- Preparing a Will
- Formation of Trusts/family arrangements
- Applying for probate and distributing the estate
- Measures to reduce liability to inheritance and other taxes
Recent figures show that over 70% of the UK population does not have a current Will that is an accurate reflection of their financial circumstances and their personal choices at the time of their death. Making a Will creates certainty, reduces worry and gives you the peace of mind of knowing exactly how your money, property and possessions will be dealt with after your death.
A Will guides those who are left behind and saves worry and heartache at a time of great emotional stress. Making a Will is usually the first step to take in structuring your affairs in order to minimise your liability for Inheritance Tax.
Perhaps you have specific requirements or wishes concerning your medical care? If so, you should consider making a Living Will to ensure that this information is available for the doctors treating you, in case you are not able to communicate following an accident or illness.
A Living Will can refer to an Advance Decision and/or an Advance Statement. In either case, it is an official document which declares the wishes of a patient regarding health care. It allows them to specify their choice of treatment should they later be unable to make or communicate decisions due to serious illness.
Our Probate Team is highly experienced in this area and can help ensure that your Living Will is correctly drafted and fully effective. We aim to provide a friendly yet efficient service and to guide you through the obstacles in this sensitive area of law.
When someone close to you dies, somebody has to deal with their "estate". A person's estate is considered to be made up of the money, property and any possessions they had at the time of their death. The process of Probate involves collecting any money that is owed, settling any debts due (including outstanding taxes) and dividing the estate amongst the respective beneficiaries.
All assets (including property) in an estate will remain frozen, until the Probate Registry gives the authority (via a document know as a Grant of Representation) to the "executor" nominated in your Will. If you have no Will, then it is up to the most appropriate member of the family member to act on behalf of the estate.
If there is a Will, the estate will pass to the people named in the Will. If there is no Will, certain rules, known as the Rules of Intestacy, will apply.
Whether you are an Executor or the next of kin, we can provide practical guidance to help you deal with the administration of someone's estate. We can help you determine the size of an estate for Probate and Inheritance Tax purposes. We can prepare an application for the Grant of Representation on your behalf, and help you lodge the required forms with the relevant organisations to collect monies due to the estate and settle any outstanding debts.
We can arrange the transfer or sale of any shares, and work with our residential property team to handle the sale of any property or land owned by the deceased.