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What is the process for making a Will in Bristol?

The process for making a Will is straightforward. If you go to a professional Will writer or solicitor, each will have a similar process, although the details might different. For more information on solicitors, Will writers and free Wills in Bristol, read Will writing solicitors near me.

So what is the process for making a Will in Bristol with Bristol Wills & Estate Planning? It involves three steps:

  1. Book an appointment
  2. Discuss your circumstances
  3. Sign your Will

Step 1: Book an appointment

The first meeting is a free-of-charge consultation. It’s designed to find out more about you and determine the most appropriate legal documents for your needs.

So the first step is to pick a time and date to suit your diary. If you’re a couple and you both work during the day, I offer appointments on some evenings during the week. If you book far enough ahead, I’m happy to meet on a Saturday.

Most meetings are face-to-face and, in the Bristol area, I’ll come to you. Alternatively, private meeting rooms are available in my office. If you live further afield, I provide video meetings over the internet using Google Meet – the technology is very similar to Zoom.

In terms of length of appointment, please allow up to 90 minutes. It may not take that long if your circumstances are simple but do ensure you have time to ask all the questions you need to.

Step 2: Discuss your circumstances

During the meeting we’ll discuss your general aims, your family circumstances and any concerns you may have. After that, we’ll go on to discuss your estate (i.e., what you own and what you owe). If you’re a couple, this means looking at what you own both individually and jointly since this affects how your assets are transferred after death.

The biggest asset for most people is the family home. You may also own other properties in the UK or abroad. It helps to locate the title deeds for each property in advance. This will help me determine how the property will pass on death and if the type of ownership needs to be changed.

It’s important to think about the lives and circumstances of not just you but the likely beneficiaries of your Will. Are any of them are in a rocky marriage, for example? If so, then inheriting from you might be a bad idea if they go on to lose 50% of their inheritance in a divorce.

Here are a few questions it helps to think about in advance:

  • Do you have a new spouse/partner and children from a previous relationship, and you wish to benefit all parties?
  • Does your spouse/partner have children from a previous relationship who they wish to benefit?
  • Are you concerned that your spouse or partner could remarry after your death, eroding your children’s inheritance?
  • Are you concerned that your spouse or partner may need care after your death, eroding your children’s inheritance?

Regarding the beneficiaries of your Will, are you concerned that any of them might:

  • Squander the assets they inherit?
  • Get divorced?
  • Go bankrupt?
  • Be too young to inherit?

Do any of your beneficiaries:

  • Have a disability, learning difficulties, or are unable to manage money?
  • Receive means-tested benefits?

Do you have any children to whom you wish to leave:

  • A smaller share of your estate?
  • Nothing (i.e., you wish to exclude them)?

During the meeting, I’ll also explain related areas of estate planning like inheritance tax and Lasting Powers of Attorney. This will give you a full picture of planning for the rest of your life and what happens afterwards.

After the meeting, I’ll send you a short report. I’ll cover the options suitable for your circumstances, and it’s then up to you which you want to go for. If you don’t want to go ahead, there’s no pressure and no obligation.

Once you’ve decided on the choice of Will, I’ll write a draft and send it to you for checking. Once you’re satisfied that the Will meets your objectives and all the information is correct, I’ll proceed to create the final documents.

Step 3: Sign your Will

The Will only becomes a legal document once it’s signed and witnessed. If you live in or near Bristol, I’ll bring the documents out to you.

You’ll need two independent witnesses and I can act as one. So you’ll only need to find one other – a neighbour or friend, perhaps.

If you live a long way outside Bristol or further afield, I’ll need to post documents to you. Don’t worry – I’ll provide full instructions on how to carry out the witnessing. Once signed and witnessed, that’s it – your Will is now a legal document.

You can then keep your Will at home or opt for a professional storage service, which I can arrange on your behalf.

Summary

As you’ve seen, the answer to “What is the process for making a Will in Bristol?” involves three simple steps if you use Bristol Wills & Estate Planning. So if this is something you’ve been meaning to do for a while, why not get the ball rolling with Step 1 and make an appointment today.

The information contained in these articles is for general interest purposes only. We take every precaution to ensure that the information is correct at the time of publishing but errors can occur. Given the changing nature of laws, rules and regulations, there may be omissions or inaccuracies in the information. Bristol Wills & Estate Planning Ltd is not responsible for any errors or omissions or for any results obtained from the use of this information. You should never rely on the information in these articles as a substitute for professional legal advice, whether from Bristol Wills & Estate Planning or any other legal service or professional.

Need advice on Wills or estate planning in Bristol? Request a callback within 48 hours.