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Common Questions about Writing a Will

Wills are indisputably one of the most important legal documents in existence, everyone should have one. Without a Will you cannot choose who inherits from your Estate on your death. You leave it to a set of legally prescribed rules that may not have the outcome that you want.

Having a Will drawn up is usually a straightforward and quick process. The Private Client team at K J Smith Solicitors will be happy to answer any questions you may have, but to get you started, here are some common questions we are often asked in regards to Wills.

I am due to become a parent/grandparent, can I leave assets to my unborn child/ grandchild?

Yes, you can! Your Solicitor can draft your Will to deal with any future-born children or grandchildren that might be born after the date of your Will but before the date of your death.

Inheritance for any minor child or grandchild would be held in a Trust arrangement for their benefit until their 18th birthday (or an older age that you specify). The monies in the Trust can be used for that child’s benefit prior to that age for their education, maintenance and benefit.

There are some tax consequences on choosing an age older than 25 for your own children, or 18 for Grandchildren. At K J Smith we can discuss this with you to ensure you are also leaving your Estate in the most tax efficient manner.

Can my partner and I make Wills to sign right after our marriage/civil partnership?

You can however it is much safer to have a Will prepared prior to your wedding day, which is made in contemplation of your marriage. This is because marriage automatically revokes any Will you have in place, unless your Will is specifically drafted to withstand the marriage.

At K J Smith we can draft your Will so that it is ‘made in contemplation of your marriage’ and therefore still take effect after it. This ensures that if something awful were to happen to either of you immediately after your wedding that your Will still stands.

What happens to a Will when a civil partnership is converted to a marriage?

Nothing, the marriage is deemed to have existed at the point when the civil partnership was formed. Any Wills made after the civil partnership will still be valid despite the subsequent marriage.

Who can be a witness to a Will?

Witnessing a Will is a hugely important part of a Will process, and unless it is done correctly it can invalidate your Will. For this reason at k J Smith we always prefer to act as your Witness ourselves to ensure a validly executed Will.

Generally speaking a Will requires two witnesses. Each witness should be an independent person who is over 18 years. Ideally you should use someone completely unconnected to your Will, such as a neighbour or family friend.

Your witness cannot be related to you by blood, or your spouse or civil partner. In addition they cannot be a beneficiary of your Will, or that beneficiary’s spouse or civil partner. If they do act as a witness they will lose their entitlement under your Will.

Can I use my Will to take care of my pet?

Absolutely, for legal purposes your pets are viewed as your possessions and therefore you can leave your pets to named individuals or a charity. If you want to leave money to go towards your pet’s care and maintenance then this is best dealt with through a Trust arrangement and is something you can speak to us about at K J Smith Solicitors.

Get in Touch

If you would like help and advice with you will, we offer a free initial 15 minute telephone appointment to give you the opportunity to speak to us about our Will writing services, before deciding if you wish to proceed in instructing us to act on your behalf.

Please contact K J Smith Solicitors on 01491 630000 (Henley on Thames), 0118 418 1000 (Reading Head Office), 0118 418 1200 (Reading Central), 01256 584000 (Basingstoke), 01483 370100 (Guildford), 01494 629000 (Beaconsfield), 01235 375500 (Abingdon), 01344 513000 (Ascot) 01865 703 000 (Oxford) or email info@kjsmith.co.uk.

We also serve a wide range of other areas including Bracknell, Gerrards Cross, Maidenhead, Marlow, Oxford, Slough, Wokingham, and High Wycombe.

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All our offices are easily accessible by road, rail or bus and we are open Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 6:00pm. With today's busy schedules, we offer telephone appointments outside normal office hours until 9pm on Thursdays and between 10am and 3pm on Saturdays.

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If you would like to visit our team of family solicitors, we have offices in Henley-on-Thames, Woodley, Reading (Head Office), Reading (Central), Basingstoke, Guildford, Beaconsfield, Ascot, Newbury & Winchester. We serve a wide range of other areas including Abingdon, Bracknell, Gerrards Cross, Maidenhead, Marlow, Oxford, Slough, High Wycombe and Wokingham.

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