Making a Will with Butcher & Barlow: The steps explained

Our Wills and Probate team at Butcher & Barlow are here to take the stress away from the Will writing process.  If someone dies without a valid Will in place, then the intestacy laws will decide who is to inherit, and this may not be who you want it to be.  Having a Will in place is therefore essential to provide you with reassurance as to what will happen to your assets after you have passed.  Disputes over inheritance can arise among family members – having a valid Will should remove any doubt about who you want to leave your estate to.

Writing a Will need not be daunting. To illustrate how simple it can be,  Sam Dale, Wills and Probate specialist at our Sandbach office, takes you through the practical process of making a Will.

Step 1 – Making the Appointment

Writing a Will is one of life’s tasks which everyone knows they should do, but often never get round to.  Making the first appointment can be daunting however our friendly team are here to be provide you with support and reassurance from the initial telephone call.  We will explain the Will writing process to you and answer any questions which you may have.

We will arrange a convenient time for you to attend the office for an appointment, or for us to visit your home if you are less mobile.  Due to the current COVID-19 situation, we are also offering telephone consultations for those who are self-isolating.

Step 2 – The Appointment

At the appointment your legal adviser will provide you with advice personalised to your circumstances.  For example, we may discuss how to plan your Will to mitigate the Inheritance Tax payable on your Estate.   We can advise as to funding care costs, such as how to best fund your own care costs should you go into care, or how the content of your Will may impact your spouse’s ability to fund care costs should they need to go into care following your death.  To provide you with accurate advice, we will therefore ask for detailed information about your income and your capital – it is therefore important that you collate this information before the appointment.

Step 3 – Draft Will

Following the appointment, you will receive a draft of your Will.  You should carefully read through this, to ensure that you are happy with the content and that it accurately reflects your intentions. You should contact us if you are not sure about anything within the Will or if you want to make any changes to the Will.

Step 4 – Executing your Will

Once you are happy with the content of the Will, we will arrange for the execution of it.  We will arrange a second appointment at which your legal adviser will discuss the Will, explain any legal terms and phrases and ensure that you understand the legal implications.  For the Will to be legally valid, your signature must be witnessed by two independent witnesses, who must also sign.  If you attend the office for this meeting, or arrange a home visit, we will provide you with witnesses.  If you are self-isolating, we can either send the final Will out to you, and you will have to find two independent witnesses (not related to you and not due to benefit under your Will) or alternatively, we can attend your house for a socially distanced signing.  Hopefully having your Will signed should be a weight off your shoulders, and peace of mind that your loved ones are provided for when you pass away.

Step 5 –Storing your Will

We are able to store your Will free of charge in a  secure, fire proof place, and we will provide you with copies of your signed Will which you should keep with your other important paperwork.  Alternatively, you can keep your original signed Will yourself and we advise that this is stored in a secured safe.  You should also inform your Executors of where your Will is stored.

Step-6 – Reviewing your Will

We recommend that you review your Will annually and on any significant life events, such as births, marriages, divorces or deaths.  Marriage revokes a Will, so it is vital if you are planning to marry you should attend the office to re-write your Will.  Circumstances change over time, and as such your intentions for your estate may also change.


The Private Client team are available for advice and guidance on any existing or new matter. Contact your local office or email  To view Butcher & Barlow’s working practices during the coronavirus pandemic, please visit

an image of Samuel Dale, a Butcher & Barlow LLP employee

Samuel Dale


Sam can be contacted om 01270 762521 or






You may also be interested to read our articles entitled The Will Writing process and Wills and Second Marriages