What Is a Will and Why Do I Need One?

If you don’t currently have a will, your loved ones may not receive the assets you wish to leave them in the event of your death.

If you’re unsure of where to start, read on for the basic information from two legal contacts of the Friends of The Swallows.

Making a will is vital for legally protecting your wishes, your legacy and your loved ones in the event of your passing.

Making a will is vital for legally protecting your wishes, your legacy and your loved ones in the event of your passing.  By putting plans in place now, you can avoid a lot of stress and issues for your loved ones further down the line.

Despite this, there are still striking statistics around making a will, following research carried out by Royal London:
  • 4 million adults do not know where to begin when it comes to writing a will.
  • Around 54% of adults do not have a will.
  • Six in 10 (59%) parents do not have a will, or have one that is out of date.


There is also an overwhelming majority of people that are relying on DIY wills to cover their wishes, which can lead to many a difficulty, significant expense and unnecessary stress for those you leave behind.

Making a will is usually a straightforward process, and the team at Farleys Solicitors are here to guide you through the process.   Our specialists take the time to get to know you and your family’s needs, to provide the best strategy when it comes to your will and ensuring that your wishes are taken care of.

Call our Swallows Legal Advice line on 0330 134 6997 to speak to Farleys’ Private Client team to discuss your requirements and get a no-obligation quote for drafting your will.

  • You can ensure that you are appointing executors who can immediately act on behalf of your estate when you die, making the necessary arrangements without any delay. Without a will, there is no-one with the legal authority to act until a formal Grant of Representation to the estate has been issued.
  • If you have children it enables you to appoint guardians and to make informed choices on the age at which your children will inherit your estate. Without a will the law steps in to state the age at which your children are able to inherit, which might not be what you have chosen for them.
  • It allows you to consider the needs of all those people who are closest to you and make the appropriate financial provision for them. Without a will the law decides who inherits your assets and in what proportion, regardless of your wishes.
  • It allows you to make bequests from your estate to any charities which you wish to support, or with which you have a connection.
  • To cancel any previous will
  • To give directions as to your funeral arrangements
If you do not make a Will then your estate will be distributed according to the rules of intestacy, which will not reflect your own personal wishes and may not provide for your family effectively, as intestacy does not legally recognise individuals that co-habit, no matter the duration or type of relationship. It is also important to note that Intestacy does not always distribute assets in the most tax efficient way and therefore in some circumstances it can cause a great deal of distress and hardship for those you have left behind. Intestacy rules can be complex.  The way that they operate will depend on the individual circumstances of the deceased and the value of the estate that is left.
Whilst attempting to write your own will or purchasing an ‘off the shelf version’ is an option, it is a risky option. DIY wills have been blamed for the rise in the number of contested estates across the UK with unclear clauses causing problems and tension between relatives which can sometimes lead to the validity of the will being contested. Rectifying this may result in costly legal action which will inevitably reduce the money left in your estate. A will is an important legal document which encompasses how you would like your estate to be distributed amongst your family, loved ones and/or charitable organisations that are close to your heart after you have died. Your will does not only name your beneficiaries but also names your executor(s) who will manage the distribution of your estate. This allows you to control who your estate goes to when you die and who manages this. However, this only occurs if the will is correctly drafted and even the simplest of mistakes can completely invalidate a will. Having a DIY will can be just as stressful for your family as not having one in place at all. A DIY will may contain mistakes or omissions, leaving your family to argue over your estate. Bespoke, professional legal advice is essential and can avoid all of these issues. Upon your passing your beneficiaries need to have a solid and structured document tailored specifically to your personal circumstances to ensure that that dealing with your estate is as smooth as possible.
Bespoke, professional legal advice is essential and can help your family, beneficiaries and executors with a solid and structured document, tailored specifically to your personal circumstances to ensure that that dealing with your estate is as smooth as possible. Instructing a solicitor to draft your will gives you peace of mind that your will is well-considered, well drafted and error free.
Everyone’s individual circumstances are different. Alongside outlining who will benefit from your estate, your will can include details of childcare arrangements, personal gifts or any charity legacies you wish to leave, by way of example Email: [email protected]  and request your free copy of our will planner which we can send out to you in the post.

As your circumstances change over time, so should your will. Often, it’s not enough to just draft a will and never update it.

If you have got married, divorced, had children or grandchildren, or purchased property or another significant asset since you last had your will drafted, you should consider revisiting your will and making the appropriate changes to ensure all of your estate and intended beneficiaries are included.

Farleys’ specialist Private Client team provide a wide range of straightforward, clear advice, and cut out the legal jargon, to help you make an informed decision about what you leave behind or how your assets are managed should you lose the capacity to do so yourself.

Speak to our experts on 0330 134 6997, email [email protected] or visit our website to find out more information:

Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) – Preparing an LPA to appoint someone to act on your behalf should you lose the capacity to make decisions for yourself in the future.

Court of Protection – Advice, assistance and representation when a family member lacks the mental capacity to make important financial decisions, or for those responsible for managing another person’s affairs.

Tax & Estate Planning – Helping you ensure your estate doesn’t attract unnecessary tax.

Trust Settlement and Administration – Setting up and administering trusts to look after your family and protect your assets.

Care Fee Planning – Helping you to plan for any future care, and ensuring you still have something to pass on to your family.

Farleys Solicitors  – expert lawyers for you, your family and business.

With more than 60 years of experience behind us, we’ve always prided ourselves on using our decades of specialist expertise to deliver outstanding legal services all with a friendly, down-to-earth approach.

We take care to tailor our award-winning services to your individual circumstances, prioritising your personal needs and wellbeing as we help you to achieve a desirable, cost-effective outcome to virtually any legal issue.

With a vast pool of in-house knowledge, passion and skill at our disposal, you can be sure that whatever your legal needs, at Farleys Solicitors we’re here to help.

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24/7 Legal Helpline for Swallows: 0330 134 6997

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Dangers of DIY Wills

Although attempting to write your own Will either on your own or through purchasing one off the shelf may come with an attractive price tag, it is a risky option that may cost you a lot more in the long run.

A Will is an important legal document which encompasses your wishes regarding the distribution of your estate after you have passed away. Those benefitting from your estate could be family members, loved ones or even charities which are close to your heart. Therefore, in order for your wishes to be fulfilled your Will should be written by a professional to ensure it is as watertight as possible.

The rise in the number of contested wills across the UK has been blamed on DIY attempts which result in unclear clauses causing tension and upset between relatives and loved ones. Unfortunately, this often leads to the validity of the Will being contested, rectifying this may result in costly legal action which will inevitably reduce the money left in your estate.

The consequences of writing your own Will can be very serious, not only will this risk your family being left with a lot of work to do in such an emotional time, but your estate can also be eaten into by legal bills and unnecessary tax due to poor drafting and not having sought the correct legal advice regarding estate planning.

It has been suggested that poorly drafted or ineffective DIY wills are responsible for a prolonged probate ordeal for 38,000 families a year. This is worrying given that up to 10% of the value of a person’s estate can be engrossed by additional fees as a result of an ineffective will. An average estate in the UK is worth £160,000, therefore this could mean that £16,000 of probate fees could be racked up.

Getting a solicitor to write your Will means that you have peace of mind that your Will is well-considered, well drafted and error free. In addition to this, your solicitor will be able to discuss estate planning to make your Will as tax efficient as possible.

If you need advice on writing a Will or to speak to a solicitor who specialises in Wills, Trusts & Probate, call our Swallows Legal Advice line on 0330 134 6997 to speak to Farleys’ Private Client team to discuss your requirements and get a no-obligation quote for drafting your will.