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Will Service

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Beagle Street’s view on Will-writing

At Beagle Street we think that writing a Will is an important and inevitable part of life and that the process should be simple and easy to do. We have partnered with Will-writing specialists to provide every new customer the opportunity to use our FREE Will service.

What is a Will and why should I bother?

A Will is a legal document which deals with your estate and details how you would like to distribute your assets, such as what or how much you would like to leave each individual. It can also set out any wishes you would like carried out after you die. It’s important to remember that if you don’t leave behind a Will, your assets will be settled according to the law of intestacy and not according to you or your family’s wishes.

What if I take out a joint Life Insurance policy?

Beagle Street’s free Will service is also available to you if you purchase a joint life policy. If you’ve chosen this option you can arrange whichever type of Will suits you – this can be either a single or joint Will. See the terms and conditions for more details.

Next steps

  • Upon purchasing your new life insurance policy and after having received your policy documents, you should call us on 0800 247 247 (Mon-Fri 8am-9pm, Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 10am- 3.30pm) and we will pass your details onto our Will specialists who will arrange for a pack to be sent to you.
  • Once you’ve completed an initial questionnaire, which will help with the drafting of the Will, an experienced professional chosen by us will call you to collect all the information they need to complete the will.

Finally, they will then write it into a legally binding document and provide you with a draft of your Will allowing you the opportunity to make any amends before finalising. See the terms and conditions for more details.

Don’t forget to use these free benefits available to you when buying simple, easy life insurance with Beagle Street.

Life Insurance with FREE Will writing

  • FREE Will service with Life Insurance policies (worth £1253
  • Affordable Life Insurance policies start from just £3 per month 2

Get your Life Insurance quote now and find out how much you’ll save within minutes – once you policy starts you can claim your free Will.

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Wills

Why have a Will?

Do I need a Will?

If you have children or own a property, then it is advisable to make a Will. If you don’t have a Will then your estate will automatically follow the Rules of Intestacy which might leave shares of your estate to people you didn’t intend. If you have children then a Will is essential as this document not only defines where your possessions, money and property are distributed but also who will be guardians of your children.

What happens if I don't make a Will?

The legal term if you die without writing a Will is “dying intestate”, this means that your estate will be divided according to the rule of intestacy which may not be the same as your wishes. To ensure your estate is distributed according to your wishes, having a Will in place allows you to do this.

Do I need a Will if I don't have money or a property?

A Will isn’t just about naming who’ll inherit your estate but also naming a guardian to your children under the age of 18 should you die. Without a valid Will this might be left to a court to decide who will look after them and who controls any inheritance left to them through the rules of intestacy.

Can I write a Will for someone who has lost the capacity to make a Will?

You will need to make an application for a Statutory Will on behalf of the incapacitated person to the Court of Protection. This must be made in the best interests of that person and the Court of Protection will take into consideration what their feelings and wishes are as to what to do with their estate.

Can you write your own Will legally for free in the UK?

You can write your own will in the UK, however because a Will is a legal document it is better to get attention from a specialist to make sure that it doesn’t contain any errors. The smallest mistakes can make a Will invalid, so we recommend taking advantage of a professional Will writing service.

We offer a free Will writing service to all UK residents who have purchased life insurance from Beagle Street. For full details please read our terms and conditions page.

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The beneficiary of a Will

What is a beneficiary of a Will?

The beneficiary of a Will is a person or organisation who receives a gift from the testator.

Can I leave my estate to someone who is not related to me in my Will?

A beneficiary of your estate can be any person or organisation, you don’t have to be related to them to name them in your Will.

Can you include a charity in a Will?

You can gift to a charity in your Will and this will be tax free, by gifting a portion to a charity it can reduce any potential inheritance tax liability. You will need to give the full name, postal address and registered charity number.

Can an executor be a beneficiary of a Will?

An executor can be a beneficiary in a Will and is often the main beneficiary.

What happens if a beneficiary of a Will dies?

Unfortunately, this often happens, as many people include elderly relatives as beneficiaries to their Will. You can update / alter your Will if a beneficiary of a Will dies to make sure that your Will is reflective of the change in circumstances.

Can pets be beneficiaries in a Will?

It is not recommended to name pets as a beneficiary – only people or organisations can be a beneficiary in a Will. Instruct your executor to find appropriate care and funds to support your pets.

