Protect Your Loved Ones with a Professionally Written Will

Protect your Loved Ones with a Professionally Written Will

Online Wills are handy in a lot of cases, but sometimes things can be a bit more complicated. That’s where our Bespoke Will service comes in – we can tailor the Will to meet your exact wishes. You don’t even need to sacrifice the ease of an online service – just fill in a form and we’ll sort the rest.

Why Do You Need a Will?

In the UK, if you die without leaving a valid Will, it’s known as dying intestate. This basically takes away your control of who inherits your estate, leaving it to the government’s guidelines to distribute any finances, property or other assets you have.

If this is the case, your assets might not go where you’d want them to. The rules of intestacy follow a strict order and don’t take your personal circumstances into account. This could potentially cause a lot of upset for those you leave behind.

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60% of UK Adults don’t have a Will

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£15bn of inheritance has been left unclaimed

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72% of those aged 35-54 haven’t made a Will

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19% of people admit they don’t like discussing death

If you leave a valid Will, you can:

  • Make it easier for your family to organise your estate
  • Help reduce the amount of inheritance tax paid on the estates of your loved ones
  • Nominate guardians for any children or pets you leave behind
  • Ensure your loved ones are provided for by safeguarding your assets

Why Create a Bespoke Will Over an Online Will?

An Online Will’s a quick and convenient option for anyone who wants a simple Will. If you’ve got more complicated needs, you might need a Bespoke Will. If you:

  • Own a business
  • Have property overseas
  • Have more than £325,000 of assets per individual
  • Have dependants with any special support needs or disabilities

You might want to think about getting a Bespoke Will. You’ll have a financial assessment with one of our specialists before creating your Will. This way, you get the best advice for your personal situation, and your assets are handled in the most fitting way for your circumstances.

See the table below to learn more about the uses of both Online and Bespoke Wills.

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Not sure which type of Will you need?

Just answer a few questions and we’ll point you in the right direction!

Vital Online Will

Bespoke Will

PriceFrom £95.00From £160.00
Features
Offers control over your estate and protection for your loved ones Option included Option included
Costs less than a solicitor Option included Option included
Create mirror wills with your partner (additional fee applies) Option included Option included
Pre-assessment checks with one of our expert estate planners Option not included Option included
Communicate complex wishes for your estate Option not included Option included
Build a Trust into your Will Option not included Option included
Created for you by a specialist Will writer Option not included Option included
Guards against any mistakes or ambiguities Option not included Option included
Helps minimise inheritance tax implications for your loved ones Option not included Option included
Offers a deeper protection of your assets Option not included Option included

How Does Our Bespoke Will Service Work?

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Answer a few questions about your circumstances using our simple online form.

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One of our dedicated Wills advisors will get in touch to discuss your requirements.

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Relax! We’ll draw up the Will to your wishes, so you can be sure it’s legally sound.

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Receive your Will, sign it and have it witnessed by two independent individuals. Sorted!

optional binding service

Choose to have your Will bound in a secure and professional manner, protecting it from damage, and ensuring it can’t be easily tampered with.

How Can a Bespoke Will Help You?

Protect Your Partner

Make sure your partner’s looked after when you’re gone.

 

Take Care of Your Children

Make plans for the guardianship and inheritance of your children.

 

Look After Your Pets

Leave your pets in the most capable of hands.

 
Partnerships and Marriages

Make Sure You Have the Right Will to Meet Your Partner’s Needs

You want to make sure your partner’s looked after when you’re gone. If you’re married or in a civil partnership, your partner will, by law, automatically inherit your estate. If you aren’t, they’ll have no legal right to inherit anything unless you specifically put them in your Will.

If you die unexpectedly, this can cause emotional and financial strain. You don’t want to leave your partner with nothing. You need to record your wishes in a valid Will in order to avoid any unnecessary hardships should the worst occur.

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If you die without leaving a Will, the first £250,000 will go directly to your spouse. Anything above this is divided, with 50% going to your spouse and the remainder to your children.

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If you die without leaving a Will, the first £250,000 will go directly to your spouse. Anything above this amount will be divided, with 50% going to your spouse and the remainder to your children.

Divorce & Separation

If you’ve separated from a spouse but aren’t legally divorced, they may still be entitled to inherit your estate – unless you’ve explicitly stated otherwise in a valid Will. Separation doesn’t have any bearing on any existing Wills you’ve written.

If you’ve divorced, this will invalidate any previous Wills that were drawn up for you. When your circumstances change, even if they’ve been legally binding changes, you need to revise your Will.

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It’s recommended that you review your Will every 1-2 years to ensure any changes are accounted for, and that the Will still accurately reflects your situation.

