Will Writing

Making a will is the only way to guarantee that your money and belongings are distributed how you would wish, following your death.

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Guiding you through all aspects of preparing your will

Such a fundamental matter cannot be left to chance, which is why we recommend that everyone has a valid will – and revisits it from time-to-time to ensure it is still fit for purpose.

It is possible to write your own will, or use a cheap alternative, such as an online wills service. However, we would urge you to consider consulting a specialist, qualified person to look after this important matter.

For anyone with young children, anyone with property, anyone who is unmarried, there are rules relating to your estate, in the event of your death. These rules, known as the intestacy rules, will automatically come into force when you die, whether you would approve them or not. So the only way to avoid this scenario, and ensure that your wishes are observed, is to make a will.

Furthermore, if you have made lifetime gifts and/or you own money and property worth a combined total exceeding £325,000 when you die, the people you leave behind may face taxes at a rate of 40% on their inheritance. Making a will can often improve the position of your beneficiaries meaning that they receive the maximum amount possible of what you would like to gift to them.

We have been relied upon to prepare and manage our clients’ wills for generations. It is a privilege and a responsibility we take extremely seriously. The costs involved are frequently less than people expect, so we urge you to get in touch with our specialist team for an exploratory chat.

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What is a will?

A will is a legal document that sets out what should happen to your personal estate after you die. Your estate comprises your money, both cash and bank/building society accounts, together with your property.

It can also set out your wishes concerning the care of your children aged under 18.

While no single document can be guaranteed to resolve every issue following your death, a will is the best way to ensure your wishes are observed.

Why a will is important

Making a will is the only way you can determine what happens to your property, your money and belongings after you die. It also allows you to make provision for the care of any children under 18.

  • Unmarried partners
    It is particularly important to have a valid will if you are in a relationship but not married. Unmarried partners (and partners who have not registered a civil partnership) cannot inherit from each other unless there is a will. So the death of one partner may create serious financial problems for the remaining partner.
  • Children
    If you have children aged under 18, you should make a will, so that arrangements for their care can be put in place if either or both parents die. You are never too young to put these safeguarding measures in place.
  • Inheritance tax
    Your ‘inheritance’ is the money and property you leave behind which others will inherit. This can attract inheritance tax at a rate of 40% if it exceeds the threshold amount. We can help you mitigate your inheritance tax liability via a well structured will.
  • Changing circumstances
    If your circumstances change, it is important that your will reflects your wishes regarding the distribution of your estate. Sometimes people change their will if, for example, they are separated and their former partner now lives with someone else.

If you marry or enter into a registered civil partnership, this invalidates any previous will you have made.

If you have any questions about making or updating your will, you should consult a solicitor.

Rules of intestacy

If you die without a will, there are rules which dictate what happens to your money, property and possessions. These are known as the rules of intestacy. This may not be how you wanted your money and possessions to be distributed.

People with significant estates

People with a high net worth are likely to attract far more inheritance tax on their estate. This means that those family and friends they wish to benefit, following their death, can see their share of inheritance cut by up to 40%.

By consulting our specialist team, we can ensure that your loved ones receive every penny that they are legally entitled to, instead of losing out to HMRC.

Reviewing your will

Your will reflects your wishes and your life circumstances at the time you make it. Over time, circumstances change. You may marry, separate or divorce. You may have children. You may find causes close to your heart. Whatever the reason, the will you made five years ago may not reflect your feelings today.

That is why we encourage clients to talk to us and review their will on a regular basis. This procedure ensures that, whenever you pass away, you have done the very best for those you care about.

Helping you to help others

Through their will, people typically leave money, property and belongings to their loved ones: to spouses, partners, children, family and sometimes friends. Some people wish to go further, however. They may have developed allegiances to a particular charity or good cause. They may wish to leave a specific item or a particular gift to a club or society they feel strongly about.

You may not be aware just how you can design one-off gifts or donations through your will. Our experienced legal team can help you make provision for those people and things you care about and who you wish to be remembered by.

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Why choose us as your will writing lawyers

We have a wealth of experience in this area of the law. This means that we can make sure your exact wishes are carried out after you pass away, bringing comfort not only to you but to those you truly care about.

We can help you minimise and even eliminate the tax burden on your estate, while making clear provision for family, friends and chosen causes. And we will do so by handling technically complex situations but using as little jargon as possible.

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