Whatever your age, if you have assets, such as a house, savings, or a business, and you also have children or other people who need looking after, you should consider writing a Will.
We will treat your wishes with absolute discretion and are a fully insured, national Will Writing company and a member of the Society of Will Writers. Our Wills are fully insured via a £2.5 million professional indemnity insurance policy.
- What Is A Will?
A Will is a legal document in which a person states what they would like to happen to their money and possessions after their death.
A Will normally covers bank accounts, investments, your home and your personal possessions, as well as,making your funeral wishes clear.
A Will makes the process of sorting out your financial affairs easier for your family. It allows you flexibility in deciding who will look after your children in the event of your death, and who would manage the estate on their behalf until they have reached the age when they would have total control over critical financial decisions.
A Will can also offer some protection against the risk of your children being disinherited after your death in the event that your spouse remarries.
It also means you are the one making the choices of who you leave money, property and other possessions to, instead of leaving it to the government to decide.
If you don’t have a Will, your estate will fall under the rules of Intestacy. This means that you risk losing control of where your hard-earned money and properties will go after your death, and it is possible that part of your estate will go to the state.
- When Should I Make a Will?
- Having Children or Grandchildren
- Buying or Selling a Large Asset Such As a House
- Divorce or Separation
The act of marriage or civil partnership will automatically revoke an existing Will, unless the Will has been drafted “in expectation of a marriage/civil partnership”.
With an increasing number of people having ‘second families’, it’s very important to get sound legal advice so that you can ensure that the children are protected and treated as you would wish, and not excluded due to new relationships.
Most people tend to leave their estate to their children, assuming they will someday pass it on to their own children.
However, families reorganise themselves through divorce, re-marriage and other circumstances, so you may want to be very clear about any legacies passed down to grandchildren, and how any inheritance would be administered, if their parents were to pre-decease them.
Property or income will form a portion of your estate, as receiving an inheritance or valuable asset, such as a work of art would.
The value of your estate will determine whether your executors need to apply for probate, and thus, may have implications for taxes and trusts.
Buying or selling property abroad may also have an impact on your estate, particularly if the country involved doesn’t recognise your Will.
It is generally recommended that you have a professional review your Will every couple of years to ensure that it still reflects your wishes and the changing finances and circumstances of your life.
Divorce does not automatically revoke a Will, but any appointment of a former spouse or civil partner as an executor and any gifts to a former spouse or civil partner would not take effect.
A Will should always be reviewed following a divorce.
- Different Types Of Wills
A Will is a legal document in which a person states what they would like to happen to their money and possessions after their death. A Will normally covers bank accounts, investments, your home and your personal possessions, as well as making your funeral wishes known.
A Will makes sorting out your affairs easier and clearer for your family. It allows you flexibility in deciding who will look after your children in the event of your death and who would manage the Estate on their behalf until they reach the age of financial independence.
A Will can also offer some protection against the risk of your children being disinherited after your death in the event of your spouse remarrying.
A protected property trust (PPT) is a legal document acquired by those who wish to protect their home from being forfeited to the government
or third parties. The surviving spouse or partner must possess the right to use their partners share of the property for the rest of their life. This
is called “a life interest”. In addition, it is also highly recommended that both parties take out a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) as this serves to maintain “control” over both halves of the property.
The Nil rate band (NRB), which is currently the first £325,000 for individuals or £650,000 for couples, is placed into trust on the first death; this can include property and cash up to the limit. The remaining spouse can then have a life interest in the assets that are under trust as well as borrow money from the trust, which would be a debt to their Estate and could also reduce the IHT upon second death. This is a good option for clients who have assets that are likely to exceed the NRB limit. It can also ensure that your beneficiaries (e.g. children and grandchildren) are always in the best financial and legal position. It allows flexibility in the trustees changing the beneficiaries over time and can be a good way to avoid inheritance tax for future generations.
Can you imagine receiving a large inheritance when you were 18 years old? The chances are that it would have burnt a hole in your pocket before you knew it! Parents of young children, grandparents, or anyone who is planning on leaving something to children as beneficiaries of their Estate may not want those children to have access to their inheritance as soon as they turn 18. Instead, they may prefer to choose an age anywhere up to 25 years old, when the beneficiary is more likely to be mature enough and ready to responsibly manage their inheritance.
- Lasting Power Of Attorney
No one wants to think about becoming incapable of making their own decisions through illness or accident. But it happens every day to people of all ages.
A Power of Attorney lets you plan ahead to make sure that all your wishes are respected. It gives you the confidence of knowing that your future is in the hands of someone who cares about you.
A Power of Attorney is a written document that allows someone else to make decisions or take action on your behalf. This person is called your attorney, and you can decide who the most appropriate persons are to have this authority. You also decide exactly what they’re authorised to do, and under what circumstances.
- Other Considerations
It is a good option to ensure your Will is held securely in our waterproof and fire-rated safe. You are provided with certificates of storage so that your own executors will know where to find the Will when the time comes. It also ensures that the Will is released to the right person at the time of death. This is definitely the appropriate step to take to prevent those undesired and will-excluded individuals from finding the Will and perhaps destroying it.
A memo of wishes is a Legal letter to your Executor expressing your precise wishes in relation to certain goods and how they are distributed. You may not include money in a Memorandum of Wishes.
This document allows you to give the executors guidance in distributing sentimental items that seem to be insignificant in relation to the important Legacies stated in the Will. All of these instructions can be included on your Memorandum of Wishes. The document is also used to explain reasons for guardianship and exclusions. You also have the right to change these instructions as often as you want; just destroy your old Memorandum of Wishes and complete a new one. A Memorandum of Wishes can be amended, modified and corrected at any time you wish.
It is also good practice to record any hymns or requests for your funeral service as these can give your loved ones guidance at a very difficult time.