you consider yourself to have little assets. We help a wide range of individuals with preparing wills. We assist individuals with simple and straightforward affairs where no inheritance will be payable as well as individuals with significant wealth and business interests that require advice on IHT and protection planning.

The first step is a meeting with you to discuss your ideas. Using our knowledge and experience, we advise and direct you to a few simple options. Once objectives are agreed, we draft the will and liaise with you to refine it until it accords with your wishes. We provide detailed advice before finalising the documents. Once your will is signed and finalised, we store it for you free of charge.

  • Obtain advice from a Solicitor.
  • Appoint trustworthy executors and trustees.
  • Ensure your will appoints substitute beneficiaries to avoid any partial intestacy.
  • Ensure your will is signed and witnessed correctly.

For something as important as a will, it is essential to use a lawyer who has experience in the preparation of wills. We at Lester Aldridge have a number of lawyers who are specialists in the subject, and who can help you with care and understanding to make your will. We have a team of specialists ready to advise you on all aspects concerning wills and estate planning. We aim to offer a prompt, professional and efficient service and have particular expertise in inheritance tax planning and asset protection trusts in connection with wills.

It is essential for everyone to make a will, even if you consider yourself have little assets. Your will must be reviewed regularly to make sure that it still works in the best possible way. Your personal circumstances or those of your family may have changed. Tax laws also change – many have altered significantly in the last few years.

You can draw up your own will online or using a form from the stationers, but it is all too easy to get it wrong. A mistake in a will can have disastrous consequences. A will, after all, is a legal document, which requires complete accuracy.

  • Assets owned as joint tenants: As joint tenants (sometimes called ‘beneficial joint tenants’) you have equal rights to the whole property and the property automatically goes to the other owners if you die. This means that you cannot pass on your ownership of the property in your will
  • Policies written in trust: Writing a policy in trust means any payment on death is outside of your estate for inheritance tax purposes. If a policy is held in trust, you should have nominated a beneficiary.
  • Your Personal Information
  • Revocation Clause
  • Your Executors
  • Funeral wishes (not essential)
  • Guardians for Children
  • Specific gifts / cash gifts
  • Personal possessions
  • Trusts if applicable
  • Beneficiaries

Please also read our blog Considerations when writing a will.

If you die without a will, it means you have died intestate. The intestacy rules state how an estate should be distributed if there is no will. It divides the estate between various relatives and sets out how much each receives.

The law decides how your property and other assets are divided. This causes extra trouble and expense. No account will be taken of your wishes. Distant relatives (or even the state) may benefit instead of those you would have chosen. The law also decides who will look after your estate. It may not be the person you would have chosen yourself. Even if you have no family, it is surely better for you to decide who is to inherit your property. You may wish to say thank you to friends or to benefit your favourite charities. By making a will you can choose the right people to look after your children. You can also see that they are cared for financially in the best way.

Making a will is essential if you want to ensure your loved ones are provided for and your wishes are followed after your death, but every family is different and deciding on what to do can be a stressful and difficult process for many people. We have an excellent team of will solicitors and probate experts here at Lester Aldridge to help guide and advise you every step of the way, explaining all of the practical and financial implications, to make sure your will accurately reflects and protects your interests. Wills often form a critical part of inheritance tax (IHT) and estate planning structures for you and your family. Wills can be drafted to achieve maximum tax efficiency and flexibility with protection and controls built-in. Other people whose affairs are more simple and straightforward require only simple wills and we draft these too without all the legalese and jargon. No matter what your personal circumstances, our team of wills and probate solicitors are on hand to advise and guide you to the best solution.

Our friendly team will help you get the maximum benefit from your will. Whether you want to keep your assets safe, make tax savings, or donate to charity; we can help draw up a new will or review an existing will to make sure it meets your needs and provides peace of mind. We consider in detail your objectives and family relationships to draft a will that achieves maximum IHT flexibility with making provision for those you wish to benefit. We can advise on making a will for those on second or later marriages, those with stepchildren, cohabiting partners or those estranged from their children. We provide solutions for our clients and their families that span the generations.

Mirror wills are virtually identical wills prepared for partners or spouses.

You can keep your will at home or store it with your solicitor, bank, a company that offers the storage of wills or the London Probate Service. If we act for you, we will happily store your will for you in our archives facility free of charge, giving you security and peace of mind.

There should only be one original will. It is essential to keep an original will safe. You should also keep a copy of your will just in case anything happens to the original.

You may wish to change your will as your circumstances change. You can change your will by making a codicil to the will or making a completely new will.

Your executors are the persons appointed in your will to look after your estate when you die. Their job (briefly) is to ascertain details of your assets and debts, deal with any income or inheritance tax issues that arise, obtain a grant of probate, and collect in your assets. After payment of any tax, debts or legacies, they must then distribute the estate among your beneficiaries in accordance with the will. They may also have to deal with any disputes that arise. It is clearly a very important role. You can appoint family or friends, or professionals, such as a solicitor or executor. Many people choose a mixture of the two, which can work very well. It can be particularly helpful to have a professional executor if the estate is large or involves complex tax issues, or if there is likely to be disharmony among your family over your will.

In England & Wales, you can leave your estate to anyone you like, for example, a charity, relatives or friends. However, if someone is excluded from a will or they do not receive as much as they had expected from an estate, this may result in a will being challenged or a claim being made against an estate. Will, trust or estates disputes can involve limitation periods and risk. Whatever type of claim you may be considering or dealing with, it is important to seek specialist legal advice as soon as possible. Our dedicated team of contentious probate solicitors can advise you about any claims involving wills, trusts or estates.

It is particularly important to make will if you are concerned that your will could be contested. Even though you cannot stop someone contesting your will, by obtaining professional advice, you can ensure that your will is legally valid and accurate in order to minimise the chances of a contested claim succeeding.

A living will (also known as an advance directive, or advance decision), is a document you sign at a time when you are mentally capable, which allows you to refuse specified medical treatment at a time in the future when you are unable to make that decision for yourself. If the advance decision is valid, and if it applies to the particular situation that arises, then it is unlawful for the treatment specified to be given.


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