Frequently Asked Questions - Will

Here you’ll find a great deal of information about Wills and everything you need to know to go through the process of putting one together using our online service.

Have a question that isn’t answered here? Please get in touch.

A Will is a legal document that sets out your wishes in the event of your death. In it you can choose who will inherit your money and property, and who will be responsible for caring for your children. A Will can also be used to let your family and loved ones know your wishes for your funeral.

We recommend that everyone over the age of eighteen has a valid Will. This is a sensible document to make as it will ensure your loved ones know what your wishes are should the unexpected happen.

If you die without a valid Will, your family may not have the legal right to carry out your wishes. Instead, your property and assets could be passed on to people you wouldn’t have chosen.

Our online system will take you step-by-step through the information we will need to prepare your documents. The system is straight-forward and easy to use, but you can contact us at any time during the process if you need help or guidance.

Once we have received your information, we will contact you to tell you which of our solicitors will be personally looking after your Will.

Your document should be ready within seven working days at which point it will be sent to you by email for your approval. Once you have approved it, we will then send it in the post for you to sign. The package will include full instructions and a pre-paid return envelope.

The final steps are for us to check that the document has been signed correctly and for us to manage the registration. Our service includes registering your Will with the Certainty National Will Register.

Our online Will service is charged at a fixed fee. For this we will write the documents, register them and provide as much support and guidance as you need by email or telephone.

  • For a single Will (for one person) our fee is £125 inc VAT*
  • For a mirror Will (for a couple) our fee is 195 inc VAT*

*Please note that these fees include registration with Certainty National Will Register (usually £30 plus VAT per person) and secure storage for as long as you need it.

To fill in our online forms, we suggest you have the following information and documents to hand:

  • Your address and contact details
  • The address and contact details for your proposed executors
  • The address and contact details for anyone you’d like to name in your Will
  • At least two ID documents (see below for the types of document we can accept for this)
  • A debit or credit card, if you’d like to pay online (available soon)

We are an authorised and regulated solicitors’ firm and the law therefore requires us to obtain certain identification documents from our clients. You can either choose to upload a scan of your documents when prompted by our online form, or you can send copies to us by email or post.

We need to see two of the following documents:

  • A valid driving licence
  • A valid passport
  • A bank statement (must be no more than three months old)
  • A utility bill (must be no more than three months old and not for a mobile phone)

Don’t worry if you aren’t sure if you have the right type of ID. Once we’ve received your information we will contact you to discuss which documents we can accept. In some cases, we may need to carry out additional electronic identification checks, but we wouldn’t do this without discussing it with you first.

We are a fully authorised solicitors’ firm and are regulated by the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority (SRA). This means that we abide by a strict code of conduct and are held accountable to this by the SRA.

Our service also differs to most other online options in that we provide as much personal assistance as you need throughout the process. You will be able to contact us via email or phone to discuss your Will. We also guarantee to ensure your Will has been signed correctly.

Roche Legal is a boutique firm. We are completely independent and are not affiliated with any large corporations. Your Will will be dealt with by one of our solicitors.

An executor is a person you choose to carry out the wishes in your Will after you have died. A legal Will gives them the authority to access your finances and assets, and distribute them according to your stipulations.

You can appoint as many executors as you like, although we don’t recommend having more than four as this can be impractical. Where possible, we would suggest choosing two executors.

You can also appoint one or more executors to act in place of your original executors, should your original executors be unable or unwilling to act when the time comes.

You can appoint anyone you like to be your executor, so long as they are aged eighteen or above at the time of your death.

When appointing your executors, make sure you choose people you feel you can trust to carry out your wishes effectively and sensitively. Most people choose family members or very close friends to fill this role. Your executors will be able to appoint a solicitor to assist them with the legalities of administrating your Will, so you don’t necessarily need to choose someone with legal expertise.

