Llanelli Will Writing Services

Wills, probate and estates

It is of paramount that everyone over the age of 18 makes a will even if you feel that your estate isn’t worth a great deal. 

This is due to the rules of intestacy. 

writing a will to protect your children

Why you need a will

If you die without having written a will your possessions and money will be allocated according to the statute of Law (intestacy). This may not be the way that you would have wished for them to be dealt with and can mean that those who should have been provided for are left with nothing. Making a will and specifying whom you wish to leave certain items or amounts of money to stops this from happening to your estate.

Having a will helps to protect your minor children in the event of yours and/or your partners death before they reach adulthood. A will gives you the opportunity to leave specific instructions as to whom you wish to look after your children in the event of your untimely death (guardians), whilst providing instructions for the way in which they should be looked after. This will be in terms of how your wealth should be used to bring them up on a day-to-day basis. By signing a will and appointing guardians for your children, you can be assured that they will be brought up in a loving, caring and nurturing home.

Another reason to invest in writing a will along with obtaining appropriate estate planning advice can help to minimise the amount of inheritance tax the beneficiaries of your estate will have to pay.

If your circumstances have changed or are going to change in the future, it is of the utmost importance to have your will written so that all these details can be taken care of. 

Probate is the legal and financial right to deal with the property, money, and possessions of a person who has died (the estate). If you are named in a will as an executor, you may need to apply for probate. If the deceased person owned very little, it’s unlikely that probate will be needed. There are different thresholds for probate dependant on the bank or building society of the deceased. Get in touch and I will be able to guide you through the entire process.

 Whether or not probate will be needed to deal with a property will depend on how it’s owned. Probate will always be needed to sell a property owned in the deceased’s sole name, but it’s not always needed to transfer a property to a surviving joint owner. 

The Benefits Of Having a will

Llanelli estate planning services

Over 50% of all adults in the United Kingdom have no written wills; a will is a necessary document to cushion your children and partner from financial and emotional hardships when you die. Make an appointment to see me today. Gain peace of mind in knowing that should anything happen to you or your partner, your estate will go to the desired beneficiaries. I will assist you in drafting a will and help with the administration of the estate.

If the will is not found in the deceased person’s property (for example in a filing cabinet), it may be held by his or her solicitor, bank, a company which stores wills or the London Probate Department.

The Probate Registry office will tell you if the Will is valid or not, and why. There are lots of reasons why a Will can be invalid, for example if it is not witnessed and signed properly, if the testator did not have testamentary capacity (they were not of sound mind when the will was made).

You will need to find out if the death has been registered and if a death certificate has been issued. The probate forms need to be filled out, inheritance tax calculated and the paperwork as described above gathered. You should also check on the deceased’s property to ensure it is being taken care of and secured. The property needs to be valued and all interested parties need to be contacted – for example banks who the deceased had accounts with. Inheritance tax needs to be paid. Once Probate is granted, contact all interested parties to inform them you are authorised to deal with the deceased’s property. You need to find out if the deceased owned any debts or owed any tax (HM Revenue & Customs can tell you this). You will need to apply for a Clearance Certificate which will certify that any inheritance tax owed has been paid. Find out whether anyone has made a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, as this may affect the dispositions of property to beneficiaries. You can then distribute the property from the estate and its residue. R185 forms need to be given to residual beneficiaries. When all of the estate dispositions have settled, you can close the deceased’s accounts.

Find out whether debts were joint (for example, if the deceased was a joint tenant in a property with his or her spouse) or in the deceased’s sole name. Liability for joint debt may pass to the other debtor. You need to inform any creditors of the deceased’s death. The deceased may have had any insurance which will cover debts. You can protect yourself from a surprise creditor by advertising for creditors before applying for Probate. The debts must be listed on the application. When Probate is granted, you need to organise paying any debts before you can distribute the remainder of the estate among the beneficiaries. Secured debts such as a mortgage must be paid first, followed by funeral costs, then unsecured debts such as credit cards and bills. The beneficiaries of the estate will receive what is left after debts have been paid. If the value of the estate is not sufficient to cover the debts, the estate is insolvent

Inheritance tax needs to be paid within 6 months of the deceased’s death. You can be charged interest on a late payment. You need to pay some of the inheritance tax bill before Probate will be granted. You will be told if there is more to pay afterwards.

A will might be contested by someone who seeks a declaration that the will is invalid and that the rule of intestacy should apply, or someone who was “maintained by the deceased” (i.e. financially dependent on him or her) and this was not provided for in the will, or someone who was promised something by the deceased while he or she was alive and the will did not provide for this, or someone who believes the deceased did not have testamentary capacity when making the will, or someone who believes the deceased was under undue influence when he or she made the will. There is no requirement that the person contesting is a family member.

Yes. As an executor you are liable to any beneficiaries who do not benefit from the will as a result of your mistakes, any creditors who are not repaid as a result of your mistakes (unless the estate is insolvent), fines or interest charged to the estate by HM Revenue & Customs, funeral expenses (if the value of the estate does not cover them), taxes charged as a result of your mistakes and making incorrect dispositions to beneficiaries which cause loss to them and others. Liability is extensive so it can be useful to obtain executor liability insurance or legal advice.

Everyone. You need a Will for all circumstances, whether you’re single, married, divorced, and have children or not. However, many couples are unaware that marriage revokes any Will you may already have, but divorce does not. Anyone over the age of 18 can and should make a Will.

If you die without a Will, there are certain rules dictating how your money, property or possessions should be allocated. This may not be the way that you would have wished your money and possessions to be distributed. As a result, if you die intestate (in other words without a Will) you run the risk of leaving behind a trail of stress, cost and even family feuds.

The default people who your estate will go to, in order, are: Surviving spouse or registered civil partner (but not common law spouses, partners or cohabitants), Children, Parents, Brothers, Sisters, Grandparents, Uncles, Aunts. If no surviving relatives are found, assets will be passed on to the Crown.

It is therefore highly recommended to leave a Will to ensure your estate is handled as you wish.

Inheritance Tax needs to be paid on estates worth over £325,000. Many people now pay Inheritance Tax because of the increase in house prices in the last 10 years. Using our expertise, we advise our clients on how to minimise the potential tax bill and, as a result, maximise the amount passing to the next generation.

A Trust can be a useful way of protecting your assets. You may protect your assets against complicated tax laws, potential care fees or from spendthrift family members. We can advise you on what type of trust may be suitable and the various taxes that will be payable

A Deed of Variation can alter the terms of a Will. You can rearrange how money will be distributed, provided everyone who would inherit under the Will or intestacy rules agrees. You may wish for a property to be shared out in a different way. Either by giving people a share of the estate who were not in the Will or dividing it up differently. It must be done within two years of the death and you will need legal advice.

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