Can my spouse and I/my civil partner and I make separate Wills?

Yes. You and your spouse/civil partner can make separate Wills. Irwin Mitchell offer both Single Will and Mirror Wills options. The Mirror Wills service is suitable for couples (married, civil partners or co-habiting) who have very similar wishes on how their assets should be distributed. For this service you pay one price but receive a Will each. The two Wills will be mirror images of each other.

Our Single Will service is suitable for people who are single, separated, divorced/dissolved civil partnership or widowed/surviving civil partner. Single Wills are also suitable for couples who have very different wishes on how their assets should be distributed. Please call us to find out which service is right for you.

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What will happen to my estate if I don't have a Will when I die?

If you don't have a Will when you die, you are said to die "intestate". This means that the law will decide how your estate is distributed and this may not be the outcome you desired. A Will is the only way of making your wishes known when you die.

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Is there an age limit on making a Will?

Yes. There is a minimum age limit for writing a Will. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland you must be over 18, and in Scotland you must be over 16.

There is no upper age limit for making a Will.

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I have a disability or visual impairment which makes it difficult for me to read/sign things. Can you help me with my Will?

Yes we can. If you let us know about your particular requirements, we can prepare a Will that will be effective and appropriate for your circumstances. We will give you guidance about the completion of our form and the signing and witnessing of your Will. If you would like to speak to us about your needs please call us.

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I have lived in Scotland/Northern Ireland can I still make a Will in England?

If you consider Scotland or Northern Ireland your domicile (your permanent home) you should have a Will drafted under the laws of Scotland or Northern Ireland.

Irwin Mitchell have legal professionals who are able to write a Will that is suitable for you, irrespective of whether you call England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland home.

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I have property overseas; can I still make a Will in England?

Generally, if you own land, property or any other asset in a foreign country, you should have a Will prepared under the local law of that country. This is because of the complexities of foreign probate law: if you do not have a Will in that country, it may take a lot of time and money to sort out.

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Can I make changes to my Will before I sign it and have it witnessed?

Yes you can: please let us know what you would like us to change, either by telephone or by hand altering the copy we have already sent you and returning it to us. We will then make the appropriate changes and send you another copy for approval and signing.

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Do I have to name my children and if so, do I have to change my Will if I have another one?

Not necessarily. When we receive your Will instructions, we will look at your age and circumstances, (if you already have a very young child, for example), and we will write the Will in such a way as to accommodate future children, whilst naming children you already have.

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Can I ask members of my family to be the witnesses to the Will?

Irwin Mitchell strongly advise against this as it can invalidate all or part of the Will. All Irwin Mitchell Wills include clear signing instructions which outline who can or can't witness the signing of a Will. If you have any doubts about who can be a witness, please call the team.

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How can I prevent my property and other assets being taken into account for nursing home fees?

Irwin Mitchell is able to offer a special Will called an Asset Protection Will. For more information on Asset Protection Wills please call the team or tick the box on the online form and we'll contact you to provide full details.

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What happens if my beneficiaries die before me?

This is a sad event which unfortunately happens more often than people think. This situation is one of the instances when Irwin Mitchell recommends that you should review your Will. Depending on how you original Will was drafted, it may not always be necessary to re-write it, as it may include wording which takes the death of a beneficiary into account and names someone else to take their place. If you find yourself in this situation please give us a call and we will discuss your choices with you.

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Why should I have Irwin Mitchell as my Executors?

Your inheritance is a gift to your beneficiaries and it is important that such a gift is given without stress, worry or hassle for the recipients at what, for them, will be a difficult time. Irwin Mitchell can assist almost immediately following death if they are appointed as Executor in your Will. They will be able to guide and support your beneficiaries as to the appropriate steps to take and to ensure that your estate is dealt with in a timely and professional manner.

The advantages of appointing Irwin Mitchell as your executor include:-

  • Competitive rates which are negotiated with the beneficiaries following your death so everyone is happy before Irwin Mitchell act.
  • An independent professional body dealing with matters to avoid conflict between beneficiaries.
  • Your estate is administered by a regulated law firm which has stringent quality standards.
  • The worry, stress and hassle taken away from your loved ones.
  • Immediate advice and assistance provided following death so there is no delay or confusion over where to turn for help.
  • A dedicated person dealing with your estate on hand to help and advise your family.
  • A friendly and approachable team will be on hand to help every step of the way.

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I have a disabled child/child with learning difficulties. How do I make provision for the care of them for the rest of his/her life after I have died?

This can be addressed in your Will. It may be necessary to hold the funds due to them in trust. Please call our team for advice.

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When should I update/review my Will?

We recommend that you should review your Will every five years or so, to make sure it is still appropriate for your circumstances.

As a rough guide, here are a few examples of additional situations where you may need to update your Will:

  • Change in family relationships: if you have married, entered into a civil partnership, started co-habiting, divorced, separated, had a civil partnership dissolved, been widowed or are a surviving civil partner.
  • Family Growth: if you have become a parent, grandparent, see your family grow, or children have entered your life through a new relationship.
  • Bereavement: if one of your main beneficiaries or someone named in your Will dies.
  • Significant Change in your Assets: sometimes it is necessary to review your Will if your assets change or increase significantly.
  • No Longer Accurately Reflects your Wishes: The main objective of a Will is to represent and communicate your wishes after you have died. If your Will no longer does this then you should up date it.

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