Defence Police Federation
Directory of Legal Services in association with

0800 80 12 99

Mon-Friday 9.00am - 8.00pm


About Thompsons

Thompsons understand the concerns people have about dealing with the law. Over more than 70 years of representing the interests of working men and women and trade union members, we have developed a friendly, approachable service.


About the THOMPSONS Will making service

Making a Will need not be complicated if you use Thompsons streamlined Will-making service. We offer one free Will for each member and his/her partner whether married or not and for partners of the same sex. This free service can help you safeguard the interests of your family, friends and dependants - and you don't even have to visit us! Using our questionnaire, we can draft your Will from the information you provide. However a personal interview can be arranged if required.


What does making a Will involve?

A legally drawn up Will is a written statement of your wishes. It enables you to make important decisions that affect your family and friends after your death.

Decisions such as:

  • Who inherits your estate ie everything you own?

  • Your beneficiaries?

  • Who will act as guardians of your children?

  • Who carries out your instructions?

  • Your executors (and your executors will also act as your trustees if your Will creates a trust)

  • Which charities, if any, are to benefit from your estate?

All of these issues can be incorporated in a Will.

A properly drafted Will can spare your family and friends a lot of unnecessary work and heartache at a time when they are least able to cope with it. It also reduces the possibility of making your Will invalid or contestable.

You can alter your Will or cancel it at any time, but we will charge for any alterations you require at the reduced rate agreed with your union.


Who will administer my estate when I die?

Executors are people who sort out (administer) - execute - your affairs and being an executor does not prevent the person from also being a beneficiary of your estate. Husbands and wives or partners can appoint each other as first executors and two (or more) additional executors such as adult sons and daughters or professional people to act as substitute executors in the event of both deaths. Please consider the appointment of your executors with care*. Even when a Will appoints an executor, a Confirmation must generally be obtained from the local sheriff court. In addition Inheritance Tax and Inland Revenue returns may need to be filed listing full details of assets. For these reasons executors and trustees often instruct a solicitor to deal with the administration of the estate. Thompsons has an experienced Executry Department staffed by skilled and experienced staff who deal with the administration of estates. Our costs are reasonable and are calculated on the basis of the amount of work involved, unlike the major banks who charge a percentage of the estate. Our costs can always be the subject of independent review and scrutiny by the Legal Services Ombudsman.


What happens if someone dies without making a Will?

"Everything you own will be divided up under fixed rules decided by law, not by you.
"You leave your relatives and friends with the difficult task of sorting out your affairs.
One of the most common misconceptions is that if you die without a valid Will all of your estate will automatically go to your surviving partner. This isn't the case. Your partner could even end up with insufficient money to remain in the family home. The law does not provide for step-children and a surviving un-named partner has to apply to the court to claim anything from a deceased partner's estate. If you have no surviving blood relatives then your estate goes to the Crown.


What arrangements should I make about my young children?

You should consider appointing a legal guardian

(i.e. someone to look after your children) for your children who are under eighteen. When a parent dies the surviving parent normally becomes the legal guardian. But you may die at the same time in which case it would be wise to appoint another member of your family or a close friend as a legal guardian. Your trustees have power to pay money to the guardians for the maintenance, education and general welfare of your children.


I don't want to leave anything to my family.

Despite the existence of a valid Will, a spouse and children (and representatives of any predeceasing child) have twenty years from your date of death to claim a share of your estate, even if they are not included in the Will. These rights can only be claimed on the net moveable estate (i.e. not land or buildings). The amount claimed depends on who survived.

  • Spouse only, no children - 1/2 of net moveable estate

  • Children (incl representatives) only, no spouse - 1/2 of net moveable estate equally

  • Spouse and children (incl representatives) - 1/3 to spouse, 1/3 to children equally

Even if a spouse or child are included in the Will, they can elect to claim the above right instead of their entitlement under the Will. It may sometimes be possible to minimise your moveable estate in order to reduce any possible claim, however this may not always be advisable and further advice would be required.


Can I ensure that my partner does not leave the assets inherited by him/her under my Will to someone whom I would not like to inherit those assets?

This can be ensured by giving your partner only a limited interest in your estate. This will mean that both your Will and the administration of your estate will be more complicated and that your estate will have to be held by your trustees upon trust. Examples include giving the right to live in your home to your partner during your partner's lifetime (or perhaps until your partner's (re)marriage); giving your partner the right to the income generated from the remainder of your estate during your partner's lifetime (or until your partner's (re)marriage). This may involve work which falls outside the Wills scheme and for which we may have to levy an additional charge. There may also be continuing administration fees when the Trust has been set up and possible tax changes.


Assets which may not be covered by your Will.

  • Death benefits under a pension scheme are usually distributed at the discretion of the pension fund trustees. You should therefore let them know of your wishes. Often, they will require you to complete a nomination form indicating whom you would like to benefit.

  • Life assurance policies, if written in trust, are payable to the named person(s), whatever your Will may say.

  • Assets in joint names may pass to the survivor. If you wish to leave your share of jointly owned assets to someone other than your co-owner, you may need to take steps to divide the ownership of those assets. If, for example, the jointly owned asset is your home you should have the wording of the title deeds checked. Normally, the title deeds are worded in such a way that your share would automatically pass to the other owner on your death. This requires conveyancing work such as drafting a declaration of ownership. This work falls outside the Wills scheme and for which we may have to levy an additional charge.

If the property concerned is a joint bank or building society account you could perhaps transfer your share to a new account in your sole name so that you can leave that money to someone other than your co-owner.


If later in life I should become mentally infirm, can I arrange for a relative or friend to look after my affairs?

This can be arranged by way of an Enduring Power of Attorney which you can specify should not come into effect until you are incapable of managing your own affairs. You cannot make provision for this in your Will.


Where should I keep my Will?

You can lodge this with your bank or with Thompsons who will store your Will(s) free of charge.


When should I change my Will?

You do not need to make a new Will if anybody named in it changes address-you can simply leave a note with the new details with your Will.

We advise that you should review your Will every two to five years, and especially when there is any major change in your life, such as marriage, separation, divorce, re-marriage, a death in the family.

We are always happy to discuss changes in your Will and will re-write your Will at the reduced rate agreed with your union.


Foreign Property

If you hold foreign assets it may be necessary to also make a Will in the country where the assets are held. Please contact us for further advice.


And finally

Please complete the online Will questionnaire giving full forenames and full addresses in block capitals of everyone you wish to mention-for example Elizabeth Anne Windsor not Betty A. Windsor. Your application will be returned if not properly completed. Return the questionnaire together with the financial checklist, if appropriate, to Thompsons at the address given below.

* These individuals may also need to act as trustees for example where money needs to be held in trusts for children under the age of 16or where any other type of trust arises under your Will. The Wills Dept, THOMPSONS SOLICITORS, Berkley House, 285 Bath Street, Glasgow G2 4HQ


Home | Services | Quality | News | About Thompsons | Contact Us | DPF Website

Defence Police Federation-©2008-12 Thompsons Solicitors and Solicitor Advocates