Will Writing & Probate Solicitors in Bristol
Our Bristol will writing experts ensure your assets pass into the right hands
We appreciate it can be difficult to envisage a time when you’re not there to provide for your family and preparing a will can be the last thing on your mind.
Planning early, however, gives you and your family peace of mind so you can enjoy your time together in the present. With the expert guidance of our wills and probate solicitors, our clients find the process of preparing a will much less stressful than they anticipate.
Your will is the cornerstone of your succession planning. Not only will this document ensure that your assets pass to your chosen beneficiaries and family members, but also that this happens in the most practical and sensible way to protect your loved ones and your assets for the future.
We are one of only a few firms in Bristol that have members of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP); meaning our team practice and is recognised at the highest level in will writing.
Wherever you are on your journey, our legal advisors can help. Call us today on 0330 024 0333 or use the button below to complete our contact form.
How Our Will Writing & Probate Experts in Bristol Can Help
Bespoke written wills
Our solicitors can help you write a will to ensure that your money goes to the people you want it to go
We can draft the necessary legal documentation, collect in and encash the assets and pay liabilities such as tax liabilities arising both during and after the death of your loved one.
Setting up of trusts & successions planning
In some circumstances a trust can be used to protect the assets for your own benefit, should you feel you need a helping hand in managing financially.
Appointing powers of attorney
We can also help you make a lasting power of attorney to give someone you trust the authority to make decisions on your behalf if you lose mental capacity later in life.
Contesting a will
If you feel that a family member’s wishes have not been fulfilled, or you feel like you haven’t received what is rightfully yours, then our team of experts can support you on inheritance and trust disputes – however large or small.
Advising on a range of issues, from tax considerations to the use of protective trusts
Will Writing & Probate Frequently Asked Questions
Making a will is a crucial step towards securing your assets and ensuring that your wishes regarding your property, personal, and financial affairs are honored even after you’re gone. A will also presents an excellent opportunity for personal tax planning and enables your executors to take advantage of valuable inheritance tax reliefs.
With a tailored trust structure, you can meet the unique needs of your beneficiaries, including vulnerable family members, young children, or long-term charitable causes. Moreover, making a will gives you the freedom to appoint executors of your choice, such as family members, friends, or professionals. They can take charge of your estate right after your demise and handle your funeral arrangements.
If you have children under 18, you can appoint guardians to look after them when you’re not around, and mention it in your will. Having a will in place can provide peace of mind to you and your family and offer the certainty that your wishes will be respected even after you’re gone.
The right time to make a will is as soon as possible. It’s never too early to start planning for the future, and having a will in place can provide peace of mind and ensure that your wishes are carried out if something unexpected happens.
It’s particularly important to make a will if you have assets, such as property or savings, or if you have dependents who rely on you financially, such as children or elderly parents. However, anyone over the age of 18 can make a will, regardless of their financial or personal circumstances.
It’s also essential to review your will regularly and update it if your circumstances change, such as if you have a new child, get married, or acquire new assets. If you don’t have a will, it’s important to take action and consult with a legal professional to get one in place as soon as possible.
No, you do not have to go to a solicitor to write a will in the UK. While it is recommended to seek professional advice from a solicitor, a will can be written by anyone who is over the age of 18 and is of sound mind.
However, it’s important to note that a will needs to meet certain legal requirements to be valid. For example, it needs to be in writing, signed by the person making the will (known as the testator) in the presence of two witnesses who also sign the will.
If you choose to write your own will, it’s crucial to ensure that it meets these requirements and is clear and unambiguous. Any mistakes or errors could result in your wishes not being carried out or your will being challenged in court after your death.
Overall, while it is not legally required to consult a solicitor to write a will, seeking professional advice can help ensure that your will is legally valid and accurately reflects your wishes.
The cost of will writing services can vary depending on the complexity and what is required.
At Shakespeare Martineau our standard will writing services start from £550 but full details and pricing of all our will writing services can be found here.
The time it takes to get a will from a solicitor in the UK can vary depending on several factors, such as the complexity of the will and any external factors.
In general, a simple will can take a few days to a week to be drafted by a solicitor, while a more complex will can take several weeks or even months. This may involve multiple consultations with the solicitor to ensure that the will accurately reflects your wishes and includes all necessary provisions, such as trusts or inheritance tax planning.
