Will Writing Solicitors
Everyone should make a Will. It’s your chance to decide what happens to your money, property, and possessions after you die. You should use a solicitor to ensure that the correct people benefit from your estate.
When you die without a will, the important people in your life may not be entrusted to look after your estate when you’re gone and more inheritance tax may be payable. A Will allows you to choose the executors who will deal with the probate of your estate. It also enables you to appoint guardians who will be responsible for your young children.
Making a Will provides an opportunity to take tax planning advice and this ensures that probate proceeds in a tax efficient manner thereby saving your estate from a significant inheritance tax bill. You may even want to ensure that someone in your family does not benefit or, that if one of your beneficiaries dies, other family members, or even a charity, should inherit in their place. You could also use your Will to write your personal requests for your funeral. Wills can also include trusts to protect assets. Wills Trusts can be particularly useful if you have complicated family arrangements, a second marriage or cohabit with a partner.
Call or contact us online or in person today. We are always willing to discuss your requirements by phone and we offer fixed fee services.
Will writing services: amendments to existing Wills
Your circumstances will inevitably change at certain points in your life, and you may revise your decisions regarding who you want to leave you estate to. You should always search for the services of a solicitor to ensure that your Will is properly amended in order to reflect those desired changes.
It is wise to keep an existing Will and wishes under regular review – for example:
- You may now be separated or divorced meaning you are free to nominate new beneficiaries.
- You may be getting married or entering into a civil partnership (marriage automatically cancels any existing Will) – when you get married you may wish to draw up mirror Wills.
- You may now have children who had not been born when your existing Will was drawn, or your children may now be grown up with children of their own.
- You may now be a property owner with the consequence that you have a significant asset to dispose of upon your death so Wills Trusts may now be of relevance.
- You may, unfortunately, find yourself in the position whereby an executor or named beneficiary in your existing Will has died.
- There may have been a number of changes in taxation policies that will affect your probate.
You cannot amend an existing Will after it’s been executed. The only way you can change an existing Will is by making an official alteration called a Codicil, or by making an entirely new Will.
A Codicil is a legal document that refers to your existing Will and sets out the alterations that you want to make to it. It does not replace your existing Will but operates alongside it. Rules provide that a Codicil needs to be signed and witnessed in the same way as a Will in order to be valid.
What can our writing solicitors do for you?
Our experts offer legal services you can count on, giving you peace of mind that your estate will be safe with loved ones.
Wills are formal legal documents, meaning detail is everything if you want to gain the best possible protection. We are experienced in providing a service which helps clients across England and Wales and we are a law firm which is fully authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. We are able to understand what making a Will means for you, and our services focus on the type of issues you need to pay attention to.
At Eric Robinson, our solicitors are specialists in both writing new Wills and amending existing ones. We offer a high quality legal advice you can trust. We’re experienced in all aspects of Wills and probate and we can ensure your estate will go to those who you love most. Call or contact a member of our specialist team online or in person today. We are always ready to discuss your needs by phone and we act on a fixed fee basis.
How much do our writing services cost?
Our services operate on a fixed fee basis because we recognise that costs are a key consideration.
Wills & Codicils:
|Codicil (an addendum document to an existing Will)||£150.00||£30.00||£180.00|
|Standard Simple will||£295.00||£59.00||£354.00|
|Will with Life Interest Trust, Discretionary Trust, or Disability Trust||£595.00||£119.00||£714.00|
|Urgent Will (from)||£450.00||£90.00||£540.00|
#HIGHLIGHT#Double (Mirror) Wills
|Standard Simple wills (mirror)||£485.00||£97.00||£582.00|
|Mirror Wills with Life Interest Trusts, Discretionary Trusts, or Disability Trusts||£795.00||£159.00||£954.00|
What happens if I don’t make a Will?
Not everybody makes a Will. Those who don’t must accept that when they die, the Rules of Intestacy will apply. That means that the law will dictate how their possessions and other assets should be shared out. Many people aren’t comfortable with the very real risk that the important people in their lives could be left out. That’s why Wills are usually the preferred option.