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We recommend that you review your Will every 1-2 years to ensure any changes are accounted for, and that the Will still accurately reflects your situation.

Mirror Wills

Create a Duplicate Will to Express Your Wishes Together

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If you and your partner are fully on the same page, you might want to consider Mirror Wills. Mirror Wills, sometimes known as Bloodline Wills, are two separate documents drawn up by partners who have similar wishes. As the Wills being created are essentially a draft of the same document, they’re created at a discounted rate.

Mirror Wills are often used to express common intentions – like partners inheriting each other’s estates when they die. Unlike outdated Joint Wills, Mirror Wills aren’t legally tied – each Will can be changed separately if you have different wishes in the future.

If neither partner has a Will in place, you lose control over what happens to your estate when you die. Creating Mirror Wills allows you both to protect each other, as well as any children you have, without being tied to the same Will.

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Families and Children

Take Care of Your Children, Even After You’re Gone

If you die without leaving a Will, any children in your care will be second in line for inheriting your estate, behind any legal spouse. If you don’t have a surviving spouse, your estate will be divided equally between your children.

However, there are exceptions. Any children in your care that aren’t biologically yours and haven’t been formally adopted (such as step or foster children) won’t be entitled to receive any inheritance.

A Will’s extremely important to make sure that your estate and assets go exactly where you want them to. It makes sure your wishes are fulfilled when you’re gone.

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A Will’s vital if you have biological children but want to leave certain belongings, finances or properties to them individually. You might also want to recognise grandchildren, nieces or nephews in your Will who’d otherwise not receive anything.

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A Will is vital if you’ve got biological children but wish to leave certain belongings, finances or properties to them individually. You might also want to recognise grandchildren, nieces or nephews in your Will who’d otherwise not receive anything.

Child Custody

If you have children under 18 in your care and they don’t have another surviving biological parent, the custody of the children will be brought into question. They can’t be directly passed to alternative guardians without the consent of Social Services, unless your wishes have been put into writing in your Will.

A verbal agreement isn’t enough to confirm legal guardianship. If you don’t leave a valid written Will, a costly legal process could follow, with no guarantee that your children will be passed to those you trust.

The legal rights of appointed godparents is often misunderstood – it’s an informal commitment, it’s not legally binding. Unless you name the godparents as preferred guardians in your Will, they’ve no legal rights to custody.

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Even if your chosen guardians are willing to enter into a legal battle, there’s no guarantee they’d win. A valid Will means you can decide on the future of your children, rather than leaving it to the courts.

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Even if your chosen guardians are willing to enter into a legal battle, there’s no guarantee they’d win. A valid Will means you can decide on the future of your children, rather than leaving it to the courts.

Furry Friends

Pass Your Pets to Someone You Trust

Your furry friends are like your children. Some people even call them furbabies. I wouldn’t go that far, but they’re family and it’s only right they’re taken care of in the same way.

You can use your Will to appoint a guardian for your pet, giving you peace of mind that if anything happens, your pet will be cared for by someone you trust.

You can also leave your chosen beneficiary a cash gift to cover the cost of caring for your pet. This can be viewed as a sort of maintenance payment to cover costs such a vets bills and insurance.

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If you can’t find someone willing to offer your pet a home, you can request that your pet is looked after by an animal charity instead, such as the RSPCA or The Cinnamon Trust.

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If you can’t find someone willing to offer your pet a home, you can request that your pet is looked after by an animal charity instead, such as the RSPCA or The Cinnamon Trust.

In What Situations Might I Need a Bespoke Will?

A Bespoke Will can include clauses about how you want to divide your estate if circumstances change. It gives you the ability to express more complex wishes for your assets. There’s some examples below of how a Bespoke Will might help you!

Case One

Andrea made a Will when she was dating Tim. She already had 2 children from a previous relationship. She later marries Tim, but unfortunately becomes seriously ill and passes away several years later.

As Andrea only made a simple Will, the document became void when she re-married. Under UK inheritance laws, Tim then inherited all of Andrea’s estate, and the children from her previous relationship received nothing. A Bespoke Will allows for changes in circumstances and can give additional wishes to be carried out should the situation change, meaning Andrea could have protected a share of her assets for her children.

How would a Bespoke Will help Andrea?

If Andrea had made a Bespoke Will with a specialist like Vital Documents, she could have included more complex guidelines to protect her children from losing their inheritance. With a Bespoke Will, you can include a lot more detail when it comes to how your assets are divided and plan ahead for any changes which may occur, which will be discussed with your Will writing specialist.

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Case Two

James is a widower with 2 children. One of his children is estranged after a family disagreement and they haven’t had any contact for years. James decides to create a simple Will and leaves all of his estate to the one child he’s still in contact with, as if he died without a Will, both children would have received an equal share.

