Making a Will
Most people know they ought to make a Will but, as we all know it is often one of those jobs that is often put off until “tomorrow”.
The problem with delaying making a valid Will is that if you die without a Will, known as dying intestate, not only is there a risk your estate will not be distributed as you would have wished, there will be uncertainty regarding who is to be the guardian of your children. Not to mention the fact your loved ones, who will be in a state of grief, and perhaps shock, will be forced to deal with your unsorted affairs which is time-consuming and stressful.
If you’re considering making a Will, our dedicated team are here to help you plan and make provisions for you and your loved ones throughout your lifetime. Making a Will not only ensures that your wishes are carried out after your death but also that your loved ones are looked after in the way you intended. This is especially important if you are marrying for a second or third time and you want to make adequate provisions for all your children.
Our Wills, trusts, and probate team, led by firm Director, Samantha Edward, will make sure you have an expertly drafted, valid Will which perfectly expresses your wishes. We listen carefully and document meticulously, ensuring what you want to happen to your property, assets, children, pets, and treasured possessions actually transpire.
To speak to someone in our Wills, trusts, and probate team, please phone 0191 500 6989 to make an appointment or begin online.
What is a Will?
A Will is a legal document which sets out how you wish your property and assets to be distributed after you die. However, it also provides much more, including making it known:
- your wishes for your funeral
- how your property and assets should be distributed
- who will be the guardians of your children and where your children should live
- what you wish to happen to your pets
- any other requests you wish to make, for example, donating your body to science or setting up a trust for the payment of your grandchildren’s’ school fees
By instructing Samantha and her team to create your Will, you can be confident that your wishes will be accurately recorded. We are especially experienced in drafting Wills for SME owners which not only ensure the best tax position, but also provide a comprehensive succession plan so your business survives you.
What are the benefits of creating a Will?
Creating a Will requires an investment in time and money, but the benefits of taking control of your future and organising your affairs abound, and include;
- Peace of Mind – You’ll know when you die, your family will be clear about where you want your property and assets to go.
- Your Personal Representatives – You can decide who you would like to carry out your wishes and deal with your affairs after your death.
- Your Children – You can decide who you would like to care for your children after your death or the death of your partner. You can also decide at what age you would like them to inherit and who you would like to manage their inheritance until they reach that age. If you have a disabled or vulnerable child, you can ensure any inheritance is dealt with in such a way that the child does not lose their means-tested benefits and protects the inheritance. At EMG we are specialists in these areas so talk to us about your concerns.
- Second Marriages – A Will can ensure children from a previous relationship are provided for.
- Your beneficiaries – You can specify who will inherit your money, savings, and other assets.
- Tax planning – You can ensure family assets are ‘protected’ and there are steps you can take within your Will to minimise any liability to pay Inheritance Tax on your death.
- Protecting your home – A simple trust within your Will allows your spouse or partner to live in your home and draw an income from your assets whilst ensuring the assets are not used to pay for the cost of debts accumulated during your lifetime such as nursing or care home fees.
- Unmarried – A Will can ensure your partner is provided for after your death.
- Your Funeral – You can stipulate what you’d like which will make it easier for loved ones when they come to arrange your funeral.
- To prevent the intestacy rules being applied – These rules stipulate who will inherit your assets if there is no Will in place.
How much does a Will cost?
Your Will must be tailored to meet your specific needs. Yes, DIY Wills can be made; however, you will rarely meet a solicitor who has not had to spend months fixing the muddle such documents can cause.
Solicitors have a legal duty to be completely transparent around the cost of their services. Before we do any work for you, we will provide you with a fixed fee quote so you know exactly how much the final invoice will be.
What happens if I don’t make a Will?
The intestacy rules govern how your estate should be distributed if you have not made a Will. Click here to view our flow chart which explains how the rules work.
Are there tax benefits when you create a Will?
Creating a carefully drafted Will and/or trust can help you and your family maximise the amount of inheritance they receive and minimise the amount tax owed in the event of your death. We will explain all of your options to you and create a solution that meets your needs. We can also advise on broader issues such as dealing with the proceeds of life insurance and pension policies upon your death in the most tax-efficient manner, often avoiding paying thousands of pounds of unnecessary inheritance tax.
If you would like to chat through the possibilities for your Will or tax planning further, please contact us today to speak to a member of our Wills, Trusts and Probate team.