If you wish however, you can appoint us to be your executor, either on our own, or jointly with another person or people. This can provide added assurance that your wishes will be carried out. It’s sensible to do this if you feel you need someone impartial to deal with your estate after your death.

Once you have made your decisions, we recommend that you discuss your plans with the people you have chosen to be executors. This means they will be prepared if they do need to act for you.

Yes, this is fairly common.

If you have children under the age of eighteen, you’ll need to decide who you’d like to look after them should anything happen to you.

When your children’s other parent is able to take on this responsibility they usually will, regardless of whether or not you were together at the time of your death. If the other parent has also died, or if they are unable to take custody for another reason, your guardians will become legally responsible for your children.

You can appoint anyone you like to be your children’s guardian, so long as they are over eighteen at the time of your death. It is important to choose someone you trust to care for your children.

We recommend that you discuss this with the person or people you’d like to appoint. This means they will be prepared in the event that they do need to step in.

A beneficiary is someone who benefits from your Will. Anyone you name to inherit something, no matter how big or small, is a beneficiary.

A beneficiary can be an individual or an organisation, such as a charity.

You can leave money, property or assets to anyone in your Will, but they will usually need to be at least eighteen years old before they can receive it.

If you die before your beneficiary reaches this age, your executors would look after their inheritance for them in the meantime. Your executors would decide how to do this, and whether or not they should invest the money on the beneficiary’s behalf.

In some cases, your beneficiary may wish to access some of their inheritance before they turn eighteen. Your executors would be able to decide whether or not they were able to do so.

You will need two people to witness your Will. There are a few rules about who this can be:

  • Witnesses must be eighteen or over
  • Witnesses must not be a member of your family
  • Witnesses must not be a beneficiary named in your Will
  • Witnesses must not be the spouse or civil partner of anyone who is a beneficiary named in your Will

If your Will is witnessed by someone who is mentioned in your Will as a beneficiary, or who’s spouse or civil partner is a beneficiary, they or their spouse/civil partner will no longer be able to receive what you have left to them.

An executor can technically witness your Will, but we don’t recommend this as it can result in complications.

A friend, neighbour or colleague would be an ideal witness: so long as they or their spouse/civil partner are not named in your Will.

Once we have received all your information via the online system, our solicitors will write your Will and send it to you by email for your approval. Once you have approved it, we will then send it in the post for you to sign. This will come with full instructions on how to sign your Will correctly.

You and your witnesses will need to be together to sign your Will.

Our online Will service is designed for those who have straight forward affairs, don’t own assets overseas, and don’t need advice about inheritance tax or trusts.

If you’re not sure whether or not it’s right for you, please call us on 01904 866 139. Even if our online system isn’t suitable for you, our firm will still be able to help.

Inheritance Tax is usually applicable when a person’s estate is worth more than £325,000. This threshold is called the ‘nil rate band.’ The nil rate band has been frozen at this figure until 2020/21.

If your estate is worth more than the nil rate band, anything above it will be taxed at 40%. However, in some cases this total amount can be reduced should certain exemptions and reliefs apply.

For deaths on or after 6 April 2017, an additional ‘residence nil rate band’ will also apply so that less inheritance tax may be paid when the family home is left to children, grandchildren or some other individuals.

We are able to offer advice and expertise on managing inheritance tax. If you would like to benefit from this, please get in touch.

Yes, of course. Our office is based in Nether Poppleton, York, and we would love to meet you. We also offer home visits locally to clients who are unable to come to us.

Please note that different fees apply if you choose to meet with us in person rather than use our online system. Please contact us for more information.

If after reading the FAQs you still have a question, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We will be happy to answer any queries, or to discuss your personal circumstances and concerns. You can reach us on 01904 866 139, or on hello@rochelegal-online.co.uk.

Get started making your Will

Everyone should make a Will. This important legal document will ensure your wishes are known after your death. As part of your Will you can legally record who you wish to inherit your money and property, as well as who you wish to be responsible for any dependents you leave behind.

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