Want to make a legally valid will in no time at all, and without the fuss, inconvenience and expense of a trip to a solicitor? Worried that a DIY will may not suit your particular circumstances?
Find out if you can use Lawpack's DIY Will Kit by just answering seven simple questions:
Q1. Do you have your permanent home in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland?
Yes – go to Q2.
No – This Will Kit is not suitable for you because you are not domiciled in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland. The law differs between different countries, so for international legal advice Take Legal Advice can help.
Q2. Are you of sound mind*?
Yes – go to Q3.
No – This Will Kit may not be suitable for you. If you have a history of mental disorder or an illness may be affecting your judgement, you should consult a qualified doctor just before preparing your Will. This will help establish whether you are able to make a Will.
*‘Sound mind’ means that you understand what you are giving away, how you are giving it away and who you are giving it to.
Q3. Are you over 18 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland or over 12 in Scotland?
Yes – go to Q4.
No – If you are under the legal age, you cannot make a Will by any means. (The exception is that if you are under 18 and in active service with the armed forces in war, or at sea as a seaman, you can make a Will.)
Q4. Do you have more than £325,000 worth of assets*?
Yes – This Will Kit is suitable for you but it only provides a simple outline of Inheritance Tax planning. If you want to find ways to reduce your Inheritance Tax bill, Lawpack's book Tax Answers at a Glance can help.
No – go to Q5.
* This 2009/10 figure is the current value of a person's assets that is free from Inheritance Tax. For the purposes of your Will, 'assets' include your property, personal possessions, cash, savings and investments. Note that some insurance policies cannot be left in your Will. You need to check with your insurance provider. Sometimes your pension rights cannot be included in your Will so you should check with your pension provider. If you own a property as a joint tenant (if you do not know how you own your property, then check with the solicitor who did your conveyancing), then your share of that property will automatically pass to the other owner and therefore will not be included in your Will.
Q5. Do you have property abroad*?
Yes – This Will Kit is suitable for you but it is possible that the property that is situated abroad may not be included in your Will. We recommend that you take international legal advice about your foreign property, Take Legal Advice can help.
No – go to Q6.
*If you live in England and own a property in Scotland or Northern Ireland, the property is considered to be foreign property because it is in a different legal jurisdiction. The same applies if you live in Scotland and own a property in England or Northern Ireland, this property is considered to be foreign property because it is in a different legal jurisdiction. Therefore, you need to take legal advice in the country where the property is situated. For legal advice, Take Legal Advice can help.
Q6. Do you own a business or share in a business?
Yes – This Kit may be suitable for you but there may be extra complications that you need to be aware of.
If you run a business on your own (sole proprietor) and you want the business to continue after your death or to pass to one of your beneficiaries, then this Kit is not suitable for you and you should take legal advice. For legal advice, Take Legal Advice can help.
If you are part of a partnership, this Will Kit may be suitable for you, but there may be complications depending on whether you have a partnership deed or not and whether the partnership can pass under your Will. You should make sure you have checked this before you make your Will.
If you own all or part of a private company, there may be restrictions on who you can transfer shares to. You should make sure you have checked this before you make your Will. For legal advice, Take Legal Advice can help.
If you own shares in a public company (Plc), then there is no restriction on who you transfer shares to and this Kit will be suitable for you.
No – See Q7.
Q7. Are you married or in a civil partnership?
Yes – This Kit is suitable for you.
No – This Kit is suitable for you. It is very important that you make a Will if you are living with someone as this person may get nothing from your estate if you die without having made a Will. If you have children, you should take legal advice about getting parental responsibility* before you make your Will. For legal advice, Take Legal Advice can help.
*An unmarried father does not automatically have parental responsibility (the ability to make decisions about their child's welfare) unless the child was born after 1 December 2003 and the father is named on the birth certificate.
The unmarried mother automatically has parental responsibility. The appointment of a guardian in your Will is only effective after both parents with parental responsibility die. So if the father does not have parental responsibility, it is possible for a mother to name someone in their Will other than the father to be the child's guardian.
Make a DIY will now!
Published on: October 26, 2010