Dying without a Will can create upset and distress for your loved ones in the future; yet nearly two- thirds of us in the UK ‘put off’ the task of arranging a Will. When you die without a Will in place, this is known as ‘dying intestate’.
When you die ‘intestate’, the State directs who will inherit your assets and can therefore result in your family members, friends and even favourite charities receiving nothing. It is particularly important to make a Will if you are neither married nor in a registered civil partnership, and/or have children, in order to avoid uncertainty about who will look after your children, or provide for them, if you die.
Our experienced and qualified Will writer can advise you every step of the way and make sure you’ve considered everything, and everyone, as part of the Will-writing process.
By making a Will you can help secure your family’s future; it couldn’t be easier.
Lasting Power of Attorney
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPOA) involves giving someone you trust the ability to make important decisions on your behalf, in the event that you become incapable of doing so. Your chosen LPOA will have the legal authority to handle your affairs, together with guidance and instructions on how they should act.
If you do not have an LPOA in place and you become unable to deal with your affairs yourself, then a relative or other appropriate representative would have to make an application to the Court of Protection to be appointed to make decisions on your behalf.
This can be a costly and time-consuming process and means that you have no control over who is appointed or what decisions they can make. We can help you avoid this by arranging an LPOA. Contact us today to discuss the best route suited to your circumstances.
Inheritance Tax Planning
Inheritance Tax (IHT) applies to around 30,000 estates per year. But careful planning can help to minimise your tax obligations.
IHT becomes an issue when someone dies. It is a one-off tax paid on the value of the deceased’s estate above a set threshold which is currently £325,000.00 (2020/2021). The tax payable is currently set at 40% of the value of your assets and estate over the threshold.
Our financial advisers and dedicated tax consultants can work with you to help you organise your estate in a way that can mitigate paying more Inheritance Tax than you need to. A full review of your assets and estate can mean that planning is put in place as early as possible, meaning the burden does not lie with your family.
A Trust is a legal arrangement whereby one or more trustees are made responsible for assets, which are placed in a trust environment, for the benefit of chosen beneficiaries. This can be an effective tool to potentially mitigate or reduce the value of your estate when you die; resulting in excellent planning for Inheritance Tax purposes.
Setting up a Trust can be a long and complex process and as such, using our specialist financial and tax advisers can give you peace of mind that the task has been carried out effectively and efficiently.
Probate is the process of dealing with the estate of someone who has died, which generally means clearing their debts and distributing their assets in accordance with their will. Technically, ‘probate’ refers to getting permission to carry out the wishes within someone’s will, though the term also applies to the whole process of settling someone’s estate. If you’re responsible for executing someone’s will, there are specific rules that set out how you notify the authorities and distribute the estate.
Whether you chose to carry out the probate and estate administration process yourself with our guidance and support, or you instruct us to do the work for you, the application for probate is still the same and involves:
- Finding the will
- Applying for the grant of representation
- Administering the estate
- Preparing the estate accounts
- Distributing the assets to the beneficiaries of the estate.
Please note that the process and terminology differ in Scotland. There are separate rules if someone dies without a will, otherwise known as dying intestate.
Probate can be complex, especially if your loved one owned a business or a significant amount of assets. Working with us can make the process much smoother, especially if we already have an in-depth knowledge of your loved ones business affairs.