Once the will is drafted, it will need to be reviewed, signed, and witnessed to be legally valid. This process can typically be completed within a few days or weeks, depending on how quickly all parties involved can arrange a meeting to sign the will.
Overall, it’s best to allow several weeks for the entire process of getting a will from a solicitor, especially if the will is complex or if there are any unforeseen delays.
In the UK, the original copy of a will is typically kept by the solicitor who prepared it, if you used one. The solicitor will store the will in a secure location such as a fireproof safe or a storage facility.
Alternatively, the testator (the person who made the will) can choose to store the original will themselves in a safe and secure location. However, it’s important to ensure that the will can be easily found and accessed by the executor (the person responsible for carrying out the instructions in the will) after the testator’s death.
It’s also a good idea to inform the executor of the will’s location and provide them with a copy, to ensure that they can easily access it when needed. This can help avoid delays or complications in the administration of the estate.
Additionally, it’s important to keep a copy of the will in a safe place where it can be easily located by your loved ones in case the original is lost or destroyed.
A trust is a legal arrangement where assets are held and managed by one person or a group of people (known as trustees) for the benefit of others (known as beneficiaries). The individual who provides the assets is known as the settlor.
A variety of assets, such as cash, property, shares, and land, can be placed in a trust for various reasons, including:
- Safeguarding and controlling family assets
- Protecting the interests of minors or individuals unable to handle their affairs
- Passing on assets while the settlor is still alive
- Passing on assets after the settlor’s death via a ‘will trust’
- Inheriting assets in accordance with the rules of inheritance if an individual passes away without a will in England and Wales.
If you get married, your will is automatically revoked, unless it was made in contemplation of your marriage. This means that if you don’t update your will after getting married, it will be invalid and your estate may not be distributed according to your wishes. To avoid this, it’s important to update your will as soon as possible after getting married.
If you get divorced, any provisions in your will that relate to your former spouse will be revoked. However, the rest of your will remains valid. This means that if you don’t update your will after getting divorced, any gifts or appointments made to your ex-spouse may still be carried out.
To ensure that your will accurately reflects your wishes after a marriage or divorce, it’s important to review and update it regularly. This can help to avoid any potential legal disputes and ensure that your estate is distributed according to your current wishes.
Our Will Writing Services & Prices
At Shakespeare Martineau, we provide expert will writing services, below you can find our different will packages and their features. Whichever package you decide we always approach the writing of your will with sensitivity and compassion and impeccable attention to detail.
If you are interested in one of our packages complete our online will form below or call us on 0330 024 0333.
Our standard will
- Initial consultation and assessment with qualified lawyer
- Bespoke lawyer written will
- Review of existing will (if applicable)
- Discussion about current inheritance system
- Discussion on lasting powers of attorney
- Appointment of executors
- Appointment of guardians
- Monetary and specific legacies including charitable gifts
- Funeral wishes
- Documented explanation of clauses to accompany will
- Engrossment for signature
- Copy of will for records
- Free storage of original will
- Reminder to review your will every 3-5 years
Our bespoke will
- Everything that is included in our standard package, plus the following:
- Partner or legal director led service
- Calculation of current inheritance exposure
- Advice on lifetime giving
- Use of trusts for business assets (exempt assets)
- Setting up of trusts for vulnerable beneficiaries
- Setting up of life interest trusts
- Setting up of assets protection trusts
- Setting up of charitable trusts
- Bespoke letter of wishes
- Detailed letter of advice
- Discussion with specialists lawyers across Shakespeare Martineau to ensure the practicalities of your will can be put in place
Our premium will
- Everything that is included in our standard and bespoke packages, plus the following:
- Planning meetings to discuss structures
- Advice on potential claims to your estate
- Inheritance tax report to include ways to mitigate exposure
- Foreign assets and interaction of foreign wills
- Domicile and residency issues
- The features in the bespoke and premium packages are available as additional add ons by prior agreement for an additional fee
- All prices exclude VAT
- Members of our team follow the STEP will writing code and are members or solicitors for the elderly
- Considering making an online will? We've put together a guide on the considerations you should think about before going ahead - find out more here
What Our Clients Say About Us
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Wherever you are on your journey, our specialists are here to answer any questions you might have
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