Helping you plan for the future with confidence, making sure your instructions are followed exactly as you would wish.

When thinking about how your estate will be passed on, you’ll want to know that your wishes are followed and that your estate will benefit the people and organisation that you choose.

Making a will and reviewing it on a regular basis is the only way you can guarantee that your wishes will be followed and that your estate is passed on according to your instructions.

This is just as important for younger people, particularly if you have children, as it is for older people as well as for those with business interests or agricultural property.

This is a deeply personal area of the law, sometimes with difficult emotional issues involved. So although we will always give you the best practical legal advice, we also take great care to understand your personal concerns and act with sensitivity.

View our guide on why you need a Will and what may happen if you do not have a Will at the time of your death.

What is a will?

A will is a legal document that sets out an individual’s wishes for the distribution of their assets after their death. This includes details of who should receive specific assets, and how and when they should receive them.

Why choose us as your will writing solicitors?

We can give you peace of mind and advise you on minimising your tax liabilities when you or your spouse pass away. We will put the right structures in place, so that you can plan for the future with confidence and pass assets on to your children and grandchildren in the most tax efficient way.

We can guide you through the process of writing or updating a will, always ensuring that the instructions we follow are yours, and that you are free to give them without pressure from others.

Our expert team are based across our offices in Southampton, London, Lymington, Guildford, Richmond and Woking and we offer specialist support and advice to clients both locally and nationally.

FAQs on making a will

Our private wealth lawyers have answered some of your most common questions. If you can’t find the information that you’re looking for, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

In order to make a will, you should have a list of all of your assets and their estimated current value, such as property, savings, pension funds, investments, motor vehicles, personal belongings of value, such as jewellery, art or antiques and the contents of your home and any other properties.

If you have any debts, these will also need to considered as they will be taken from your estate. This might include things like mortgages, credit card balances, bank overdrafts, personal loans or any equity release agreements that might have been made.
Once you have this information, you can decide how you would like your assets to be divided between beneficiaries. You can also decide if you wish to make any charitable donations from your estate.

You will need to choose executors for your will. Essentially the people who will distribute your estate. You may want to choose a family member or friend, or you might prefer to appoint a solicitor to handle this responsibility.

All of these items and decisions need to be recorded in a will, which is a legal document that needs to be written and signed correctly in order to be valid. It’s usually recommended to use will writing services from a trusted solicitor for this to ensure that it is done to the required standard and includes every element that you wish.

In order for a will to be valid and legally binding, it should be written in a particular way. Your wishes for your estate should be laid out clearly in writing and it needs to be signed by you and witnessed by two other people, who cannot be beneficiaries or executors of the will.

You must be considered as having the mental capacity to make the will at the time it is signed, and able to understand the results of the will.

You must also have made the will using your own free choice, not having been pressured whilst doing so.

If this is not your first will, you should state at the beginning that this new document revokes any previous wills made.
Wills that have not been written and signed in the correct way, or where there might be room for challenging its validity, may not be legally valid, so it’s recommended to seek expert legal advice and many people choose to ask their solicitor to help with will writing and to witness the document.

The cost of making a will can vary, depending on the complexity of the estate, as this will have an impact on the amount of work involved in the will writing. The team at Moore Barlow can provide an estimate if you would like to discuss our will writing services.

Making a will helps to ensure that after you pass, your wishes are followed in these areas:

  • That your money goes to the people that you want to give it to.
  • That inheritance tax is minimised.
  • That people you trust are in charge of sorting out your affairs and executing your will.
  • That any children you have who are still minors can have a legal guardian of your choice appointed.
  • That changes in your life over the years are reflected as you wish, such as marriage, divorce or the birth of children or grandchildren.
  • That any personal items or specific assets that you wish to pass to individual beneficiaries are left to the person you intend.
  • That any charities that you wish to benefit from your estate can be gifted the specified sum.
  • That certain assets can be protected by trusts, if required.

If you haven’t made a will, your estate will be divided according to current law (the rules of intestacy), which won’t necessarily reflect what you would intend and may not be the most efficient route from a tax point of view.

You can make a will at any age. Many people think it’s something that they will deal with in later life, but by making a will now, you can prepare just in case.

You can discuss will requirements over the phone and the particulars of the will can be written during and after the call. However, it only becomes a valid will once the document has been sent to you and signed in the presence of two witnesses.