Frequently Asked Questions

Questions on making a willYou may have further questions about why, how and what are the consequences of making a Will. 
Please read our FAQ's below and feel free to contact us to discuss any questions you may have in more detail.
There's absolutely no obligation to proceed with us.

Where does my money go if I die without a will ?

  • I am married
    If your estate – including your home – is worth less than £250,000 then your spouse will inherit it all. If it is worth more and you have any children, from this marriage or a previous one, your spouse will get the first £250,000 and half the remainder. The children share the rest. If there are no children your spouse will get the whole estate
  • I'm a single person
    Your estate will be shared equally among any children you have. If you don't have children, it will be divided between your parents, and if your parents are dead, it is shared between your brothers and sisters. If you have no immediate family, half-brothers or half-sisters followed by grandparents and then any aunts or uncles will inherit. If you have none of these, everything will go to the Crown.
  • I live with my partner but we are not married or in a civil partnership
    The Treasury will treat you as though you are single so your estate will be distributed in the same way as above. This is why it is particularly important to draw up a will if you are not married and want your partner to inherit.
  • I'm divorced
    If you don’t have a will the laws of intestacy will decide who inherits your estate. Until your divorce is final, your former spouse will inherit some of your estate.

    If you have already made a will, your divorce does not alter its legal standing, until your divorce is finalised with a decree absolute any gift to your spouse in your old will is still valid. If you were to die before you divorce, your assets would be left in accordance with your will, presumably to the spouse that you are divorcing. It is not advisable to wait for the divorce to be finalised as this can take months or even years. The same also now applies to official civil partnerships between same sex couples.You may not want your former partner to benefit from your estate and perhaps they are well cared for in a new relationship. If this is the case, it's important to make a new will - probably one that doesn't include your ex but does cater for any children from the marriage.

    If you remarry or enter into a civil partnership, any former wills become invalid, so you will need to draw up a new one.

I don't have very much money or many assets, why do I need a Will ?

Making your Will is as much about your WISHES as about your wealth
Many people die without having amassed a huge fortune, or it may be that by the end of your life you have spent all your savings. However many people still take the time beforehand to make a Will. This means that what possessions you do leave will be distributed in the way you want them to be and not according to the law. A will is for everyone and not just for the rich and wealthy. You can have a simple Will which lists the sentimental gifts and the specific people you wish to leave them to.
A Will is also a way of stipulating who you want to administer your estate, who you'd like to look after your children and you can specify any instructions you have about what you want at your funeral.

Why should I choose Sage Will Writers rather than a solicitor ?

Choosing a fully qualified, specially trained and insured Will writer such as Sage Will Writers ensures that your Will is drafted by a specialist with the appropriate skills. Unlike solicitors, we don't do divorce, conveyancing, company and employment law or Court proceedings, we just specialise in Wills and those services connected with Wills. We are required by our membership of the IPW to continually keep up with any changes in legislation concerning Wills and keep up our CPD. 

On a practical level, we'll visit you at your convenience rather than you being required to travel to a solicitor's office. We are also able to offer a competitive pricing structure and we don't charge expensive hourly rates like some solicitors.

Can I change my Will ?

Yes, in two ways. You can either write a new Will or sign a document called a Codicil. However, it is often clearer to simply write a new Will, which will then supercede the old one.  DO NOT AMEND YOUR WILL, THAT WILL MAKE IT INVALID.

Can I cancel my Will ?

Yes. You can cancel it by burning, tearing it up or destroying the actual document, this way you will effectively cancel your will. Of course, writing a new Will also cancels the old one. Simply crossing parts of your Will out does not cancel it.

Can I write my own Will ?

Yes. You can write your own or buy a do-it-yourself Will kits online or from stationers. However, you risk completing the forms wrongly, which could mean your Will is invalid, leaving your estate ruled by the laws of intestacy or open to challenge.

Where should I keep my Will ?

You could keep your Will in a safe place at home but do make sure you tell a trusted person where it is kept. If the Will is not found, your estate will be treated as though you had died intestate, so your wishes will not be carried out. You could keep your Will at your bank or at the Probate Registry, they usually charge a fee for keeping it.

 Safe and Secure will storageWe can arrange storage of your Will and any other important papers in a fully insured secure, floodproof storage facility. You will be provided with a certificate to give to your executors so that they will know where to find the Will when it is needed. Your Will is returned to your Executors, when needed, free of charge.

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What is a Letter of Wishes ?

It can be difficult to divide up items of sentimental value between your loved ones and your Executors may not know which of your beneficiaries would most appreciate your keepsakes, such as that treasured picture or pocket watch. Listing all these items in your Will can mean that you need to update your Will far more often if you change your mind about who gets what. So, many people prefer to include a ‘letter of wishes’ with their Will. The letter is not a formal part of the Will, so you can write it yourself and update it as easily and as often as you wish. The letter sets out what you want to happen to personal items – it could include an exact list of gifts and recipients or perhaps just a general suggestion of which person may like to choose a keepsake. The letter is addressed to your Executors, asking that they follow your wishes. However they are not obliged to and can use their judgement to interpret your wishes according to the situation at the time. It's important that you choose Executors that you can rely on to interpret your wishes appropriately.