Will Writing

Get in touch for an initial free, no-obligation chat about how we might be able to help you.

Get In Touch

1 Step 1

By submitting this data, I am consenting the use of my data in line with the privacy policy

, Will Writing, Montgomery Financial

Will Writing

Charles Breen explains the process of Will writing.

Does Montgomery offer advice on Wills?

Yes. Our proposition to clients is that we make sure they have the best advice. We’re a one stop shop, and we do provide wills, which we think is incredibly important.

Less than 30% of the population has a Will. We want to make sure that everyone does, because it is so vital. It is literally an expression of your wishes when you die.

It’s not just about Wills. It’s also Lasting Powers of Attorney and trusts, because if you’re in an accident and you don’t have a Power of Attorney, it’s up to a stranger to dictate what your care is and what happens with your bank accounts.

I’ve had a client who was living with his partner. He was in incapacitated with Covid for a while – and they couldn’t even remortgage because she didn’t have power of attorney for him. They were on the variable rate for a period. It was a horrible situation. But that’s what happens if you don’t plan for that sort of situation while you’re young and healthy.

What is a Will?

It is a legal document that expresses what a person wants to do with what they own when they pass away. It sets out what to do with their assets, their property and their children. You can set out who looks after your children if you were to pass away, what happens with any insurance policies, what happens even with your pets and all of your possessions.

I always see it as a letter you write to let everyone know what you want to happen. If you go away on holiday, you leave a letter of instruction about when to feed and walk your dog. You do that if you’re going away for a week – wouldn’t you do that if you’re never going to come back? You’d just leave a bigger letter.

That’s basically what a will is. It’s the letter you leave behind to let everyone know what your wishes are.

When do you need to think about getting a Will?

Everyone needs a Will, in my opinion. But you don’t have to have one. If you don’t, all of your assets are distributed according to the Rules of Intestacy, which the government has set down on how your assets are distributed. It could mean they pass to people that you wouldn’t wish them to.

With a Will, everything will go to exactly who you want, how you want. Realistically, it makes sense to have one as soon as you own anything – once you’re 18 and you have your first car, for example.

As soon as you turn 18 everything you possess is no longer your parents’. Until you’re 18, you’re the ward of your parents, in effect. At 18 you have complete free Will and everything is yours. It’s especially important once you own a house or you have children.

What happens to my estate if I don’t have a Will?

Your estate is all your possessions. It’s a fancy way of saying everything you own. If you die without a Will, your estate will pass to certain individuals according to the Rules of Intestacy. If you’re not married or you don’t have children, your property will pass to your parents first and then down the lines of succession from there.

Let’s say you’ve fallen out with your brother and they’re your next of kin. If you don’t have a Will, everything will pass to them. It’s literally going to someone you don’t want. If you have a Will you can say exactly who you want everything to go to. It could be your nephew or a niece.

If you don’t have a Will and you have children – if you’re an only parent, for example – your children have to go into care. The local authority tries to figure out where to best place them. That might not be with who you want. It might not be your brother or sister. They might place them with your third cousin because they live in a big house.

There was one case in Birmingham where it took seven years to decide where best to place a child. If you have two children, they may put one child with one foster carer and the other with someone else. In that distressing situation, your children are being separated when they need their family together.

Wills aren’t regulated. What does this mean?

Anyone can write a Will, is basically what that means. There are no rules or regulations around who is allowed to do it. Solicitors try to put themselves as the be-all and end-all for Will writing – but they’re not.

You can buy a Will online for a few pounds – but you literally get what you pay for. It could even be you just writing a statement of your wishes on a piece of paper – that can be a Will as long as you phrase it correctly and it’s been signed in the appropriate way.

So while anyone can do a Will, it’s like saying that anyone can fix a car. But most of us go to a proper mechanic.

Here at Montgomery, we have done our exams and we are registered with the Society of Will Writers. I recommend everyone should only use someone who’s registered, because then you know that your will meets the minimum requirements and quality control and standards apply there.

Where should I store my Will?

You can store it yourself, but if it’s lost it won’t be possible to prove your wishes. So it’s always recommended to store it with a reputable company. Usually your Will writer will provide a storage facility. You can have copies of it to hand so that if you ever need it you know exactly where it is.

You would tell your beneficiaries or ideally executors where the will is kept. But don’t store it under your mattress – because what would happen if you died in a fire in that house? You are gone, heaven forbid, and so is your Will. No one knows what your wishes were. That’s why we would store it with a reputable company.

Speak To an Expert
We want to keep that relationship with you up until your mortgage completes in 20, 25 or maybe 35 years. It’s not just a one-off transaction. It’s a long-term relationship, where we watch the market to get you the most positive products out there and try to save you money.

What’s the cost of having a Will written?

It does vary depending on complexity and the quality of your Will writer. You can go online and find Will writing sites that just use algorithms. They’re cheap and cheerful and you can put in your details and you have a will. But no-one’s checking to make sure it’s correct. No one’s giving you advice.

Technically it may not be worth the paper it’s written on. Proper Wills are done by qualified Will writers. Obviously, you are paying for their time, expertise and advice so it will vary. A Will writer is usually cheaper than a solicitor, who can be extortionately expensive.

It also depends on if you’re wanting to do Powers of Attorney, which I believe everyone should have. They literally allow someone to be able to make decisions for you if you’re incapacitated, if you’re in a coma or a car crash.

If you do that, it adds to the cost. If you want to put your property in trust to protect it from Sideways disinheritance, where your children are disinherited through subsequent marriages or relationships, that’ll cost a bit more.

You would sit down and have a discussion with a Will writer who will go through all the options and see what’s best for you, and your long-term wishes.

Can you go back and update your Will if you earned more money or had savings?

We recommend someone updates their will every five years. We also provide an update service. With a lot of our Wills clients, we also look after their mortgages. So when we’re redoing their mortgage we update their will at the same time. It’s a holistic service.

Some companies will want you to do a full rewrite but we try to avoid that wherever possible.

What are the dangers of writing my own Will?

If you don’t know what you’re doing you can easily make a mistake – but those mistakes only come to light after you’ve passed away. There are lots of little things you wouldn’t be aware of.

For example, if someone’s benefiting from the Will but they are also a witness on it, they can’t actually get what they’re meant to. Let’s say your son is going to inherit your house when you pass away. You ask him to witness your signature, because you’re doing it yourself. But now he can’t inherit the house because of the rules about witnesses.

There’s a lot to be aware of before doing your own Will. That’s why you should always get that advice. A mistake can’t be undone after you’ve died.

How do I go about arranging a Will? How can a financial adviser help here?

Contact a dedicated Will writer. I would never advise anyone to do it themselves. Everyone should have a will and a dedicated will writer will cost less than a solicitor.

As financial advisers we can help because we’re looking at you holistically, not just from the will point of view. We can talk about your insurances and how we can put them into trust – that’s the most efficient way and will pay out quicker to your beneficiaries.

We’re looking at things from several points of view, unlike a Will writer. We have a team here that talks about mortgages, and we will also broadly discuss Wills, trusts and LPAs. Then we pass it on to our dedicated Will writers.

They’ll be able to then give you full advice and complete your Will. But we’ll also have spoken to you about all of the other things to be aware of – having the right insurance, making sure your beneficiaries are looked after, putting insurance in trust and making sure your mortgage is all up to date. We look after you as holistically as possible.


Why Montgomery Financial

Our website uses cookies to improve your experience.