9th March 2018

Making a Will with Cocks Lloyd FAQs

‘In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes’ – and unfortunately two centuries since Benjamin Franklin said this, the same rings true! However, this does not mean we cannot prepare for these inevitabilities and one way to do so is by making a will. Here at Cocks Lloyd we can advise you on making a will that suits your specific needs.

What is a will?
A will is a legal written document that specifies the distribution of your assets when you have passed away. A will can be as detailed or as simple as you would like.

Do I need a will?
There are a variety of reasons why you would need a will. If you are married and have children, it may be tempting to assume that all of your assets will pass to your surviving spouse. However, if someone dies without a will, leaving a spouse and children, then under the rules of intestacy, only £250,000 and a one-half share of the remainder passes to the surviving spouse. The children would then receive a one-half share of the remainder between them equally.
Another scenario could be if a person dies intestate (not having made a will), and they have no close family, it could well end up that their estate is divided between a wide spread of relatives with whom that person may not have had a close relationship.
Put simply, if you have specific wishes regarding the distribution of your estate when you have passed away you must consider completing a will.

I want to leave gifts of money to my friends and family in my will. Does it have to be a lot?
No – sometimes a gift of around £100 is given as a token of appreciation so that that person knows that you remembered them in your will.

Can I leave specific wishes or instructions in my will?
Yes, you can request things such as how or where you would like to be buried, what songs you would like to be played at your funeral, or, if you don’t feel you would like a funeral, you can make your wishes known.
If you have a specific gift you would like to leave to someone, for example pieces of jewellery or a collection, then this can also be included in your will.

How old do you have to be to make a will?
18 is the legal age for making a will.

How long does it take to write a will?
After our first meeting we aim to send you a draft of the will to your home address within 5 working days of your appointment and the will is usually signed shortly thereafter.
If you need your will to be completed quickly, for any reason, then we can arrange to have your will ready in a shorter time period, subject to the complexity of the will. Ultimately, the time it will take to compete your will is driven by your needs.

I can’t get into Nuneaton easily. Can I give instructions over the phone or by email?
For the most part, we are obliged to take instructions from you face to face. If you are unable to attend our offices, we can arrange for a solicitor to visit you at home for a small fee. Please call the office to discuss this further.

My relative would like to make a will. Can I attend the appointment with them?
When we meet to take will instructions we must see the person alone so that they can speak freely with the solicitor. If you would like to bring your relative to our offices, we have a reception area where you can wait. Taking instructions for a will normally takes around 30 – 45 minutes.

I have changed address. Do I need to rewrite my will?
If you have changed address, then we would not need to rewrite your will, unless your will includes specific provision in respect of your property. At the very least we ask you to please contact our office to notify us of the change, and we will note the same for future reference.

What information will I need to bring to my appointment?
– Two forms of current ID for yourself
– The names and addresses of people you would like to include in your will
– A rough idea of your personal finances (this can help us advise you on any inheritance tax liability – optional)

Marriage and Divorce

If you have recently married, you should be aware that any previous will you have completed in all probability has been revoked by your marriage (unless the will was made “in contemplation” of the marriage in question).

Going through a divorce does not revoke your will, but will impact your wishes. Accordingly if you are recently married or going through a divorce it is very important to consider reviewing/updating your will.

If you would like to make a will or discuss the options available to you please contact us.