Our Services

Wills, Trusts and Probate

Wills

You might have been putting it off for years; however, making a will is probably the most important document you are ever likely to sign. It is paramount that the will has been drafted correctly and you receive the appropriate inheritance tax planning advice if you want to protect your loved ones on your death by benefiting them with your assets; whether those are situated in the UK or abroad.

We are aware that most people do not make a will. Not making a will could result in your assets passing to members of your family from whom you are estranged. A correctly drawn will may also save your Executors a substantial amount of Inheritance Tax. Whether your needs are simple, such as leaving your entire estate to your spouse or civil partner, or more complex, for example involving trusts for minor children, we would be happy to advise you on potential solutions.

We use our specialist legal knowledge to draft a will that is clear and most importantly, tax efficient. We also stress the importance of reviewing your will on a regular basis to take into account a change in the law, not to mention, a change in your financial or family circumstances. 

Guardians

If you have young children, you should consider appointing guardians to take care of them if you die while they are still young. Even if you have "god parents" we all know that the choice of a god parent is sometimes an emotional decision made at a specific time. The appointment of guardians is usually done as a component part of your Will. (but we always recommend that it is discussed with them first.)

Trusts

You might wish to set up a Trust during your lifetime or upon your death. There are many reasons that you may wish to set up a Trust for your assets and many important considerations when setting one up and how it will be controlled and administered.

Trusts are governed by complex legal regulations and separate tax rules. To discuss the possibility of setting up a Trust and the options available to you please contact us.

Inheritance Tax

We are able to advise you in connection with inheritance tax issues arising in connection with Wills, Estate Planning, Trusts and Administering an Estate. Please see our Article on Inheritance Tax. We can assist you with income tax and capital gains tax considerations and refer you to appropriate financial specialists in complex or urgent circumstances.

Probate

The death of a loved one or close friend is always a traumatic experience.

If the person has made a will, the will usually indicates who will be responsible for administering the Estate, the Executor.  On the other hand, if a person dies without a will, known as ‘Intestate’, there are special rules as to who has the legal right to administer the Estate and benefit from it.  

What do you need to do if you are acting as an Executor? 

  1. Register the death if there is no family member to do so
  2. Find out, if and when, the person last made a will, and obtain a copy
  3. Check the will for funeral wishes and if necessary, assist in organising the funeral
  4. Assemble all the person’s financial papers
  5. Obtain current addresses for the beneficiaries 

How can we assist you? 

  1. Notify the beneficiaries of their interest in the Estate
  2. Calculate beneficial entitlements and advise you in respect of any potential claims against the Estate
  3. Complete and file the Inheritance Tax Account; advise you of the available reliefs and exemptions; how you can finance any tax due and arrange the payment   
  4. Prepare the formal documents to apply for the Grant of Representation
  5. Collect money and assets and settle any debts or expenses
  6. Finalise the income tax affairs and settle any outstanding income tax liability
  7. Arrange for the placement of Notices in order to protect you against personal liability
  8. Trace missing beneficiaries
  9. Deal with the transfer or sale of any property owned by the deceased
  10. Prepare Estate Accounts for your approval which will provide the executors and the beneficiaries with a full picture as to how the Estate had been administered

We are able to provide you with clear and straightforward advice and we aim to make the whole experience as stress-free as possible. We will assist you so that the Estate is administered efficiently and quickly, understanding that no executor will wish for the administration period to last for any extended period of time.

If a person has died without a will, we have the relevant experience in handling the complex intestacy provisions that govern the administration of the Estate.

How we can assist you

Planning for the future is very important, although we often all leave things too late. It is difficult to place a value on peace of mind.

We have specialist knowledge and expertise in all of the above fields. We are members of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and the Private Client Section of the Law Society.

There is no fee to discuss your legal issue with one of our firm’s experienced solicitors. For an initial and no obligation discussion as to how we can assist you please contact Tony Wilson or Margot Fisher.