What roles do Executors and Trustees fulfill?
You have probably heard these terms before. But you might not know exactly what they mean, or why they are different to one another.
Let’s start with the similarities. Executors and trustees are those you appoint in your Will to carry out your wishes once you have died. They are people you trust and have confidence in. They can be friends, family members or professionals including lawyers and accountants, and can themselves be beneficiaries of your Will. You are able to appoint the same people to act as your executors and trustees, but we advise to have more than one Executor in most circumstances or at least a replacement.
The main difference between the two roles is that an executor puts your Will into effect, making sure that what you’ve said should be done is done. A trustee holds property on behalf of someone else, for example a child, until that person has reached a certain point in their life.
How can I protect my spouse?
A Will can help ensure that your husband or wife inherits your family home.
If you die “intestate” (without making a Will) and have children or other dependents, your spouse can only receive the first £250,000, plus personal possessions, of your estate outright. So, without a Will, your spouse may not even inherit the whole of your matrimonial home.
What happens to my Will if I get married or divorced?
Situations change. If your marriage has ended then you should consider whether and how to provide for your family in the future. You may decide that a Will drawn up during that marriage should be changed, for whatever reason.
If you go on to remarry then your existing Will no longer stands. It will have been revoked. So you should review your position and draw up new terms that protect the people you need to.
Will my estate be liable to pay Inheritance Tax?
Inheritance Tax is a levy on the estate of a person who has died. It’s much maligned and often dreaded but it can be minimised through effective planning. Our team of specialists can give you sound Inheritance Tax advice and discuss points to consider when making your Will.
Who will look after my children?
Think about appointing a guardian, someone you know and trust, for any child of yours who is under the age of 18 at the time of your death. This provision in your Will becomes even more important if your husband or wife has died or dies before you.
Can I leave money to children?
You may want to leave your estate to beneficiaries who are under the age of 18. Setting up a trust helps you achieve that. You can decide in your Will at what age you would like your dependants/younger beneficiaries to inherit. While the legal age is 18, some people think that’s too young and they choose to specify a later age (say, 25). You can also specify in your Will that your trustees can release funds for your dependants/younger beneficiaries before a certain age as long as it is for their maintenance, education or benefit generally. So you may prefer someone to inherit at say 25 years but they can still have funds to assist them in the meantime, say at 18 years for university fees
How can I provide for someone who has lost mental capacity?
If you want or need to provide for someone who is not mentally competent to look after their own affairs, you should consider setting up a trust in your Will. It is quite common to create a discretionary trust which gives trustees a degree of flexibility in making payments to the person concerned or to the home or hospital where the person lives, or to their carer.
What is the position for unmarried couples and cohabitees?
The Rules of Intestacy are not kind to cohabiting or unmarried couples. If you die without having made a Will, your partner will need to go through a difficult process of proving their dependency on you. It’s far better to provide for them in a Will; your intentions will be clearly understood and carried out, and the dependency test should not need to come into it.
Can I protect my assets from certain claims?
Your spouse might choose to remarry after your death. The estate you left them could, in turn, be left to that new partner and/or new family. In fact, that often happens unintentionally when, unbeknown to your spouse, your Will is revoked by their new marriage.
One way of stopping that from happening is to create a Life Interest Trust. It means that your assets, including property and savings, will be held in trust. When you die, the trust will be passed onto those people you choose to be beneficiaries. It means you’re not leaving things to chance.
These trusts are also a way of ring-fencing your assets, preventing them from being swallowed up by the cost of your care in later life.
For example, if you are in care and your partner is still living in your home, the house cannot be taken into account when assessing your means for Local Authority funding. If however, your partner dies while you are still in care and their share of the property automatically transfers to you, the Local Authority will be able to take the whole value of the property into account to assess your means.
A Lifetime use of Property Trust could help prevent this happening to you by ensuring that each partners’ share is distributed according to their wishes.
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