Wills & Estate Planning
Who looks after your financial decisions if you are not able to ?
Accident, sickness or old age can lead to you being unable to make decisions. Who then can? Not your spouse (without a Lasting Power of Attorney) and probably never your partner. The courts will decide, and you will pay – unless you have a Lasting Power of Attorney – Property & Affairs.
Who looks after your children and personal welfare if you cannot?
This covers where you live, whom you see, what you eat, medical issues etc. If there is a surviving parent they would look after the children but if not it would be up to the Court to decide – unless you have a Lasting Power of Attorney – Health & Welfare.
What if you don’t have a will?
All decisions will be made by the State, including who gets your children. “Common Law” partners get nothing without court action, and you will have missed an opportunity to properly protect your assets. If you do have a Last Will & Testament, is it up to date? Invalidated by marriage? Are guardians and all children included? Do you regularly review it? And keep it in a safe place? Will its executors be able to find it and work with it?
Do you have Probate Savings to go with security from creditors, and with speedy access & flexibility?
Creating wealth for the generations, plus savings on probate delays and the security that the value of your home will benefit the right people. Unprotected homes can end up benefiting unintended or unwanted people such as your children’s creditors, or ex-spouses. Probate may take 5 to 12 months.
Do you have a pre-paid Funeral Plan?
Funeral price inflation is consistently high and it makes sense to transfer money from low-interest taxable savings to a Funeral Plan with inflation protection. Save money, stress and argument at a difficult time by pre-planning.
Do you have an ongoing review of legal planning?
Family situations, law and tax are constantly changing – but will your legal planning remain up to date and safe?
The vast majority of people will have to apply for Probate before they can access a deceased person’s estate. A will ensures the correct people benefit from your estate.
If you die Intestate (without leaving a will) there may be a number of unintended beneficiaries.
Do you have Probate arrangements in place?
To help you sort out your estate after your death, you should have a plan in place for flexible probate services.
Many clients only need the services listed in the ‘Main Services’ section. However, wills can provide much more in terms of protection from inheritance tax, payment of care fees and dealing with complex family situations by the inclusion of additional clauses and will trusts. We will be happy to discuss them and your specific requirements…
Basic Single Will, or Basic Mirror
Either option includes any legacies, and where required trusts for minor children in which assets are kept until they become at least 18 years old or an age you can specify.
Lasting Power of Attorney – Property & Financial Affairs
A document in which a donor appoints others to manage his/her financial affairs if & when he/she can no longer do so nor make decisions for themselves. Fees include the role of Certificate Provider who confirms the donor’s understanding of the LPA and validates their decision and capacity to make the document.
Lasting Power of Attorney – Health & Welfare
A document in which a donor appoints others to make health & welfare decisions when he/she is no longer capable of doing do. Fees include the role of Certificate Provider who confirms the donor’s understanding of the LPA and validates his/her decision and capacity to make the document.
Registration of a Lasting or Enduring Power of Attorney
The documentation required to register a LPA with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG).
An electronic register in which clients record the existence & location of their Will(s) on a 5 yearly basis.
Right of Residence
A trust which allows a nominated beneficiary to live in a house, which he/she does not own, for a specified period but which gives no rights to the house nor its capital value.
Life Interest Trust
A trust which passes a house, property or capital to a nominated beneficiary(ies) but which allows a third party to have the benefit of the house, property or income from the invested capital during their life.
A trust which allows trustees to make decisions, in line with a letter of wishes, about who in a group of nominated beneficiaries (e.g. spouse or children) should receive funds, when and how much.
Disabled Discretionary Trust
A Discretionary Trust (as above) but drafted to protect the special interests of a disabled beneficiary. The trust is restricted in how it can be used but it enjoys favourable tax treatment.
Advance Decision (Living Will)
A less costly alternative to a LPA (HW – Health & Welfare Power of Attorney) in which a person sets out decisions about treatment which he/she may wish to receive or refuse and to appoint others to make later decisions for them in uncertain circumstances when he/she is unable to do so.
Parental Responsibility Agreement
A document enabling an unmarried mother to give parental responsibility to the unmarried father of their child (born before 1st December 2003. Price per child.
Severance of Tenancy – Mutual or unilateral Severance of Joint Tenancy
A Deed of Severance with Land Registry search, documentation & registration that enables joint owners of a house to change the ownership from joint tenancy to tenants in common so they can gift their separate share of the house to those they wish to benefit (where unregistered land advice is to register the house with Land Registry).
Transfer of Ownership (advice and assistance only)
Transferring a house from sole ownership to a tenancy in common arrangement – ONLY where there is no mortgage on the house. Stamp duty land tax may be payable.
Declaration of Trust
A document stating who has a financial interest in a house and in what proportions, e.g. a child may loan or gift capital to parent to buy house and this needs to be documented to allow recovery of the value when house is sold.
First Registration of House
Where a house is unregistered land this refers to applying to register the house with the Land Registry. Proves house ownership.
*Separate Land Registration fees are applicable
A trust set up by a settlor in life (with minimal assets put into it e.g. £10) which receives other assets after the death of the settlor as specified by their will.
Asset Protection Trust
A trust established in which to shelter property and cash from the time of its assignment to the trust subject to Inheritance Tax rules.