However, when James dies his estranged child contests the Will and receives their share of his estate. The simple Will James created didn’t allow for the complexities of effectively disinheriting anyone who has a rightful claim to a share of his estate and therefore was easily contested.

How would a Bespoke Will help James?

Simply leaving a child out of a Will doesn’t disinherit them in the eyes of the law. There’s no definitive way to do so. Thanks to the Inheritance Act of 1975, disinherited children can still make a claim on the estate if they can prove they haven’t been given ‘reasonable financial provision’. If James had made a Bespoke Will, he could have clearly outlined his intentions to disinherit his child. While this doesn’t guarantee that the disinherited child will be unable to claim any inheritance, as James wanted, it does strengthen his Will against the claim. Every claim is judged on a case-by-case basis, and explicit wishes against the claim can work in your favour if the Will gets contested.

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Case Three

Wendy and Alan have been married for 20 years and have three children. Alan makes a simple Will and outlines his wishes, but this hasn’t been checked by a specialist for suitability.

When Alan dies, the executor of his Will has issues in determining what Alan’s wishes were. Alan wasn’t clear enough. Classic Alan. This causes arguments within the family and eventually the estate is dealt with along the guidelines of UK law and inheritance, rather than Alan’s Will.

How would a Bespoke Will help Alan?

Wills are sometimes clear and straightforward but, more often than not, things can get complicated. Despite your best efforts, it’s easy to create a Will that might be misinterpreted. There are set guidelines which must be followed when creating a valid Will and by using a specialist, you can be sure that your Will’s clear, concise and fit for purpose. This can help your family understand your wishes and avoid any additional stress or disagreements when the time comes.

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Choose the Bespoke Will Service if…

assets

You have complex wishes about how you’d like your assets distributed.

inheritance

You have a large estate which will fall above the threshold for inheritance tax.

health

You have major health complications or ongoing support needs.

business

You own a business or hold any assets overseas.

family

You think your Will might be contested by family or other beneficiaries.

trusts

You want to leave any of your assets in a Trust (see more about Trusts here).

Questions

  • Yes. It is very common to name the executor of you Will as one of the beneficiaries. This is completely legal and won’t cause any complications in enacting your wishes.

  • You can either ask your executor to keep the original signed copy, or more commonly, have it placed in secure storage for safe keeping. Whatever option you choose, make sure that executors know where and how to access the Will.

  • Unfortunately, yes. Your Will might be contested if someone who expected to benefit from your Will doesn’t. Although this isn’t a common occurrence, you can take steps to avoid any confusion and upset by just talking to your friends and family about your Will. Let them know what to expect.

    It’s important that you seek expert guidance when creating your Will to make sure that all your wishes are clear and legally enactable.

  • Technically, anyone over 18 can be a witness. That being said, don’t choose a beneficiary of the Will as a witness. If a beneficiary witnesses the Will, they forfeit their claim. We also recommend not choosing a friend or family member because it might cause conflict.

    Having an impartial witness helps to prevent any unnecessary legal challenges in the future.

  • If you create a Will and want all of your children to inherit, it’s important to make this clear. Don’t name some and leave others out (unless you explicitly want to). It’s a recipe for disaster, and it’ll probably end up being contested.

    When someone in the line of inheritance who should by rights receive a share isn’t specifically named, it could be ruled as a mistake and be legally overridden. If you want to formally disinherit a child or a direct family member, you’ll need to make this clear and give your reasoning in your Will.

  • Yes, these are known as Conditional Gifts. These are different to Absolute Gifts which have no obligations. If the recipient is to receive a Conditional Gift, then they must agree to the guidelines set in your Will in order to inherit the gift. For example, you may leave a gift of money to a grandchild on the condition that they use a portion of it to go to university. Another example would be that you leave a cash gift to a friend, on the agreement that they take on lifelong guardianship of your pet.

    Any conditional gifts should ideally be discussed with the beneficiary before making the conditions. You should also make sure that the guidelines are clear. There are some things which can’t be set as conditions for gifts in a Will, such as requirements of marriage.

  • You can, but you need to let your executor know. Your Will might not be looked at until after the funeral. You’ll need to create an Additional Clauses section within your Bespoke Will and use this to provide any guidance for your funeral. Remember, however, that it isn’t legally binding and your wishes won’t necessarily happen.

  • No, once your Will has been created and signed by yourself and your witnesses, it’s a legally binding document. If you attempt to make any amendments to your Will after it’s been signed, it’ll invalidate the Will. If you want to make any changes to your wishes, you’ll need to make a new Will.