What happens if I die without making a Will?

Special rules, known as the intestacy rules, will be used to decide which members of your family will benefit from your estate. The rules are not right for everyone and not leaving a Will may mean that the people you want to benefit from your estate may not get anything or enough.

How long does it take to make a Will?

That depends on you. Usually we will see you once in order to take instructions and then send you a draft Will for you to check through. If you are happy with the draft will you can then arrange a second very short appointment to sign it.

What do I need to tell you in order to make the Will?

We ask a few questions about you, your family and your assets and what you would like to have happen in the event of your death. If you have children who are under 18 you should have put some thought into who you want to look after them as well as who you would like your assets to go to. Most questions we ask are simple and can be answered at the meeting.

Do I have to use a solicitor to make a Will?

No, but the law is complicated and if you do a Will yourself you may well end up making things more difficult for the people you leave behind. There are firms called Will writers who do Wills but unlike solicitors they are not regulated and if they get it wrong you may find that there is no mechanism for complaint or compensation and indeed nothing you can do about it.

Once I have made a Will can I change it or revoke it?

Yes, you can revoke it and go back to not having a Will or you can write a new one. If you want to change your Will and the changes are only relatively minor you may be able to do what is called a Codicil to change it rather than doing a whole new Will.

I have a Will but I have got married since making It – will it still be valid?

No, marrying revokes a Will. Divorce also alters a Will and so you should review your Will if you have married or got divorced since making it.

How often should I review my Will?

That depends on your circumstances. The older you are, the more often you should review your Will. Ordinarily, people should review their Will every 3 to 5 years or any time that something significant happens in their life, such as a new child being born, someone dying or they receive an amount of money or property they haven’t had before.

Costs

The Department is headed by John Gill who has been qualified as a Solicitor for 38 years and has been with Heptonstalls since February 2001 John focuses primarily on Probates and prides himself on providing an efficient, excellent and personal service for all clients.  His hourly rate is £200.00 plus VAT (£40.00).

Julie Kong has been a Solicitor since October 2008 and has been with Heptonstalls since June 2017.  Julie’s specialism is Personal Injury Trusts and Deputyship work, she acts for a number of clients where she is responsible, working alongside financial advisers, in some cases who have funds of several million pounds.  Her hourly rate is £185.00 plus VAT (£37.00).

Clare Railton qualified as a Solicitor in July 2004 and joined Heptonstalls in October 2014.  She works in both our Goole and our Pontefract offices predominantly dealing with Wills, Powers of Attorney and Probates.  Her hourly rate is £190.00 plus VAT (£38.00).

Laura Kiddy has been with the firm since October 2013 and her specialism is Wills and Powers of Attorney.  Her hourly rate is £111.00 plus VAT (£22.20).

The other members of the Department are supervised by John Gill.  John Gill is supervised by the Head of the Private Client & Commercial Department, Shaun Pinchbeck.

The Department’s costs for their work done on a fixed fee is as follows:

Wills (from)

Single Will (simple)    £120.00 plus VAT = £144.00

Couples Will (simple)    £220.00 plus VAT = £264.00

Discretionary Trust Will (single)  £175.00 plus VAT = £210.00

Discretionary Trust Will (couple)  £325.00 plus VAT = £390.00

Life Interest Will (couple)   £350.00 plus VAT = £420.00
(Including Notice of Severance as well as care planning advice)