Most people don’t like thinking about their mortality - and our expert Wills and Trusts Solicitors understand that.
So if you’re considering your future and what happens to your assets (everything you own) after your death, we want to make the process of making a Will and setting up a Trust as easy as possible.
We offer a timely and professional service, and we’ll speak to you in plain English, rather than legal jargon.
Our Wills and Trusts Solicitors offer fixed fees, and we can provide instructions either over the phone or in person.
So get in touch, so you can be sure that you and your family are protected in the future and that you can leave a financial legacy to your loved ones.
More Information on Wills and Trusts
It’s very important to plan what happens to your money, property and assets after you die, and be prepared if the day comes that you can’t make decisions for yourself by putting Lasting Powers of Attorney in place.
This could happen at any time to any of us, so don’t wait to reach old age or infirmity.
After all, we can’t predict when death or loss of mental capacity might occur.
Making a Will
We recognise the importance of having the peace of mind that your Estate will be dealt with as you wish, when the time comes.
Whatever your age and circumstances, making a Will is very important for you and your loved ones.
The main advantage is that it allows you to pass your Estate to those you wish to benefit in a tax-efficient manner.
If you die without making a Will, then inheritance laws known as the Rules of Intestacy will determine who inherits what.
By Making a Will You can:
- Avoid Family Disputes
- Plan for Inheritance Tax
- Make Gifts to Family and Friends
- Appoint Guardians for Children (under 18)
- Give specific Personal Belongings or Jewellery.
- Leave Gifts to Charity.
- Create Trusts to Protect Vulnerable Relatives
- Choose your Executors
- Set out your Funeral Wishes
Our experienced Solicitors have a wealth of experience in drafting Wills.
We’ll always allow you to express your wishes before we advise you about the requirements of a Will.
This ensures that we not only fully appreciate your intentions, but also that your Will promotes your best interests and allows those you care for to be looked after in the event of your death.
We may also give wider recommendations about how to handle your affairs. For instance, it’s advisable to consider Lasting Powers of Attorney when making a Will.
We can offer an initial meeting with one of our specialists to discuss your particular requirements and advise you on the most tax-efficient way of implementing your wishes.
A Trust can be used to regulate the way two or more people own a property or to safeguard children in a Will.
Trusts often involve very technical legal and tax knowledge. Our specialist team of Solicitors use their expertise to ensure your finances are safeguarded for you and your family.
Common Types of Trusts include:
- Declaration of Trust (Deed of Trust) to regulate ownership of a house, for details see Do I Need a Declaration of Trust?
- Will Trust appointing your Trustees to look after your Estate until your children are old enough to inherit
- A Trust for a Disabled Child that will carry on throughout their life
- Discretionary Trusts which protect family wealth for generations while also providing for family members
- Personal Injury Trusts that will preserve your compensation and still enable you to receive benefits
Lasting Powers of Attorney
As the UK population gets older and older, Alzheimer's and other forms of Dementia are becoming increasing problems.
We can lose our physical and mental capacity at any time and an essential part of planning for the future is setting up Lasting Powers of Attorney.
Every adult should have a Will and a Lasting Power of Attorney to ensure they and their family are protected in the future.
Without a Lasting Power of Attorney, people you care about could face the costly and lengthy process of having to apply to the Court of Protection to be appointed as your deputy, causing them unnecessary distress and expense.
Our Wills and Trusts Solicitors always aim to make sure there are no obstacles to completing the process.
We’ll listen to and carefully consider your wishes, before providing you with any assistance you may need in drafting an effective and enforceable Lasting Power of Attorney.
Advice about the registration of Lasting Power of Attorney's will also be provided.
Inheritance Tax Advice
You can reduce Inheritance Tax through careful planning and the use of Wills and Trusts. We offer specialist advice to help you plan effectively.
Funding Your Case
We offer a range of fixed fee options to suit your needs.
We’ll confirm to you at the outset, or as soon as it becomes clear, if any additional work may be needed outside the terms of service.
If this is the case, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and agree with you how any additional work is to be charged.
Charity Work and Relationships
We are members of Will Aid - a charity Will-making scheme which raises funds for people in need in the UK and around the world.
Frequently asked questions
- Why should you make a Will?
Making a Will gives you control over what happens to your money and your property after you die.
To die without making a Will is called "intestacy". If this happens, strict legal rules apply which decide who gets what. Often this will not reflect how you’d like things done.
If you’re married and have children, for instance, financial limits apply on how much your husband or wife can receive.
If you have a partner but aren’t married, the Rules of Intestacy will not recognise your relationship.
If you die without a Will and you have no spouse or children, all your assets will go to the Crown.
- Who can make a Will?
To make a valid Will in England or Wales, you must be 18 or over and have the required ‘mental capacity’. This means that the person making a Will must have an understanding of the nature of their actions and its effects and the extent of their property.
- What is an Executor?
An Executor has various responsibilities under a Will, which can be time-consuming. Executor duties and responsibilities often include:
- Organising the funeral and paying funeral costs
- Gathering in all the assets and having then valued
- Dealing with Inheritance, Capital Gains and Income tax
- Paying off the deceased’s debts including taxes
- Defending any invalid claims against the Estate
- Finding and contacting all the Beneficiaries
Preparing Estate accounts
- Distributing the Estate to Beneficiaries in accordance to the Will.
As an Executor you can be held liable for any mistakes made.
- Who can be an Executor?
A member of your family, your partner, a friend or Solicitor may act as your Executor. The Executor must be over the age of 18.
- How many Executors can I have?
We recommend no more than 4 Executors are appointed. At least two Executors are needed if there might be a Trust to administer. It’s best to appoint substitute Executors in case your first choice decides not to act, or if they die before you.
- Can an Executor be a beneficiary?
Yes, an Executor may be a Beneficiary in your Will and it is often appropriate that the main beneficiary is an Executor.
Alternatively, you may wish to gift a sum of money to your Executor conditional upon them acting as your Executor.
- How can I revoke my previous Will?
A Will can be cancelled simply by creating a new Will which states that all previous Wills are revoked.
Your current Will would be automatically revoked if you get married or enter into a Civil Partnership. A clause may be added to stipulate that your current Will is not to be revoked by your intention to marry or enter into a Civil Partnership with the named partner.
A Will can also be revoked by destruction, for example, by burning, tearing or otherwise.
- Who can witness my Will?
Any independent person over 18 years old may witness your Will. Independent means that they must not be related to the person making the Will or be a Beneficiary under the Will. It does not have to be a Solicitor.
- What should I do with my Will once I have executed it?
As part of our Will writing service, we’ll then store your original Will in our Wills safe and then provide you with a copy.
- What will happen If I don’t make a Will?
If you haven’t made a Will when you die, your Estate (all that you own at the date of your death) will be subject to inheritance laws called the Rules of Intestacy. These rules will decide who will inherit from your Estate. It’s important to note that these rules only apply to property that would normally pass under a Will had a Will been made.
For free legal advice call our Wills & Trusts Solicitors
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Simpson Millar is a national law firm with over 500 staff and offices in Bristol, Cardiff, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, London - Euston, London - Fleet Street, London - Teddington, Manchester, Morecambe and Southport.