- You can leave your property, money and other assets to people you want.
- You can protect your unmarried partner or unregistered civil partner who could end up with nothing if you do not make a Will.
- A Will is vital if you have children or dependants who may not be able to care for themselves. Without a Will there could be uncertainty about who will look after them or provide for them if you die.
- You can ensure that you are tax-efficient – and that you maximize the assets that are passed to your family and friends.
- You can express other wishes such as organ donation or funeral and burial arrangements.
- AuthorPaul Hajek
All our Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney and Codicils are covered by our Fixed fee guarantee, with no hidden extras. Prices start from £65 plus VAT - for a Codicil.
By making a Will you can decide what happens to your property and possessions after your death. Although you don't have to make one by law, it is the best way to make sure that your estate is passed on to family, friends or charities exactly as you wish.
We can also register your Will with Certainty, the National Will Registry for additional peace of mind
Below is a list of Questions we are frequently asked, Feel free to contact us with any additional questions ( and we'll add them to the list for others to share). Telephone 01454 312125 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you die without making a Will ('intestate'), there are certain rules that dictate how your assets will be allocated. This may not be the way that you would wish your money and possessions to be divided out. Unmarried partners and partners who have not registered a civil partnership do not automatically inherit from each other unless there is a Will. In these circumstances, the death of one partner may create serious financial problems for the surviving partner. It is hard to imagine the unnecessary confusion and distress caused when people die without making a Will and these circumstances are often an ideal breeding-ground for family disputes.
An ordinary power of attorney
This is a legal way of giving someone else the power to manage your financial affairs when it is difficult for you to manage them yourself, perhaps because of a physical disability. Usually you appoint someone you trust, such as a close relative, friend, or solicitor as your ‘attorney’. Nobody can simply ‘take’ a power of attorney. You have to ‘donate’ it willingly. The donor decides who to appoint as attorney, and can cancel the arrangement at any time.
Power of attorney only applies if you are fully aware of the implications of the arrangement. The power of attorney will come to an end if you become mentally incapable of managing your financial affairs.
Lasting power of attorney
A lasting power of attorney goes one step further than an ordinary power of attorney, because it carries on, or ‘lasts’, even after you have become unable to manage your affairs – whether temporarily or permanently, or because of an illness, disability or accident. Lasting powers of attorney have now replaced enduring powers of attorney, although valid enduring powers of attorney made before 1 October 2007 can still be used. No new enduring powers of attorney can be made after 1 October 2007.
For a lasting power of attorney to be valid, you must fully understand the implications of the arrangement at the time of making it. A certificate provider will need to sign a certificate to say that you are aware of the implications and that nobody is pressurising you into making a lasting power of attorney. (A certificate provider is someone who has known you for at least two years, or someone with specialist skills in assessing if a person is incapacitated.) The attorney must be at least 18 years old and must not be bankrupt if appointed to make decisions about a person’s property and money. More than one attorney can be appointed at the same time.
Your attorney cannot start making decisions on your behalf until the lasting power of attorney has been registered by the Office of the Public Guardian, who will make sure your attorney is aware of his or her duty to act in your best interests. The Office of the Public Guardian will charge a fee for registering the lasting power of attorney.
If you leave your estate to your husband, wife or civil partner an exemption means that usually there won’t be any Inheritance tax to pay when the first of you dies. However, you must bear in mind that the estate of the surviving spouse will then be worth more.
Inheritance tax is levied on a person's estate and is payable on all assets over and above the Inheritance Tax threshold (currently £325,000) at 40%. However, for married couples or civil partnerships, if the first person dies without using their £325,000 allowance, the surviving partner may use both allowances on their death, and Inheritance Tax will only be paid on assets over and above £650,000.
There may other ways in which any potential Inheritance tax liability can be minimized. By providing details of your finances when you complete our Will Questionnaire, we will be able to give consideration to any necessary provisions.
If you wish to make a Will, we will need to gather various information from you, including:
- Personal and Family details. Your details and details of your family including any partner and children or dependants.
- Who will administer your Estate? You must name people who you want to appoint as Executors of your Will (the people who will carry out the administration of your estate after your death.) They can be family members or friends or a professional, such as your Solicitor.
- What you own – details of your assets including property, personal possessions, stock and shares, bank accounts, insurance policies, pensions and businesses.
- Who gets what? Do you want to leave gifts of specific items or cash? What about the residue (everything left over)?
- Other Wishes. Do you wish to be buried or cremated? Do you have any other funeral wishes?
Our Will Questionnaire will help you to provide us with all of the information that we require. Please contact our office and we will be happy to provide you with a form.
If you are unable to complete the questionnaire, please call our office and we will make arrangements to assist you. If required, a solicitor may be able to visit you in your home, care home or hospital.
Although there is no requirement to us a solicitor to draw up your Will, it is generally advisable to ensure your Will has the effect you want. There are various legal formalities you need to follow to make sure that your Will is valid. It is easy to make a mistake that may cause problems after your death and result in considerable legal costs.
Marriage invalidates a Will that you have already made. If you wish to make a Will and you are getting married shortly, you can make a Will in anticipation of marriage that will not become invalid once you tie the knot. Otherwise, it is vital that you make a new Will once you have married.
Divorce does not invalidate a Will. However, if you have appointed your former spouse as Executor this appointment will fail and if you have made any gifts to them, these will not stand. It is therefore advisable to review your Will after divorce to make sure that it is clear and that it accords with your wishes.
You will get from us a fixed fee Will, as part of our fixed fee guarantee with no hidden extras. Be wary of Will Writers who can land you with nasty surprises, much higher than the headline figure.
You should review your Will regularly (we suggest every few years) and after any major life change such as getting separated, married or divorced, having a child or moving house.
If you need to make major changes it is best to do so by drawing up a new Will. Minor changes can be made using a Codicil to your existing Will.
The costs involved in making a Will depend on its complexity, but start at £197 plus V.A.T. for a straight forward Will, and £287 plus VAT for a more complex Will. For joint Wills our fixed fees are £297 and £427 plus VAT. All work carried out for you is covered by our fixed fee guarantee with no hidden extras. A simple solution for you; FIXED FEE WILLS.
- We will quote individually depending on complexity but for a basic Codicil prices start from £65 plus VAT
- Home Visits can be prearranged and we will be happy to give you a quote when you ring or pop in to see us
- Storage of Wills we make a charge of £30 plus VAT for each Will or set of property deeds deposited with us.
- We can also register your Will with the Certainty the National Will Registry for £27 plus VAT
By registering your Will it ensures that your Will can be located instantly following your death. Registering a Will is quick and easy - You will need to know the name of the solicitors' practice where you made your Will, the date you signed it and the name of the witnesses. We do not send a copy of your Will which is confidential but the register records your solicitors office as the holder of your Will.
If you would like us to prepare a Will for you, please complete and return our Will Questionnaire. Once we have considered your circumstances and requirements, we will be able to provide you with exact details of the costs and timescale involved in the preparation of your Will. If you are happy, we can proceed with the drafting of your Will.