A Will is a legal document that sets out your wishes for the distribution of your home and assets following your death. It is also a document that can provide for legal guardians of minor children (ie children under 18 years of age).
Many individuals and families often do not appreciate the full extent of matters requiring their consideration when making a Will. Anyone undertaking a Will ought to have advice from a solicitor on the options available. This also ensures that the Will is carefully and properly prepared and signed off, and that it is legally valid.
The general term “Probate” means the winding up of a deceased person’s estate. The Executors of the Will have legal control of that process and they can instruct us to help them carry out their legal duties.
The Probate process is the collecting in or transferring of the Estate assets, paying all liabilities and any Inheritance Tax (IHT) and then distributing the net estate to the beneficiaries of the Will (or to the next of kin if there is no Will).
We have conducted many Estates from start to finish either as Executors or as solicitors for the Executors. Our team has all the necessary expertise and experience in dealing with all types of Probate and Trust administration.
A Power of Attorney is a legal document which grants a power to someone else (an “Attorney”) to act for you and is a legal authority for your Attorney(s) to sign off documents on your behalf. It is a very powerful tool – and one on which you should always take legal advice before it is prepared and signed.
There are different types of Power of Attorney: General Power of Attorney, Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) and Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA). We can guide you through the processes and also assist with applications for Court of Protection Deputyship.
Executors are those persons entrusted with all aspects of the administration of a Will. In summary, their duties are to carry out all terms of the Will correctly and appropriately according to the law and the stated wishes of the deceased.
Trustees are those persons entrusted with the administration of Trusts contained either in Wills or in other Trust structures.
We have experience of acting as a solicitor-trustee in many different circumstances and for many families and can help where, for example, a Will is linked to complicated situations, or there are Trusts to be administered.
Trusts have been in existence for the wealthy for hundreds of years and, with the increasing use of technology simplifying the preparation of such documents, it has also become the modern cornerstone to solicitor-drafted Wills for families. In simple terms, Trusts protect the money or asset gifted or transferred, for the beneficiaries.
We primarily recommend Trusts as giving all of the best options to an individual wishing to make gifts, whether in their Will or during their lifetime. Those options include lending the capital to the beneficiaries consecutively ‘in turn’ over the generations.
IHT is a tax that is payable on death of an individual at a rate of 40% on the value of their net estate that exceeds £325,000. Therefore, as an example, if the net estate (assets less liabilities and funeral expenses) is £400,000 the IHT payable could be £30,000.
There are a limited number of potential exemptions and IHT reliefs that can reduce the amount of IHT payable. We can review your IHT position and advise on steps you can take.
The sale or purchase of a house represents a major transaction, often the biggest and most important for the individuals concerned. Such transactions can be stressful experiences. Our aim is to provide a personal service, maintaining a good level of communication with all parties at all times, and we hope to bring the benefit of experience as well as a calm level-headed approach to the processes to help smooth the transaction for our clients so they can achieve their desired result.
We are proud to say that we are a member of the Law Society’s accredited Conveyancing Quality Scheme, recognition of a high standard of conveyancing.
We know that when relationships break down, it is often a difficult time. Divorce or separation is a major issue in your life and it is easy to become overwhelmed by the changes that happen as a result. Often you are looking just to talk to someone experienced in how those processes operate and that is where we can help.
Seeking early legal advice will help you to consider and work through the issues you face. By understanding how Courts work in handling disputes that arise, you can feel prepared and confident that you are armed with the knowledge of how to avoid a full-blown dispute but still achieve the best and most successful outcome for you and your children.