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Wills Solicitors

Six out of ten people die without making a Will. This is known as dying intestate. If you have yet to make a Will, we explain in our Intestacy chart how your estate would be distributed if you died, irrespective of your wishes or the particular needs of your family or loved ones. If this is different from what you would wish, it is essential to speak to our expert team about how we can help you.

At Warner Goodman, our Private Client Team can provide a bespoke service that matches your requirements, giving you confidence that the future of your estate and loved ones is in safe hands.

Not sure where to get started with your Will? You can complete our Wills questionnaire online.

Our friendly team can help you with matters that include:

  • Making a new Will
  • Updating your existing Will
  • Tax-efficient estate planning
  • Lasting Powers of Attorney

Speak to our Will specialists in our Private Client team today

Need help with making a Will or planning your estate? We have Wills specialists in SouthamptonPortsmouthFarehamChandler's Ford, and Waterlooville.

To find out how Warner Goodman Solicitors can assist you with Wills and estate planning, contact the team on 01329 288121 or email privateclientenquiry@warnergoodman.co.uk.

Isn't it time you made a Will?

If you have not made a will, you will be dying intestate upon your death. Our Intestacy Chart explains how your estate would be distributed if you died without leaving a Will, irrespective of your wishes or the particular needs of your family or loved ones.

Did you know that your widow or widower will not necessarily inherit your whole estate? Other relatives may be entitled to a share of your estate, which may result in hardship for your surviving spouse. Unmarried couples have no rights under the intestacy rules, so if one cohabitee dies, the other will not inherit unless a provision was made in a Will.

The Government changes these rules from time to time, so unless you have made a Will, the distribution of your estate will be affected automatically by any changes made.

We understand that making a Will is daunting, as no one likes to contemplate the thought of their passing away. However, it is a crucial step to take to protect and secure the future of your loved ones, not only by planning your estate to ensure they are financially supported but also by making decisions such as guardians for your children. It is not expensive and can save considerable expense and much heartache later.

Good reasons for making a Will

There are many reasons why you should make a Will, including:

  • You can decide who will benefit from your estate
  • You can ensure that any inheritance tax liability arising from your death is kept to a minimum
  • You can appoint guardians for your children
  • You can decide at what age your children should inherit
  • You can decide whom to appoint as your executors. They are the people who will administer your estate and ensure that your wishes are carried out
  • If you are divorced or separated, it is often essential to make a Will
  • You can leave particular items of your estate to specific people

With the growing use of online technologies to manage banking, shopping, investments, photos, and music, as well as the increase in social media use, it is also essential that you consider these aspects of your life when making a Will.

There are different types of Will that could provide extra benefits to you and your family, with one of the most popular being a Life Interest Trust Will.

Common reasons why people don’t make a Will

"I don't want to think about it, I will get around to it eventually."

"I'm married, with children, and really must see a solicitor, but my spouse /civil partner both work, and we never have time."

"A close friend has just died, leaving no Will, what a mess! The poor family concerned would really have appreciated a Will to guide them. I must do it."

"I have contacted a solicitor and got a questionnaire to help channel my thoughts...what next?"

Do any of these phrases sound familiar? In our experience, most people are pleasantly surprised at how simple it all is. Often the most difficult decision to take is making the appointment in the first place.

Key stages in making a Will

Once you have made the practical decision to make a Will, the procedure is simple.

First, we will ask you to complete a Will questionnaire covering key issues around what assets you have, who you want to benefit from your estate, and who you would like to be your executors.

We will then meet with you to discuss the details of your Will. We will invite you to one of our offices in SouthamptonPortsmouthFarehamChandler's Ford, or Waterlooville, or we can visit you at home if you cannot come to us. This meeting can also take place over the phone or through video conferencing.

Once we are clear on your wishes, we will produce a draft Will for you to review. If you need any amendments at this stage, we will be happy to make them.

Once you are happy with your Will, you must sign it with two witnesses (who must not be beneficiaries of the Will or their partners). The witnesses will also need to sign the Will.

We can then store a copy of your Will in our substantial safe room, so it is ready if needed.

What type of Will do I need?

There are different types of Will that could provide extra benefits to you and your family. Find out from the team in their video below how a Life Interest Trust Will could be the right Will for you.

Why work with our Wills experts?

At Warner Goodman, we can help simplify creating a Will. Our Will writing solicitors in the Private Client team have years of experience helping clients craft Wills that clearly reflect their wishes. Our Teams can make this process as easy and stress-free as possible. 

We provide expert Will making advice in plain English, so our clients can avoid confusing legal jargon. Our Wills solicitor team always put your needs first, providing a friendly and honest Will writing service.

Our team is highly skilled and experienced. Caroline Johnstone and Sue Nicholson are members of the prestigious Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE).

As a firm, our strong practice standards and client service have been recognised with the Law Society's Lexcel accreditation.

Wills FAQs

What is a Will?

