Making a Will – Frequently asked questions


Making a Will is the only way to ensure that your assets are passed on to your loved ones on your death. A Will offers peace of mind and with professional advice the process can be quick and simple. Don’t put it off any longer-speak to us at North Ainley Halliwell about putting a Will in place. For more information on making a Will please see our factsheet below.

Why should someone make a Will?

The more important reasons are the following:

  • A Will enables you to make provision for your loved ones after your death.
  • You control who benefits from your assets and possessions on your death. If you do not make a Will, the law dictates how your property is distributed when you die (this is known as dying intestate).
  • You control who is to carry out your wishes by appointing Executors rather than the law directing who should be responsible for dealing with your affairs.
  • As you are in control of how your Estate distributed, you can structure your Will so as to avail of the most tax efficient way of dividing your Estate.
  • A Will enables you to appoint guardians of minor children.

What is an Executor’s function?

An Executor’s function is to deal with your affairs when you die, this is known as administering the Estate; they gather up all the assets, discharge any liabilities and then divide up the Estate in accordance with the terms of the Will.

The Executor will do all the paperwork necessary to transfer your property to the people named in the Will and liaises with the Solicitor to complete all the legal formalities.

Is an Executor paid?

Executors would be entitled to out of pocket expenses but they are not entitled to be paid, though provision can be made in the Will to remunerate them.

If you have a professional Executor e.g. a Solicitor or Accountant they would usually be paid for carrying out the role.

Is it necessary for the person you appoint as Executor to agree in advance to be an Executor?

No their consent in advance is not necessary, some people might not find out they are Executors until after the death. However, we would advise that you seek your Executor’s agreement in advance of appointing them. An Executor can choose not to act and if no other Executor is named in the Will the law steps in and dictates who should be responsible for looking after your affairs.

When should a Will be updated?

Wills should be updated regularly particularly if circumstances change e.g.

  • getting married –marriage revokes previous Wills.
  • getting divorced or separated.
  • buying a hous.
  • on receiving an inheritanc.
  • having children or grandchildren.
  • a beneficiary or executor named in your Will dies before you.
  • you give away or sell property specifically mentioned in your Wil.

Can anyone make a Will?

  • You must be over 18.
  • You must be of sound mind at the time.

If someone is considering making a Will what should they do or consider?

  • The first thing to do is look at your assets, think about who you would like to provide for and how you might be able to achieve this.
  • Think about what you would like to happen if the people you wish to leave your assets were to die before you.
  • Put some thought into who you would like to appoint as Executors-they have an important function so you should give the appointment some consideration and think about it practically–many people might automatically think of appointing the person that it is closest to them but this might not necessarily be the most suitable person. Also consider appointing substitute Executors in the event that the appointed Executor dies before you.
  • Consider if there are any particular wishes you want to include in your Will e.g. funeral wishes.
  •  Contact North Ainley Halliwell who can advise you on the options available to you.
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