Sadly, we are all going to die one day. Some may die unexpectedly whilst others may die after a long life. It is very important that we all make a will as death is one of those things that no one can predict. If you die without leaving a valid will, your assets may not go to the persons that you most loved or wanted them to go to. This can only be achieved by a valid will.
There are strict rules relating to making a will. If the formalities are not complied with, the Will is not likely to be valid or is likely to lead to an expensive and often lengthy court case. It is therefore cheaper to pay a Solicitor to prepare a will properly rather than your Executors spending so much more in establishing the validity of a after your death. That will certainly cause a reduction in the net assets of your estate, especially if the costs have to be met out of the estate.
We can discuss all your requirements and advise you how to make provisions for your loved ones. A Will should not be rushed through and there is no such thing as a standard Will. Some companies will make a Will for a small fee but earn a good fee from acting as your Personal Representative. A personal Representative is the person who follows your wishes as per your Will and gives effect to them.
Even if you have made a Will, it can still be challenged if you have not reasonable provisions for members of your family or those who were dependent on you. There are time limits for doing this. We can assist in making a claim for you.
If you die without a valid Will leaving a spouse, he/she will receive the whole of your estate. If you die leaving a spouse and children, your spouse will receive £250,000 of your estate. 50% of the balance will pass on to the children on reaching 18 years and the remaining 50% will pass on to your surviving spouse.
If you are cohabiting and die without a Will, your surviving partner is not treated as your surviving spouse and will not be automatically entitled to your estate. If you die without leaving a Will, your surviving parents and siblings have no automatic right to your estate. Making a Will is therefore particularly important for people living together whether they are of the opposite or the same sex.
If you have no surviving relative, your estate will go to the Government. Even if you do not wish to leave you assets to a member of your family, you may wish to leave them to a charity instead of it going to the Government. You will also need to ensure that as little Inheritance Tax as possible is paid to HMRC after your death.
A Will can be made or changed as many times as you wish. It is the last Will that you make before your death that will be acted on provided that it is a valid Will.
We can assist you in the following:
· Making Wills
· Amending whole or part of a Will
· Challenging or defending the validity of a Will
· Making or defending a claim by a family member or a dependent
· Making a Lasting Power of Attorney
· Administering the estate.