Wills and Probate

Wills

If you want to be certain that your wishes will be followed when you die, then you must make a Will.

People who die without a Will (intestate) are leaving significant work, complications and costs to their family and friends and often unintentionally benefit others, including the state.

Without a Will you have no control over who will receive any property, money and personal items as the Intestacy Provisions stipulate how your estate will be distributed. Many people do not realise that a surviving spouse/ civil partner does not automatically receive all of a deceased husband or wife's estate and unmarried partners receive nothing. Therefore the death of a partner or spouse may lead to significant financial hardship and the people you may want to benefit from your property and affairs may not do so.

Every adult should have a Will, not just the elderly, and especially if any of the following apply:

  • You have children.
  • You are married or separating after a marriage
  • You co-habit, have a long term partner or are in a same sex couple.
  • You have assets over £325,000, Business Interests or Agricultural Interests.
  • You wish to specifically benefit / exclude a family member.
  • You have retired.

 

Do I need to review my Will ?

You may need to review your Will if your personal circumstances or the law changes.

  • Moving property.
  • Separation or Divorce.
  • Retirement.
  • Children are now adults.
  • Births, deaths or marriages.
  • Change in financial circumstances.
  • Going into residential care.

 

Major changes to the Inheritance Tax position of spouse / civil partners and Trust taxation means any Will created prior to 2007 by a married couple / civil partners or including a Trust should be reviewed.

Our specialist Solicitors include members of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE)  and have considerable experience in drawing up Wills and estate planning.

So if you consider that it is time to organise your affairs to give you and your loved ones peace of mind, contact us today.

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What can I include in a Will?

Under a Will you can specify who you would like to sort out your affairs (Executors) - Appoint guardians for young children - Leave specific gifts of cash or items - Say who is to inherit your estate - Provide funeral directions

Protecting property from care fees in a Will

As an ageing population, more of us are requiring residential care as we get older. At an average of £800 per week, people are seeing savings and property intended to pass down to loved ones being decimated by the cost of care. Steps can be taken under your Will to safeguard your property without taking security away from a spouse or partner.

Why use a Solicitor?

People's financial and family circumstances have become more complex with increasing numbers of second or third marriages, adopted children and family disputes. It is vitally important to consider who might have a claim on your estate and to whom you might owe a responsibility. Home made Will packs and Will Writers advertising low prices can seem appealing, but failure to comply with technical requirements, ambiguous or misleading wording, pigeon holing people into the limited precedents and failure to consider an individual's full circumstances & knowledge of the law has led to an increase in litigation and applications to Court to try and rectify concerns. The administration of your estate should not become a problem for your bereaved family. There are many factors to be taken into consideration when planning your Will and it is important that you take qualified legal advice and invest appropriate time.