What will be, will be …

The Legal Services Board has recommended that all Will writing activities should be regulated.   The Lord Chancellor will now decide whether to accept the recommendations which will then be debated in the Commons and Lords.

At the moment the recommendations are only for Will writing activities and does not extend to estate administration.  The recommendation follows extensive investigation revealing cases where Wills had been negligently drafted.  I have certainly picked up work from bereaved families putting right Wills which had been badly drafted by unregulated Will writers.   Those who prefer to use the unregulated sector because it may be cheaper than using a solicitor, can sometimes leave the bereaved family with more expense during the administration of the estate.

For a properly drafted Will which is actually going to work, please call Freedman Alexander LLP on 020 8393 0941.  I am a qualified solicitor and also a member of the Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners.

graeme.aston@fallp.co.uk

Freedman Alexander LLP  – solicitors in Epsom and Ewell – http://www.fallp.co.uk 

Reduced Rate of Inheritance Tax

The rate of Inheritance Tax is 40% for estates over the “nil rate band” of £325,000.   After 6 April 2012 the 40% tax has been reduced to 36% if 10% or more of the relevant estate is given to charity.  This new measure affects people who are considering leaving or who have already left a charitable legacy in their Will.

If your Will contains legacies to charities or you want to benefit a charity and pay less tax then it would be an appropriate time to take our professional advice with regard to your Will.

Graeme.Aston@fallp.co.uk

Freedman Alexander LLP  – solicitors in Epsom and Ewell – http://www.fallp.co.uk 

Why You Should Make a Will

As a Wills, Probate and Trusts Solicitor I am amazed at the number of people who put off making a Will.   There are many reasons why you should make a Will, but the simple fact is that the ownership of any possessions, whether money, property or otherwise, needs to be covered by a Will.

If you die without a Will you are said to die intestate.  There are certain statutory rules, which cover how the money, property or possessions should be allocated.  There are limits as to the amount that the surviving spouse and children inherit and this may not be the way you would have wished your money and possessions to be distributed.  It could mean that certain people who you did not want to benefit from your estate are given a share and those who you did want to look after are given very little.

Unmarried partners and partners who have not registered a Civil Partnership cannot inherit from each other unless there is a Will.   The intestacy rules do not make provision for them.   This means that the death of one partner may create serious financial problems for the remaining partner.

If you have children, you will probably want to set up a Will Trust so that they inherit at a particular age.  You will also need to name Guardians in case both parents die.

Carefully drafted wills can ensure that you do not pay more Inheritance Tax than is necessary.  We can provide advice on Inheritance Tax and suggests ways in which the Tax can be minimised.

Particular circumstances lend themselves to having a professionally drafted Will.  Some examples are where: –

  • You share a property with someone who is not your husband, wife or partner
  • You wish to make provision for a dependent who is unable to care for themselves
  • There are several family members who may make a claim on the Will, for example a second wife or children from a first marriage
  • Your permanent home is not in the United Kingdom or you are resident here but have overseas property
  • There is a business

If you would like advice as to the costs for preparing a new Will give me a call on 0208 393 0941.  I am a qualified practitioner with the Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners.

Graeme.Aston@fallp.co.uk http://www.fallp.co.uk