Here we hope to answer some of your queries with our frequently asked questions.
Quite simply if you’re over the 18 the answer is YES. A will is used to explain to people (your executors) who you want to manage your finances, assets, property, children. The executors role is to fulfil your wishes. It can also be used as a mechanism to reduce inheritance tax liability.
Without a will there is no clear direction as to what should be done with your house, money, assets and who should take over responsibility for your children. There is also the potential for a large inheritance tax bill.
A simple will can cost as little as £130. We would always recommend a Lasting Power of Attorney alongside a will which gives instructions for what should happen if you are unable to make your own decisions due to mental impairment or are incapacitated in any way. It ensures that the person appointed to deal with your affairs can do so without any problems. See our fees list for further information HERE.
This is a question many people are concerned about. Putting your affairs in order by having a will, a Lasting Power of Attorney and in most cases, trusts can ensure that you’re able to protect your family, home, assets, business in the event that you pass away or are incapacitated in some way. It’s an inexpensive solution which will save your family a lot of heartache and unnecessary stress as well as a lot of money if you organise it well in advance of anything happening to you.
It’s a good idea to review your will every couple of years. A separation or divorce, a marriage or the arrival of a baby are all reasons to check your will is fit for purpose. A lot of people wait until they’re divorced to change their will and in fact, at the point of separation is the optimum time. Marriage invalidates a will so it’s vital that you see a solicitor to arrange a new will after you get married.
It’s a document which details what should happen to your estate should you become incapacitated (physically or mentally). There are two types; one deals with all financial arrangements “Property and Financial LPA” and the other deals with health “Health and Welfare” LPA. They are essential documents. Without them, your family will be unable to act on your behalf should you become incapacitated. They’re even more important if you run a business as without one decisions cannot be made and anything you’re solely responsible for ie wage payments cannot be done without you. The health and welfare LPA ensures that someone you trust can make decisions about your care, where you live, any treatment etc if you ate unable to make those decisions yourself.
A living will is a Power Of Attorney. One LPA deals with all financial considerations and another is responsible for your health and welfare.
The answer depends on your circumstances but in some instances it is possible to reduce the financial implications by using trusts and changing the way your property is owned. We’re happy to chat through your individual circumstances and advise accordingly.
If you wish to exclude a family member (wife/husband, daughter, son etc) it is not enough to simply leave their name out of the will when it is drafted. You must state in your will that this individual must not inherit from your estate.
If someone believes that they have been excluded from your will they can challenge the will through court. This can be an expensive and painful process for all concerned so as above be specific when you detail in your will who should and should NOT inherit.
As we explained in the previous answer, wills can be contested. If you have a will which is written by an expert, kept up to date and safely stored it is far less likely to be contested or cause problems for your loved ones when you’re gone.
If someone feels that they’ve been unfairly treated by the decisions in your will then they can challenge the will in court. A solicitor has to ensure that the person giving the instructions to write a will is of sound mind and will refuse to write one if he/she cannot confirm mental capacity. It is difficult to contest a will but some cases have ruled in the favour of the claimant so its vital to make your will as “water tight” as possible.
Creating a will makes it possible for your to make important decisions such as this when you’re fit and healthy. If you have no family or don’t want to share your estate between certain people it is vital to ensure your will reflects your wishes.
Yes, absolutely. You can make arrangements for your estate in any way you wish. Some wills are very basic, whilst others are long and complicated but we’re here to help and guide you to ensure you have peace of mind.
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