Many people make an assumption that their assets will pass automatically to their spouse or partner on death. This is not necessarily the case. If you want to ensure that your assets, property and investments pass to your intended beneficiaries; then you need to make a Will.
Our specialists can advise you in relation to the preparation of Wills tailored to suit your individual circumstances.We can advise you how to reduce your inheritance tax liability, how to avoid a potential claim against your estate and how to avoid the burden of care fees.
Probate is the process of proving a Will, collecting in the assets in an estate and distributing them in accordance with the deceased’s wishes. Where a will does not exist it is necessary to apply for Letters of Administration.
An experienced member of our team will deal with all aspects of the administration of an estate on your behalf, from ascertaining the assets and liabilities in the estate, applying for the Grant, accounting to the Inland Revenue for any tax payable, preparing proper estate accounts and distributing the estate in accordance with the provisions of the Will.
Although it possible to deal with this process without instructing a solicitor, experienced practitioners such as ourselves can avoid the potential pitfalls and save you time and money in the long term.
Trusts are means of protecting assets for the benefit of others, typically disabled persons, vulnerable adults or minors. Under a trust certain individuals are given ownership and control of assets, property or investments on behalf of the beneficiaries. Trusts can be set up during your lifetime or included in the terms of your Will.
Trusts are complex and require careful management in order to comply with the requirements both of the Settlor (the person making the trust) and the Inland Revenue. Our solicitors can create trusts on your behalf and manage them for you.
Discretionary Trusts have particular advantages and a Letter of Wishes enables you to express your thoughts and directions on how you wish the Trust to operate.
We can advise you on your rights and obligations in relation to the funding of long term care. If you consult us while you are in good health we can suggest ways to protect your wealth if in the future should you require residential care funded by the local authority. It is not always necessary to sell your property to provide funding.
If you believe a Will is invalid or someone who looked after you financially during your lifetime dies without making provision for you then we may be able to assist you with a challenge to the Will or a claim against the estate under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.Our experience shows this is becoming more and more a feature of the administration of an estate and our team can help.
The new Mental Capacity Act 2005 came into force in 2007 and brought changes in this area. We can advise attorneys appointed under an Enduring Power of Attorney prior to October 2007 in relation to registration process.
We can also prepare a Lasting Power of Attorney on behalf of a person who has mental capacity. These will enable an individual to appoint a person or persons of their choosing to manage their property and affairs or to make decisions regarding their health and welfare. Lasting Powers of Attorney must be registered before they can be used and we can also deal with this on your behalf.
The payment of inheritance tax can be avoidable. There are ways of mitigating the tax liability either by the making of gifts or by taking advantage of the current tax saving schemes that are available. Married couples and civil partners should take advantage of the current shared exemption of £624,000 by making the best possible use of their joint assets.
We would advise you on the joint ownership of property and how this can be a tax saving device. The new transferable exemption may be relevant to the advice given to the survivor of a marriage or civil partnership. What we try to do for our clients is to make what sounds complicated easy to understand.