What is a Will?
A will is much more than just a document. It is the reassurance that after you pass away your family and those you care about will be catered for. A will sets forth your wishes regarding the distribution of your property and the care of any minor children. If you die without a will, those wishes may not be followed. Dying intestate may have tax consequences, a properly prepared will can minimize tax liability. Our will writing service can ensure that your wishes are carried out at a fixed fee.
To find out more about what happens if you die intestate see our Wills page
We offer free Will reviews
We are currently offering free will reviews. This is an opportunity to sit down with an experienced will writer who will talk you through the process. We only charge a fee when you instruct us to begin writing your will. Therefore, there is no harm in obtaining free advice from us at the beginning. We can even visit you at home if that is more suitable for you. Our team have extensive experience and are happy to assist you. If you decide you would like us to draft your will, we will ensure that your estate is shared in the manner you wish.
Will Writing and Estate Planning
As part of our will writing services, we also help you with estate planning. Here are some examples of what we could help you with as part of our estate planning service:
- Financial planning because your child has an impending divorce or bankruptcy and it would not be appropriate for them to inherit in the near future
- If you intend to marry but you want to protect your assets for your own children from a previous relationship which has now ended
- To provide for your partner with whom you are cohabiting when you do not want them to inherit your estate outright
- You want to protect your assets from inheritance tax and care home fees
- To ensure that your business continues trading after your death
- Where your child has a disability and it would not be appropriate for them to inherit the estate outright absent of guidance and support
- To reduce the taxable amount on your estate
Will Writing: To book an appointment use the form below or call us (01228 59 3939)
Did you know?
It is likely unless there is a clause within your will stating otherwise, that your will may be ineffective or partially in force in these situations:
- When you get married
- If you are later divorced
- After the creation of a later will or codicil
- Damage to your will so that it is illegible
This is why we suggest that you have your will regularly be reviewed and amended if necessary. We can tailor your will to suit your specific needs now and in the future. It is surprising how many people, even celebrities, forget to leave a will. Sadly, this leads to complex disputes regarding their estates. Our will writing ensures there are no doubts.
Cohabiting without a Will
This Morning covered the risks of cohabiting and not having a will in place.
Celebrities who died without a Will
Well known musician Prince, sadly died in 2016, leaving behind a huge estate (estimated at $300 million) and no will. Since his death, the courts are still sorting out his estate. There are so many other celebrities who died without a will, from Amy Winehouse to Kurt Cobain to Bob Marley. Family members of Marley were still filing suits against each other 30 years after his death. Our will writing service ensures executors have clear instructions on how your estate will be distributed. We will also investigate tax implications when drafting your will.
Will Writing Services – Book a Home Visit
We can also offer home visits in the surrounding areas of our offices. We cover Blackpool, Cumbria, Including; Carlisle, Penrith, Kendal, Workington and Whitehaven Central Lancs, Northeast and Yorkshire. If you would like to book a home visit please use the form below or call us on 01228 739 907.
Frequently asked questions about Wills and Lasting Power of Attorney
If a person dies without making a valid Will then they are said to have died ‘intestate’ and their assets will be distributed in accordance with S.46 Administration of Estates Act 1925. Sometimes people believe that their assets will pass to certain people but this can often be misconceived. Also, if the estate requires administration it can often create difficulties for surviving relatives when obtaining a Grant of Letters of Administration because there are strict rules as to who may administer the estate and this can cause delay and extra often unexpected cost.
If you own very little and wish to make a straightforward Will it is always better to have a Will then have no Will and although it is a legal document, you may, therefore, feel confident in making your own Will. However, there are strict rules regarding the validity of a Will which means that if they are not followed could leave all or part of the estate ‘intestate’ and the assets distributed in accordance with S.46 Administration of Estates Act 1925.
An Executor is a person who you nominate to take on the responsibility of dealing with your estate. This can include obtaining a Grant of Probate, dealing with any taxation, paying estate liabilities and distributing the estate.
An Executor is a person aged 18 or over who you trust to deal with your estate. You should appoint more than one Executor. It can be an onerous task and someone with experience who is able to handle accounts and paperwork is the best option. It is a time-consuming role and carries with it personal liability if they do not ensure that a Creditor or beneficiary is paid. Butterworths Solicitors are able to act as professional Executors and professional fees are payable out of the estate.
Each individual has an Inheritance Tax Allowance and there may be other allowances which could be utilised. If your estate exceeds £325,000 you may be at risk from Inheritance Tax and we can advise you regarding this.
The simple answer is yes but it is not straightforward and you can still leave yourself with a risk that you have deliberately deprived yourself of assets. We can advise you regarding this.
A Will nominates an Executor and if your estate falls within small estates limits, no Grant of Probate will be required. However, if a Grant is required, this is a document which gives your Executors legal authority to take action on behalf of your estate. For example, close bank accounts or sell a house.
Quite often people assume that their next of kin can deal with everything. However, this is incorrect and they do not have the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf. If you want (and trust) someone to make decisions about your financial matters or your health and welfare and you have capacity then you can make a Lasting Power of Attorney for both types of decision making.
As with a Will, this is a legal document but you may feel confident in making your own Lasting Power of Attorney documents. However, safeguards are limited and you may be approached by a child or other relative who is insisting that you make a Lasting Power of Attorney and this could be against your wishes. Solicitors are independent and ensure that it is your wishes that are being looked after and ensure that you are aware that your Attorneys must act in your best interests or for example spend your money on themselves or give your money away. Butterworths Solicitors spend time getting to know you and your financial situation so that we can advise on any guidance you wish to give your attorneys or if you need a clause regarding funds held under discretionary management.
Quite often Attorneys believe that they are entitled to see your Will. It is your decision as to whether or not you want them to see your Will but it is not a requirement and you may prefer it to be kept confidential. There may be a reason why they need to see your Will and we can advise you about this.
If your mental capacity fails and there are decisions which need to be made about your finances or welfare then someone will have to apply to the Court of Protection for a Deputy Order. This can be expensive and there is often a delay in obtaining the Order. The Deputy is supervised and is required to report annually. If you wish to retain control as to who helps you make decisions in future then we recommend that you make a Lasting Power of Attorney.
On another note…
Statistics show that one person develops dementia every three minutes in the UK, and relatives without a Lasting Power of Attorney would not be unable to walk into a bank to access that person’s money, even if it is for their care. See our article on LPA’s here
You can also see our article on contesting a will here.
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