How can I make sure my pet is looked after if I die?

If possible, you should try and discuss your worries with close friends or family. One idea is to leave extra keys to your house with those you trust. You can carry an information card in your purse to alert emergency medical staff to your pet and its care arrangements in the event of an emergency. This should contain contact information for those who will look after the pet as well as any important information about these pets if necessary.

Why buy through Beagle Street?

  • Unlike other insurers we don’t require a GP report; making it quick and simple to get Life Insurance cover online
  • Peace of mind with 99.9% pay-out to loved ones 1
  • Affordable Life Insurance cover from £3 per month 2
  • We are a dedicated Life Insurance specialist, aiming to make Life Insurance simple for everyone
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What can I leave?

What can I leave?

What can I not leave in a Will?

You cannot leave certain things like property, assets in Trust, and schemes in Trusts in your Will. If you own property under a Beneficial Joint Tenancy, or have an Insurance Policy written into Trust then this won’t form part of your estate, and therefore cannot be written into a Will. The property will automatically be passed onto the surviving co-owner, and the value of the Insurance Policy will be paid-out to whomever is the beneficiary of the Trust.

The same applies to your pension and any Death In Service cover provided by your employer, speak to your employer if you have any questions regarding this.

If you own property under Tenancy in Common this does form part of your estate, and ownership must be stipulated by a written Will.

Any asset in your possession which is the subject of a hire purchase agreement, is not yours by law and therefore cannot be included in your Will.

Is Life Insurance part of an estate in a Will?

Unless written into a trust Life Insurance will contribute to your estate. You have the option that Life Insurance pay-outs are paid into a trust instead of being paid to a beneficiary, this means the pay-outs won’t be assessed for inheritance tax.
Wills and your Children

Wills and your Children

Can a beneficiary be under 18?

If your children are under the age of 18 they cannot inherit anything from your Will; if they are below this age the funds are held in a Trust. You are able to specify an age after the age of 18 when the children are allowed to inherit the capital sum, if you think that 18 is too young for the inheritance. If this is the case the Trustees decide what the income from the Trust can be used for in order to benefit the children i.e. school fees.

Can I appoint legal guardianship of a child in my Will?

Yes, you can stipulate a guardian to look after children under the age of 18 when you die. This is to ensure that your children are taken care of by people you trust rather than the decision being left to the courts.

How do I make provision for the care of a child with disabilities in my Will?

You can make provisions in a Will to care for loved ones with disabilities in the event of your death.
Wills and marriage

Wills and marriage

Do unmarried couples living together need to make a Will?

It is recommended. Without a Will the partner you live with will not inherit any property after your death unless you are ‘beneficial joint tenants’ of the property.

Do I need to change my Will after getting married?

When you get married or legally united in a civil partnership your Will is automatically revoked unless the Will was written with the marriage or civil partnership ‘in contemplation’ which includes a clause to prevent it being revoked.

Without this a clause of ‘in contemplation’ your husband, wife or civil partner keeps all the assets (including property), up to £250,000, and all the personal possessions, whatever their value. The remainder of the estate will be shared to:

  1. The husband, wife or civil partner gets an absolute interest in half of the remainder
  2. The other half is then divided equally between the surviving children.

If this is not how you would like your estate distributed a Will is an option to help with this.

What happens if I get married after I have signed my Will?

Marriage automatically invalidates an existing Will. So if your Will is being arranged and you are getting married soon this can be avoided by writing your Will “in contemplation of marriage”. If you have not written your Will in this way, after you’ve got married you can bring it back into force through a Codicil confirming that your wishes are still the same.

If you divorce, your ex-spouse or civil partner is considered to have predeceased you. The rest of your Will remains valid. However, this only influences your Will when you have been granted your decree absolute. Until this is granted, your spouse or civil partner could still benefit or act as your executor if they are entitled as part of your Will.

Does my estate automatically go to my spouse if I haven't made a Will?

No, there are rules of intestacy which define who is entitled to a share of someone’s property, possessions and money should they die without making a will. For more information, please visit the Intestacy page on the gov.uk site.

Do married couples need two Wills?

Married couples will need similar Wills which are known as ‘Mirror Wills’. When getting married or remarried the previous Will is cancelled unless specifically stated.

Can I include a civil partner in my Will?

