Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I make a Will?

A will is the only way of making sure your loved ones are looked after in the way you wish after your death. If you die without a will in place, a court will appoint administrators to deal with the distribution of everything you own (your estate).
They won’t know your wishes and you’ll have no control over how they divide your estate.

How do I know what to leave?

The first step to knowing what to leave is to value your estate. This means estimating the combined value of all your assets, including your house and its contents, vehicles, jewellery and antiques. You also need to take into account your financial assets, including savings, investments, life-insurance and money owed to you.

Once you’ve reached this figure, you’ll need to deduct any money you owe, your mortgage, overdraft, loans, hire purchase agreements and credit cards. The figure you’re left with is the value of your estate.  

Now you can draw up a list of everyone you wish to benefit from your will, by how much and in what way.

How can I be sure my will is valid and accurate?

A will is a legal document and trying to write your own can be difficult. One small mistake and your will could become invalid. If you are looking at creating a will, it’s best to get it drawn up by an experienced solicitor.

How much will it cost?

A straightforward will is normally under £150. It will be worth every penny to ensure your instruction are followed and your loved ones – and the causes you believe in – are provided for as you wish.
Rainbows also provides a reduced cost will-writing service.

Will my loved ones have to pay Inheritance Tax?

Yes, if the value of your estate is worth over £325,000 (2012/13 figure), your loved ones will end up paying Inheritance Tax. Charity gifts are exempt, so your loved ones will only pay the tax on the value of your estate after this gift has been made.

There may be other ways that you can further reduce Inheritance Tax and we strongly advise you speak to a solicitor or financial advisor if you require further guidance.

Why would I need to update my will?

Keeping your will up-to-date is as important as making one. Your wishes, circumstances and family arrangements can change over the years – influenced by factors such as marriage and divorce, the birth of children and grandchildren or receiving an inheritance. Any of these events would make an updated will essential.

How do I change my will?

For information on how to change your will please visit our 'Updating or changing your will' webpage.