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Wills, Trusts & Estate Planning

Our team of Wills and Probate specialist can provide you with comprehensive advice on a range of services related to Wills, Trusts and Estate Planning.

Making a Will & related planning

Over half of UK adults have not written a Will, with many simply assuming that their estate will automatically go to the right person when they die. Putting a Will in place before you pass away is therefore vital to ensure that your wishes are met.

A Will is legally binding and ensures that your estate goes to who you want it to.
A Will is the best way to show how you want your affairs to be dealt with.

Dying without a Will

If you do not have a Will in place, the rules of intestacy apply, which means only spouses and blood relatives inherit. This may mean that your estate is not distributed how you want it to be.

A Will is an important legal document so it is best to seek professional advice, especially as an incorrectly executed Will can cause many problems. Making a Will does not have to be a stressful or difficult process and can be completed quickly if necessary.

Williamsons can offer the expertise needed to prepare your Will with care and sensitivity

  • Any burial and funeral wishes that you may have
  • Who you want to administer your estate (executors)
  • A guardian to look after children under 18
  • Specific gifts or legacies to family, friends or charities
  • Who you want to inherit the remainder of your estate
  • Measures to mitigate potential care home fees
  • Measures to protect vulnerable beneficiaries
  • Measures to exclude someone from inheriting

If you do not know anyone willing to be your executor or you would rather a professional be involved, then Williamsons would be happy to act for you. Our specialist lawyers can deal with the administration of your estate using a wealth of knowledge and experience and in doing so will ease the burden on your loved ones at a time of grieving. We can also provide you with an estimated likely figure for our fees.

Williamsons can advise you of the steps you can take to protect your estate from claims, especially if you wish to exclude someone who might normally expect to inherit.

It is not possible to completely prevent a claim being made but the risk can be mitigated. This would involve preparing a separate letter of explanation which is stored with your Will containing your reasonings

ESTATE PLANNING

There are various ways you can protect your assets.

Can care home fees be avoided?

No. The only way to fully avoid these fees is to not go into a care home.

You may know someone who has given their home away but this is risky and provides no guarantee. By doing this, it can be argued by local authorities that this is a deprivation of assets. Local authorities can still take these assets into account even though you no longer own them. However, there are ways to protect some of your assets which we can discuss with you.

Protecting your home

There are ways you can protect your home from various risks such as remarriage and family fall-outs.

If you own your property with someone, you can change your ownership so you each own a distinctive share of the property, usually 50% each. You are free to dispose of your own half share as you wish. This way it does not pass to your co-owner automatically but you can protect their right to continue living in the home. This is often used in blended families.

Protecting your beneficiaries

It may be the case that it is not appropriate for your beneficiaries to inherit outright. For example, they may be likely to be influenced or struggle to manage their inheritance. There are options available that can provide protection that we can discuss with you. This often involves creating a trust in your Will.

INHERITANCE TAX PLANNING

Inheritance tax may be payable on death though there are various tax-free allowances available for individuals and spouses that can reduce and sometimes prevent inheritance tax becoming payable.

Williamsons can give you general advice about where you stand and what measures can be taken to reduce any potential liability. You should start your inheritance tax planning now!

Williamsons can work with you alongside your existing advisors or can put you in contact with other professionals who can help, working together to achieve the best result for you.

A Trust is a legal mechanism to hold assets for someone. Assets are put into a Trust, then the chosen Trustees hold those assets on behalf of one or more beneficiaries. The Trustees usually have discretion to decide how the assets should be used to benefit the Beneficiaries.

You can create a trust during your lifetime or in your will.  Trusts can be used when tax planning and also to safeguard assets for future generations. Your circumstances will determine which is most appropriate and our team can advise you on your best options.

Trusts are fairly common but do involve ongoing administration. Williamsons can be appointed as trustees where appropriate. We work alongside recognised financial advisors and accountants in relation to investment advice and HMRC requirements.

Contact Williamsons Solicitors on 01482 323 697.

FOR COMPLETE PEACE OF MIND

Comprehensive advice on Wills and Estate Planning

Will & Probate Team

Rebecca
Bisby

DIRECTOR
CHARTERED LEGAL EXECUTIVE
HEAD OF PRIVATE CLIENT DEPARTMENT

Tracy
Martin

SOLICITOR
TEP

Madeleine
St John

SOLICITOR

Rachael
Scott

SOLICITOR

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