You can make provisions in your Will for your civil partner as long as it was a legally binding ceremony and they will have the same rights as a married spouse would. When you register a civil partnership this will automatically affect any existing Will that you have.

Does divorce revoke a Will?

A divorce won’t revoke your Will; however, you will probably want to change the contents of your Will because it might not be appropriate to have your ex-partner as beneficiary or partner.
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The Executor of a Will

How many executors can I have in my Will?

A Will can have a maximum of 4 executors but from a practical point of view the greater the number of attorneys leads to disagreements. A spouse is the first choice to execute the Will and we suggest a single attorney and naming a substitute, or two individual attorneys who can either work cooperatively or independently.

If you only have one executor and they die then your Will becomes invalid, it may be risky choosing an executor who is significantly older than yourself as they might not be around in the event of you passing away.

Can the Executor of an estate also be a beneficiary?

Yes, a beneficiary can be an Executor of a Will.

Can an executor witness a Will?

An executor can witness a Will as long as that executor isn’t a beneficiary.

What is a Power of Attorney?

The Power of Attorney is defined as a document which identifies one or more people to look after your concerns if you are unable to. You can appoint an Attorney to look after your health, well-being and finances.
Will signing

Will signing

How do I sign a Will and what do I have to sign?

To officially execute your Will you need your chosen witnesses present when signing and let them know that this is your Last Will and Testament. You then need to initial the bottom of each page below the text except the signature page which needs your signature. The only thing that is then required is for your witnesses to sign that this occurred in your presence.

Who can witness a Will?

To ensure impartiality a witness must be over the age of 18, is of sound mind and not a beneficiary or related to a beneficiary of the Will.

How many witnesses are needed for a Will?

Two witnesses are required for signing a Will in England and Wales, one witness is required in Scotland.

Can I sign a Will without a Witness?

No, your Will is only legal when it has been signed and witnessed.

Can a family member be a witness to a signature on a Will?

This is not recommended as this will raise questions against the validity of signing and witnessing your Will, especially if the family member is a beneficiary.

Can a spouse witness a signature on a Will?

A witness can’t be anyone who’ll benefit from the Will, or related to anyone who benefits from the Will. Should this happen the beneficiary would lose the inheritance. A witness can’t be mentally incapable, blind or under the age of majority.

Can I change a Will before signing it?

Yes, changes to a Will can be made prior to being signed and witnessed.
After making your Will

After making your Will

Where should I store my Will?

You have the option of storing this with a solicitor, a specialist Will service or the Probate Service. You can also keep this yourself in a safe location – if doing so it is important that you don’t leave any signs that another document has been attached to the Will such as staples or paperclips.

It is not advised to store your Will in a safety deposit box at a bank, banks refuse to open a deposit box until the executor has permission from the court to administer your estate (a probate), the probate can’t be granted without access to a Will.

Write down the details of where your Will is stored and hand this to the executors of your Will.

Whom should I inform about my Will?

We recommend informing the executor of your Will where the original Will is stored, write down any names, addresses or contact details of how the executor can locate the Will.

How long are Wills valid?

A Wills validity is unlimited until it is revoked, this can occur by making a new Will, through marriage or civil partnership or physically destroying it (although if a section of the Will is physically destroyed only that section will be revoked). Water damage, rubbing out or cutting out any signatures can revoke the will, as can any potential ‘Missing attachments’ such as staple marks or paperclip marks.

How long does it take to distribute an estate?

The time taken to administer and distribute an estate will depend on factors such as if the deceased has a property which is being sold.

What should I do if I can’t find the Will of a deceased person?

If a Will has been lost you will need to follow the rules of intestacy which define who inherits property, money and possessions. For more information, please read the intestacy page on the gov.uk site.

Free Will service with every Life Insurance policy

At Beagle Street we understand that having a Will is an important part of looking after your loved ones after you have passed away, and so think the process should be simple and easy for you. We have partnered with will writing specialists to provide every new customer the opportunity to use our FREE will service usually worth £125.

Get a Life Insurance quote to find out how much you’ll save within minutes.

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  1. Beagle Street is backed by Scottish Friendly Assurance Society who, in 2015, paid 99.9% of all Life Insurance claims.
  2. Figures based on an 18 year old, non-smoker with £40,000 decreasing term policy over 15 years. Prices at April 16.
  3. See our Terms and Conditions for full details.