Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Will?

A Will is a legal document in which you, the testator, detail your wishes regarding your assets, property and other such wishes. Your Will also details executors and trustees, whose duty it is to carry out your wishes.

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

A Lasting Power of Attorney is a document in which you (the donor) appoint attorneys (people you trust) to be able to make decisions for you in the event that you cannot make them yourself.

There are two types of LPA:

  1. Property and Financial Affairs
  2. Health and Welfare

You could also make a Lasting Power of Attorney governing your business decision making.

What is Probate?

Probate is the legal right to deal with someone’s affairs after they have passed away. Ordinarily, where there is a Will, the executor(s) will apply for the grant of probate.

Where should I store my Will?

There are no legal requirements regarding where a Will should be stored but it’s advised that a Will is stored safely and that your executors know where it’s kept.

Is Will Writing regulated?

The short answer is that anyone can write a Will and that you don’t need formal qualifications to do so.

Having worked in the advanced field of neuroscience, particularly regarding capacity and dementia, there are more challenges being faced than ever before and it’s becoming increasingly more important to ensure that your affairs are in order and documents drafted properly.

Here at Evanson Wills and Estate Planning, we are not ‘generalists’. We are specialists. Should you need assistance, we’re happy to offer a free consultation.

What is a Trust?

A Trust is a device which can be used to shelter and protect assets for a given purpose or beneficiary. There are different types of trust (both Will-based and lifetime) and different types will have different rules. We take care to explain the different types and can draft Will-based trust clauses into Wills where needed.

Is my Will valid?

For your Will to be valid, it needs to be signed and witnessed correctly. For this to happen it needs to be signed in accordance with S.9 of the Wills Act 1837.

There are of course lots of other things that might invalidate parts or all of your Will.

Can I write a DIY Will?

The short answer is yes. You could write your own Will using a DIY kit but it’s not advised. We’re not just writing this because we are a Will writing business fearful of ‘losing’ business. 

Instead, it’s because estate planning is a complex area and a well meaning testator with a lack of knowledge who perhaps wrongly believes their estate to be simple won’t have the protection that they need.

What does this mean? It simply means that your Will could be invalidated, gifts could fail, or it could easily be challenged.

The benefit of using a professional Will writer is that we carry professional indemnity insurance to protect you and your assets. We’re also fully trained and regularly undertake CPD (continuous professional development) to ensure we’re kept abreast of legislative changes.

Are Will Writers and Solicitors the same?

Strictly speaking, no.

Will Writers (also sometimes called Estate Planning professionals or practitioners) are specialists in this field.

Some solicitors are generalists and practice in a number of areas. 

In some cases, you’ll find private client solicitors who are specialists in estate planning within a law firm.

Whoever you choose to write your Will, ensure they are trained, hold insurance, and can demonstrate being able to support clients.

Who should I appoint as an Executor?

The role of an executor can be a complicated one and at a time when loved ones have to come to terms with the loss of someone dear, it’s important to give careful consideration to someone who will be able to handle the responsibility.
You ought to choose someone geographically close to you (not in another country), someone who has the capacity, and someone who you trust.

If in doubt, you can appoint a professional such as Evanson Wills and Estate Planning to support you.

Can I change my Will once it has been written?

Yes. We enjoy testamentary freedom in England and Wales meaning that we can choose who we leave our possessions and assets to.

We can change our Will at any point and leave our assets to whom we choose. 

At Evanson Estate Planning, we advise that you review your Will every 3-5 years.

I can't find a Will. What should I do?

If you can’t find a Will, speak to the firm that wrote it and see if they are storing it safely. If you can’t locate it check with Certainty, The National Will Register to see if they know the location.

How do I become a Will Writer?

Should you wish to become an Estate Planner or Will Writer, you’ll need to get training and support from one of the self-regulatory bodies.

Can a Will be challenged?

Yes. A Will can be challenged. It’s important that you have your Will professionally drafted to ensure that it’s robust and can stand up to legal challenge.

Common challenges occur on the grounds of lack of capacity or insufficient provision.

Can you have more than one Will?

No. Wills ordinarily contain a revocation clause. This means that if you write a new Will, and assuming it’s signed and witnessed correctly, your old Will is revoked.

Does Marriage revoke a Will?

Yes. There is a legal principle in which a Will is revoked by marriage, that is, unless it contains a clause ensuring the Will is not revoked by marriage. This is called an ‘in contemplation of marriage’ clause.