Wills, Trusts and planning for the futureAs lawyers, one of the first questions we ask our new clients when discussing their affairs is whether they have a Will. Too often, the client has been meaning to, but has never made arrangements towards doing so.
We often find that certain events act as reminders to individuals to get their Will in place, and those events stress the importance of having a Will. This could be the passing of a loved one, the end of a long-term relationship, or a worldwide pandemic.
We often see cases where individuals did not have a Will in place when they passed away. In these situations, the estate becomes ‘intestate’, and assets are left in ways which was not intended. Not only is this against the intentions of the individual who has passed away, but it can also have further consequences, such as a young person having access to significant funds from the estate, or a larger-than-necessary inheritance tax bill.
In contrast, getting your Will in place avoids these uncertainties. You can choose who will benefit from your estate and their respective shares. You can decide whether you would like to give away any specific items or assets, or set up a trust for a loved one which starts when you pass away. You can also make provisions which protect your estate from a potentially unnecessary tax liability.
Of course, writing your own Will is possible. Similarly, there are also packs available from retailers which can assist with this.
The problem with both of these options is that they provoke uncertainty. An incorrect choice of wording, or a failure to include certain clauses which are vital to a Will, can have an entirely different consequence of what an individual was intending. Furthermore, the law governing whether a Will is valid are specific, and a mistake can invalidate the entire Will.
We can help you get it right, without the uncertainties. We can make sure that the Will does exactly what you intend, without any questions of validity. Our clause-by-clause explanations will make sure that you know that your Will is achieving what you would like, while also breaking down any legal jargon. On top of this, you will also receive inheritance tax advice which is relevant to your affairs.
Our Private Client team, which deals with Will drafting and inheritance tax, are also very flexible. They can take instructions from you, draft and advise you on the Wills, and provide an explanation on how the Will should be signed and witness in accordance with the strict rules. This means that the entire process can take place away from our office, if you would prefer.
James Allum, a member of our Private Client team, can discuss Wills, probate and inheritance tax with you.
Whilst specialising in non-contentious Private Client matters, James assists the Head of Dispute Resolution in contentious probate matters when disputes arise in respect of Wills or estates.