Making a Will
If you die without leaving a Will, the intestacy rules will apply to your estate. Under these rules, the people you want to inherit may not inherit in the way that you want and people who are not your relations may not inherit at all. A crucial part of getting your affairs in order means making a Will.
Making a Will isn’t just disposing of money, it is many other things. It is:-
Providing Funeral instructions
The death of a friend or family member is a distressing time for those left behind. By setting out your funeral wishes in a Will, friends and family can be confident that they are doing the right things. Funeral wishes might be simple,
stating a preference of burial or cremation or having more elaborate wishes.
Decide who is in charge
When you make a Will, you make a decision about who will administer your estate. These will be the executors. They do not have to be relations. If there is no Will, the intestacy provisions will decide who will administer the estate.
Care for children
It is important to remember that guardians are appointed to care for children. A guardianship appointment clause can be included in your Will.
Disposing of your assets
In your Will, you can dispose of your assets in any way you wish. You can include gifts of personal items such as jewellery, make fixed payments such as legacies and give the residue to one or more persons in various amounts.
You can also include trust provisions which may well be relevant if you are considering asset protection, potential inheritance tax mitigation and making sure that each side of the family is included which may be typical on a second marriage or relationship arrangement.
Charities rely heavily on legacy income. In your Will, you can include gifts to charities and other good causes. These gifts can be of a specific amount of cash or the whole or part of the residue of your estate.
Save money and protect assets
If relevant to you, a carefully drafted Will can include inheritance tax mitigation and asset protection both of which can save your estate money.
Why you should use a solicitor to prepare your will
In the days when “online” or artificially low price Will writing services are actively being promoted by different service providers, it is important to remember that the preparation of a Will is a highly specialised area of the law. All kinds of companies offer Will writing services but they do not necessarily have the level of expertise and qualifications of a solicitor.
We have been preparing Wills for our clients for over 130 years. Our aim is not just to ensure that our clients’ wishes are carried out but also to provide a personal and specialist service. We want to build a relationship with our clients which we hope will last for many years.
As part of our service, we offer the following:
- We take details of all assets and liabilities as well as details of family members. In this way, we can fully advise you on Inheritance Tax mitigation and asset protection. We can advise you upon any potential claims against your estate and how to manage the risks associated with this. We provide you with a written estimate of our charges and, in most cases, can agree a fixed fee.
- Your work will be overseen by an experienced Solicitor. All of our staff who prepare Wills specialise in this area of work and many are specialist members of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE). We also have a specialist member of the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS).
- We provide an initial face to face meeting in the office or, if necessary, at your home. We confirm your identity (in order to prevent fraud) and consider whether there are any issues relating to undue influence and mental capacity. We will advise you if we believe that a specialist report regarding capacity is necessary. This can be an important safeguard to ensure the validity of your Will and that your wishes are carried out.
- After the initial meeting, we prepare a draft Will and send this to you for consideration. We will go through the draft Will with you and make any amendments or changes required.
- There will be a second appointment to supervise the signing and witnessing of your Will to make sure that it complies with the legal formalities of the Wills Act.
- We offer free storage for all original Wills.
- The firm is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and has “Lexcel” accreditation from the Law Society. This is in recognition of our quality control and high practice management standards. As solicitors, we must have professional indemnity insurance for the protection of our clients.
- Our aim is to provide a personal and first class service to build a lasting relationship with you. It is our business to know what is important to you and help you achieve your objectives.
Griffith Smith LLP, Solicitors for:
- A first class friendly service
- Home Visits – if necessary
- Free parking at all of our offices (Brighton and Hassocks)
- Expertise in Private Clients