Preparing a Will
We can help you prepare a will and ensure it is properly witnessed and executed so that your property is distributed in accordance with your wishes on your death. We will also advise you of any legal implications which may flow from how you wish your affairs to be dealt with after your death.
We can arrange for a solicitor to travel to your home to have your will executed if you live within the city or county environs.
Why make a Will?
If you don’t have a will then on death your estate will be divided accordingly to the Rules of Intestacy. This is a list of next of kin and the order in which they are entitled. There are no deviations from this list and without a Will any plan you may have had for your assets cannot be followed.
What to consider when making a Will
1. Take stock.
You should make a list of your assets, their value and where they are located.
2. How do you wish them to be divided up?
Important things to consider before deciding who gets what.
If you are married or in a civil partnership you should be aware that your spouse will be legally entitled to a share of your estate. If you have children then they will be entitled to a one third share of the estate. If there are no children then they are entitled to a half share of the estate. Very importantly they can, as part of or in satisfaction of this right, appropriate the family home and its contents even if you have bequeathed it to someone else in your Will.
If you have children, they are not immediately entitled to a share of your estate. They can however take a case against your estate under Section 117 of the Succession Act 1965 if they feel that haven’t been properly provided for. The courts will take into account whether the deceased parent has failed in their moral duty to properly provide for the children during their lifetime. If you feel a child has already been properly provided for and you wish your assets to go elsewhere you are free to do this but you should keep in mind that the estate is open to such a case being taken. You should take a full record of how they have been provided for before taking this step.
If you aren’t married or in a civil partnership but are cohabiting with someone, they are not immediately entitled to a share of your estate like the spousal legal right shared detailed above. They also are not entitled to the tax reliefs available between spouses.
They can however apply for provision from your estate under Section 194 of the Civil Partnership and certain rights of Cohabitants Act 2010. This is subject to certain requirements under the act and the application must be made within 6 months of the date of death.
These are the people you select to take over your assets and divide them out accordingly. You should ensure they are people you trust and are best suited to carrying out the terms of your will. The benefit of having a will is that you can chose whomever you wish. A minimum of two is recommended and if you are older it is recommended that at least one be younger than you.
If you have underage children you should give directions as to who you wish to take care of them. If you are unmarried you should clearly confirm who is to have custody and guardianship. In the event of the death of both parents you should ensure the wills clearly state who is to have custody and guardianship.
In the event of any of the beneficiaries being under 18 your Trustees will take charge of the assets until they reach majority. It will be for them to manage the assets and to provide same to the children as per your directions.
6. Judicial Separation and Divorce.
If you are separated or divorced then you should ensure that you bring the Deed of Separation or Divorce Decree with you so we can properly advise on the Succession Rights provisions made in same.
7. Tax Planning
It is vitally important when drawing up your Will to consider the available tax reliefs to ensure that no opportunity is missed. We work in conjunction with your accountant or tax experts offering full service advices on current and future tax planning.
Once you have had a chance to consider the above or if you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact the offices on 091 561128 or firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment.
Out of office hours appointments available.