What is a Will?
A Will is one of the most important documents that you will ever sign. It is a legal document which records how you would like your estate to be distributed upon your death. If you have not written a Will, the distribution of your estate can be determined by the government through rules known as ‘intestacy’. Also, there are fewer rights for cohabitees and other close loved ones.
If you have a Will in place, you decide how your estate shall be distributed, as well as specifying your funeral wishes, guardianship for your children and whom you wish to appoint to deal with the financial administration of your estate (known as your executors and trustees).
Why should you write a Will?
It does not matter how little you think your estate is worth – it is important that you make a Will. Dying without a Will can result in your family and friends facing severe financial and emotional difficulties at an already stressful time, whereas having an up-to-date and professionally drafted Will can avoid many unwelcome and unnecessary issues.
Your estate consists of your property and possessions at the time of your death (less any outstanding debts and liabilities). However, certain assets such as jointly-held property, life assurance and pension benefits may not form part of your estate for the purposes of distribution under your Will. Therefore, it is important to consider which assets pass through the Will and which do not, as they could have an impact on the intended distribution to the various beneficiaries of your estate.
I Will Solicitors specialises in Wills, Inheritance Tax (IHT) Planning, Probate, Trusts and Court of Protection work. Unlike many practices, this is our core area of expertise and our solicitors have many years of experience, in addition to being qualified members of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), the main professional body for estate practitioners worldwide. We strongly recommend that you look for the initials TEP in your advisors’ credentials.
When preparing your Will, we consider whether you require IHT advice, ensuring that your Will is drafted in the most tax-efficient manner. We have a team of qualified solicitors with more than 50 years’ combined experience in drafting Wills and administering estates.
IHT may be payable on estates worth more than £325,000, but our Wills ensure that IHT can be mitigated or deferred until second death, whilst providing for asset protection. Asset protection via a trust fund can be used to protect money for beneficiaries, e.g. where there are young, vulnerable beneficiaries or those at risk of bankruptcy or divorce.
We offer a free initial consultation where we can meet to discuss your Will and related matters including the provision of comprehensive advice on IHT planning. If you would like further Will writing advice, you can download and complete this Will questionnaire and return it to us. Alternatively, you can call us on 0121 603 0077 to arrange a no-obligation consultation.