Despite this being an age of complicated financial affairs and intricate family relationships, more than two-thirds of people in the UK don’t have a will. Last year the Government gained £76m from people who died intestate and generally this figure rises each year..
Many people find thinking about making a Will a daunting task, but it doesn’t need to be with us. We can help you to leave a carefully thought through and properly drafted Will to ensure your wishes are carried out after your death.
No matter how simple or complicated your individual situation is, our Wills solicitors can guide you through the legal and practical issues involved with making a Will and make the process as simple and straightforward as possible for you.
We understand that everybody’s circumstances are different; therefore our Will Solicitors ensure that they fully understand your situation and will give you personal tailored advice for your Will.
Making a Will and reviewing it regularly is the only way to:
- safeguard your assets
- decide who manages your affairs
- create trusts for your children
- nominate guardians for your children
- benefit from tax savings
- make a charitable gift
- provide instructions for your funeral arrangements
- ensure protection from claims against your estate
Our Will Solicitors have significant experience in preparing Wills that deal with complex or difficult situations, particularly where second families are involved or where clients want to minimise tax liabilities to protect their business interests. Our Wills Solicitors are members of Solicitors for the Elderly and have significant experience of assisting families with vulnerable dependents needing extra care to reach practical solutions.
There are many reasons why you should make a will but the most important ones are that you control who benefits from your estate and it gives you peace of mind that your affairs are in order. Our will writing service helps you to plan for the future; ensuring that your assets go to the people, places or causes that you want. Anyone over the age of 18 can make a Will and it is effective until you change the contents, destroy the Will in order to revoke it, or marry/remarry or enter into a civil partnership. Since 2007 new rules mean that the survivor of a marriage or civil partnership can benefit from up to double the inheritance tax allowance (IHT) if they are the sole beneficiary under a Will.
Even if you already have a Will, it may be out of date or invalid because of :
- a change in family circumstances
- concerns regarding long term (residential/nursing) care costs
- acquisition of foreign property
- guardianship and children
- living together whilst unmarried
What happens if you do not make a Will?
Your estate will be distributed according to the Intestacy Rules – these rules decide for you who will inherit your estate. This may mean that relatives, other than those you wish to benefit, may also receive a share of your estate. It also adds unnecessary cost and worry to your family during an already difficult time.
What should you include in your will?
Your will should set out who you wish to be your executors – these are the people who will be responsible for making sure your estate is dealt with in accordance with your wishes. It should also set out any cash or specific legacies (such as jewellery or other personal effects) you wish to leave to particular people, and who you wish to be the main beneficiaries of your estate. Illegitimate and adopted children have legal rights to your estate, but step-children do not.
In families where parents are unmarried and have children things can be complicated if you do not have a Will. There is the potential for problems and not having a will can have devastating effects. There is no such thing as a common law spouse and an unmarried partner would not, under current law, be automatically entitled to anything from your estate. For single people it can be just as complicated.
Take the example of a man in his 50’s who died suddenly and did not leave a will. He was unmarried and had no children but both his parents survived him. After his death, his estate was shared equally between his surviving parents under the Intestacy Rules. The problem was that his biological father had played no part in his upbringing and had not seen him for 49 years. It was the estates responsibility to find the biological father, pay legal fees and meet the costs of tracking him down.
Single Wills (for one person)
Involving life interest/right of residence
Involving Discretionary Trust (inc L of W)
Mirror Wills (a matched pair for couples)
Involving life interest/right of residence
Involving Discretionary Trust (inc L of W & Notice of Severance))
Please add the following mandatory charges to the above fees
Anti Money Laundering Identity Checks
Optional charges which may apply
Home Visits within 10 miles of the firm's office
Home visits outside 10 miles of the firm's office
Storage of Will and/or LPA - per client
- (Storage must be paid by direct debit in advance annually on completion of your documents)
When your charges may be higher
Anything over and above what is deemed as straightforward and normal for your case is charged extra at an hourly rate of £205 plus VAT. Circumstances that may cause your case to be deemed outside of normal and straightforward are shown below. The list is not exhaustive:-
- You require more than two 45 minute meetings about your case
- You require more than 2 home visits
- You include lots of beneficiaries, or make lots of different gifts
- You require multiple copies of your Will(s) and/or Codicil(s)
- It is necessary for us to speak to other legal advisors acting for you
- It is necessary for us to instruct a doctor or other specialist to assess your capacity to make your Will(s) and/or Codicil(s)
- You require us to expedite your documents as you deem your case to be urgent
- You require an out of hours appointment