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Wills, Trusts & Probate

Wills

We cannot stress too highly the importance of making a Will. If you do not make a Will everything will be divided according to the fixed rules of intestacy. You could find that on your death without a Will your estate will be dealt with in a manner which would not be in accordance with your wishes.
It is very important that a Will is drawn up correctly. A Will that is not drawn up correctly can cause more problems than no Will at all. We have many years of specialist expertise of preparing Wills.


There are many different reasons to make a Will: to save Inheritance Tax, to appoint a guardian for a young child, to sort out funeral arrangements or to set out your intentions if you think family members may not agree.


Whether you have a complex estate well over the Inheritance Tax threshold (currently £325,000) or whether you simply want to make sure certain belongings go to certain people, we can make a Will to suit you.


Making a Will can be very simple, inexpensive and a way of looking after people who are most important to you which in turn will give you security and peace of mind.


When you contact our office to instruct us regarding the preparation of your Will we will arrange an interview with you at our office or at your home if necessary. We will advise you accordingly and provide you with a draft Will for your approval.


We will then arrange for your Will to be signed. If you wish, your Will can be stored at our office free of charge and we will send you a copy for you to keep.


Once you have made a Will you should think about updating it from time to time. Family, friends and financial situations change over the years and we will always advise clients to review their Wills periodically and in any event a Will ought to be reviewed every 5 years even if a decision is made that no changes are necessary.

 

Trusts

There may be occasions where setting up a Trust is necessary in connection with a family problem or situation. A Trust can be set up during a lifetime or on death and it is important that it is set up correctly.


Our experience and independent advice enables us to guide clients through the various complexities of Trusts and ensuring it is for the benefit of your family, and where appropriate, for tax planning.

 

Probate

Following the death of a loved one, it is necessary to deal with the administration of their Estate. This includes money, property and the possessions they owned. The process of administering an estate involves the collection of all assets, paying off all debts, dealing with any Inheritance Tax implications and distributing the remainder of the estate to those legally entitled to the benefit either under the terms of a Will or under the rules of intestacy for a person who has died without having made a Will.


In most cases a Grant of Representation is required. If the deceased left a Will then the people named in the Will as the Executors will take out a Grant of Probate. If the deceased died without having made a Will, then relatives of the deceased will take out a Grant of Letters of Administration.


We can assist with all matters when someone dies, including making or helping you with funeral arrangements. In order to ascertain the value of the deceased’s estate we will contact banks, building societies, investment companies and insurance companies and other creditors as may be necessary. We will also arrange for any assets such as property or stocks and shares to be valued.


We will also assist in the calculation of Inheritance Tax and in liaising with Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs regarding Income Tax. Once the value of the deceased’s estate has been ascertained we will then draft the paperwork to enable the relevant Grant to be provided from the Probate Registry. Upon receipt of the Grant we will make the necessary applications to recover the assets and then settle the debts of the estate before making distribution to the entitled beneficiaries.


Our experienced probate team has an excellent reputation of dealing with probate work in a highly efficient, sensitive manner providing a sympathetic and personal service tailored to each individual case.

 

Inheritance and Will Disputes

Disputes over an inheritance or the validity of a Will are becoming more common. We are experienced in advising clients in a situation where a dispute can arise. This can be where a Will may be invalid or the person making the Will did not fully understand what they were doing or where a family member has not been adequately provided for in a Will.


David Auld has many years of experience in this area and is supported by an experienced and skilled team. Please contact David or Jennifer to discuss any queries you may have.
 

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