A Will is a legal document that details what you want to happen to your estate in the event of your death. In addition, a Will can be used to determine what will happen to any children or dependents you may have if you pass away. 

For a Will to be legally binding, it must be signed by the person making the Will (the 'testator') and two witnesses (who must not be beneficiaries of the Will or their partners). The testator must have full knowledge of the contents of the Will and the mental capacity to understand the effects of the Will. The testator must also not have been under any undue influence or pressure when making their Will.

When making a Will with a solicitor at Warner Goodman, you don't have to worry about ensuring your Will is legally valid. We will take care of that for you and ensure that there can be no misinterpretations of your wishes.

Our solicitors can also help you to decide what type of Will you need and store your Will in a safe place for your convenience. 

What to consider when making a Will

People assume that making a Will is stressful and a lot of work, however, this is not the case. By making a Will with a solicitor at Warner Goodman, you will have access to all the support you need to navigate through this process.

When making a Will, there are several key things that you will need to take into consideration, this includes:

  • Choosing executors
  • Who you would wish to benefit from your estate
  • Inheritance tax
  • Child arrangements

Our team of Will writing experts at Warner Goodman can support you in each of these and provide expert Will-making advice to ensure your wishes are as straightforward as possible. 

Is it best to use a solicitor for a Will?

Although it is possible to create a Will alone, making a Will with a solicitor can ensure that your exact needs are met in the event of your death. It can also help to:

  • Prevent misinterpretations of your wishes
  • Make sure your Will is valid
  • Check you have coved everything you wanted to
  • Ensure your Will has the desired effect
  • Prevent errors in your Will that may cause disputes among your loved ones

Choosing the right Solicitors for Wills is essential to give you confidence that these matters have been handled correctly. Working with a solicitor who is a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) (such as those here at Warner Goodman) is a good way of ensuring the quality of the service you receive.

How much do solicitors charge for Wills?

The amount you are charged for creating a Will depends heavily on your circumstances. A straightforward Will costs less than a complex Will that will require much more time and attention from our team. 

We will be happy to discuss the cost of your Will with you and will provide a quote with all costs included so you can make an informed decision.

Who shall I have as Executors?

"My spouse/civil partner is an obvious choice, but who in the middle of bereavement wants to deal with tax forms, applications to the Court, and the endless paper chase with various asset holders."

"It's a family affair, so I want someone sympathetic and good with paper and figures."

"I own land, so two executors would be needed - maybe I'll select different individuals with the necessary skill mix."

"I have chosen my executors. But I also have children, so I need to appoint a Guardian." 

"I need someone who can empathize with the children and ensure continuity at school, but I also need someone who is robust and will ensure funds are correctly applied. At least one of the executors should also be a guardian?"

These are all things you will need to consider. Who to choose as your Executors and guardians for your children are some of the most important decisions you will make. Visit our articles here to help you towards your choices:

Are your wishes clear?

Having a Will is not only beneficial for your estate and children but also for having your wishes heard in several other different ways:

  • Funeral wishes? "Cremation or burial?"
  • Personal belongings? "There are one or two items that I would specifically like to give to certain individuals."
  • Tax planning? "I live in the South of England, and due to property prices rising, our combined assets are substantial – including endowment policies. I have worked hard all my life and out of the taxed income I have saved, they will take 40% over the nil rate band of everything that is not left to my spouse or a charity. I had better find out more about these discretionary trust Wills and how the transferable nil rate band works for spouses. I want to leave everything to my family, but there are a couple of people to whom I would like to give some money by way of token. I also have one favourite charity that needs all the money they can get."
  • Care? "In old age, I would like to protect the key family assets where this is possible against care home fees."
  • Everything that's left: "I want it all to go to my spouse, and if they predecease me to my children, but what if one of them dies? To the grandchildren or the surviving children? And with young children, when would they become entitled; age 18, 21, or 25."

Our Will writing solicitors in our Private Client team will be happy to advise you on any of these issues to help ensure that your wishes are absolutely clear.

Is your estate tax efficient?

Our team of solicitors can discuss the amount of inheritance tax that will be levied on your property and other assets in the event of your death and ensure that your Wills are as Tax efficient as possible. 

Do you have dependent children you need to plan for?

Making arrangements for your children in the event of your death is essential. If your children are still dependent on you, your Will can state who you wish to take care of them in the event of your death. 

Our team of Will writing solicitors in our Private Client Team understand how complex this topic can be but will work with you to ensure that your children are cared for if the worst should happen.

Speak to our Private Client Team today about your Will

Need help with making a Will or planning your estate? We have Wills specialists in SouthamptonPortsmouthFarehamChandler's Ford, and Waterlooville.

To find out how Warner Goodman Solicitors can assist you with Wills and estate planning, contact the team on 01329 288121 or email privateclientenquiry@warnergoodman.co.uk.

You can also complete our Wills questionnaire online and request an appointment.

To speak to one of our experts please call us

I was more than satisfied with the service from our lawyer; she is a credit to your firm.