Wills are legal documents that direct your assets to others following your death. It is important that everyone has an up to date Will to ensure that their assets pass to their intended beneficiaries however it is particularly important in the following circumstances:
- Your estate is more that the Inheritance Tax nil rate band threshold currently £325,000
- You own property, land or other assets
- Your children are under the age of 18
- You are estranged from some of your immediate family
- You are divorced or separated
- You live with a partner but are not married
- You have children from more than one marriage or relationship.
Before making a Will you should consider your estate. What assets do you have and who would you like to leave them to?
You will need to think about who you wish to appoint as Executors. They are the people who are responsible for handling your affairs after your death. Executors’ responsibilities include arranging the funeral, gathering all of your assets, settling your debts, bills and taxes from the proceeds of the assets and distributing the remainder in accordance with your Will.
If you have children under the age of 18 you should consider appointing guardians who will be responsible for your children until they reach 18. Being a guardian involves making decisions about the children’s upbringing, education, health and welfare.
How will you distribute your assets? Do you have dependants that you need to consider? Would you like to put your assets into a trust and appoint trustees to make decisions about when and how much each potential beneficiary should receive based on the circumstances at that time?
If you are concerned about Inheritance Tax or long-term care costs, there may be something you can do in your Will to mitigate this.
Our sister company Fogwill & Jones (Legal Services) Ltd has the expertise to advise you fully on your Will requirements and to prepare an accurate document that is legally binding.
Lasting Power of Attorney
Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) are legal documents which allow a person to give authority to named people to make decisions on their behalf. As the population ages these documents are becoming increasingly important and are very popular.
If you experience ill health or have an accident, and do not have a LPA, there would be no one with authority to make decisions for you. By making LPAs you can control who is appointed, the authority is given while you are fit and well and there is no delay in your chosen attorneys taking up their role if assistance is needed.
There are two types of LPA:
- Property and Financial Affairs which covers financial and property decisions for example paying of bills, handling of bank accounts and investments and dealing with the sale of a property.
- Health and Welfare which covers decisions relating to medical treatment, decisions about your health and care needs.
You should consider who you would like to be your attorneys carefully. Your attorneys have a duty to help you make decisions. However, if you are unable to make decisions even with their help, your attorneys must act in your best interests.
A Certificate Provider who is either someone you have known for two years or alternatively a professional, will sign the document to confirm that you understand what you are doing and that you are not under pressure to enter in to an LPA.
Once an LPA has been signed by you and your chosen attorneys, the LPAs are registered at the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). The OPG are on hand to ensure that there is no foul play. The OPG may step in if it thinks it necessary to safeguard your position.
Making Lasting Powers of Attorney gives peace of mind enabling those appointed to help when needed.
Our sister company Fogwill & Jones (Legal Services) Ltd can help with the preparation and registration of Lasting Powers of Attorney. We will liaise with you, your attorneys and Certificate Providers to sign the document before assisting in the registration process.
Dealing with a loved one’s assets after their death can be daunting. The funeral needs to be arranged, the asset companies need to be contacted and any outstanding debtors need to be informed.
Our sister company Fogwill and Jones (Legal Services) Ltd can take the burden away by handling the administration of the estate for the Executors. We will assist by writing to each asset company asking for the information you need to apply for Probate. We will complete the Inheritance Tax forms and other documentation and once Probate has been obtained, we will assist you by writing the letters to collect in the assets and by assisting with the letters to settle the payment of any bills.
We work efficiently and sensitively to deal with the estate quickly to minimise your upset and stress. We can do as much or as little of the administration as you require. We will provide clear cost effective advice.
We can take the headache out of the form filing and compliance aspect of Self-Assessment. We can provide you with practical advice on your personal tax position and we will actively work on your behalf to legitimately reduce the amount of tax you pay. We will complete tax returns, calculate any tax liability and advise you on exactly when to make payments and how much to pay.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) does not regulate Wills, Trusts or Tax Advice.
For a free, no obligation consultation; just complete the form below or call us on 0114 2588899.