Will-Making Advice & Services

Who will inherit your estate or business? 

 
 

Here at Ignition Law we offer will-making and inheritance advice from Wills and Probate lawyers for residents of England and Wales. 

The benefits of making a will

You should make a Will so that you can decide who inherits and what they inherit. This is best done by a specialist Wills and Probate solicitor.

If you do not make a Will in England and Wales, then the State will decide who will inherit your estate. By making a Will you can decide who are the executors of your estate.

By making a Will you can decide who are the executors of your estate. Appointed executors can then carry out your wishes, this could include who receives your assets, who will inherit the shares of your business and who will manage your business.

Using a specialist solicitor will ensure that your Will is tailor-made for your personal and financial circumstances. Not only will it be correctly executed and comply with all the necessary legal requirements but they will go through an inventory of your estate and review your inheritance tax position.

If you own assets outside the UK then we can advise on how best to include them in your wishes without creating conflicting arrangements.

Service Specifics

Our wide-ranging services cover advice on the following areas in relation to Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney and Probate:

MATTERS TO CONSIDER WHEN MAKING A NEW WILL

As your circumstances change over time, it is important to consider if you need a Will or if an existing Will needs updating. There are many life events which may prompt this such as:

Marrying or entering a civil partnership after you have made a Will, unless it uses the correct wording, will automatically revoke a Will. If you become a parent or adopt children, it is important to update your Will to take account of who will look after your children and what happens to your estate. 
A divorce or annulment after the date of your Will will also potentially impact the validity of the Will. 

Your Will may need to be updated if you change your name or anyone mentioned in the Will does..

If an Executor dies or becomes unable/unwilling or unsuitable to act, your Will needs to be amended.

 

Selling an item or property which is included in your Will could change the intent of your Will.

 

If your estate increases in value we can advise on any Inheritance Tax liability and ways to minimise this during your lifetime.
We can advise on your UK assets. However, if you own or acquire assets outside of the UK we can advise on the course of action to take.
English Law provides an opportunity for a wide variety of people to claim from an estate if they feel that a deceased’s Will or intestacy does not make reasonable financial provision for them. This could include surviving spouses and civil partners, former spouses and civil partners, children (including adult children and anyone who was treated as if they were a child of the deceased), cohabitees and dependants. If you believe there are people who may make a claim against your estate who you haven’t included in your Will then we can advise.
We can advise specifically on inheritance tax and ways to mitigate it. If you want to find out more, please contact us.
If you have step children, your Will needs to make specific reference to them if you wish them to inherit under your Will. We can help with drafting the correct wording.
We can advise and draft “mirror” Wills. Typically these are complimentary Wills which leave everything to the other partner on their death. They contain similar or ‘mirror’ provisions and commonly leaving assets to the same beneficiaries. As life events occur these Wills may need updating to ensure that they reflect the wishes of both parties.
Probate is the process of dealing with a deceased person’s estate, including their finances and assets, and then distributing the estate among beneficiaries. The Executors are the individuals responsible for doing this. It is important that you tell your Executors you are appointing them, make sure they want to do it and provide them with any details/information they may need in order to fulfil their role. If you decide to change your Will and remove them as Executor, let them know too. Probate requires the Executors to pay inheritance tax (if applicable), send the Will to the Probate Registry (known as “proving” the Will) to obtain the “Grant” of Probate and then “realise” the assets (close accounts and sell property etc.) before paying off liabilities, clearing any tax with HMRC and distributing the remainder to the beneficiaries. If you die without a will, a close relative can apply to the Probate Registry to be officially recognised as the person responsible for your “estate” under the “intestacy rules”.

Who will look after your affairs (including your business or businesses) if you lose mental capacity? 

Lasting Powers of Attorney

A Will deals with a person’s affairs after death but who will deal with your affairs if you become unable to manage them whilst you’re still alive? A Will and an LPA often go together well to specify who you want to look after your estate and affairs during your lifetime (LPA) and after your death (a Will).There are two types of Lasting Personal Power of Attorney:

 You choose the people to make decisions about your health and personal welfare if you become unable to such as choice of care home or whether you wish to have life-sustaining treatment.

You choose the people to make decisions about your property and affairs should you become unable to do so. You can have more than 1 Financial LPA dealing with different aspects of your financial affairs, e.g. your personal assets and your business interests. If you have multiple businesses you may wish to appoint different people to deal with the different businesses. 

If you don’t have an LPA in place (or an Enduring Power Attorney which LPAs replaced) then your family or loved ones (or business partners) may have to go through the costly and time-consuming route of getting the Court to appoint people to make decisions on your behalf. These may also not be the people best-placed to make those decisions. It is best for you to make that choice whilst you have the capacity.

If you are a small business owner, you may want to look at this with your co-owners as part of your general disaster-recovery planning process.

Our Private Wealth Team Fees.

Estate Administration Probate Services

 

When someone dies, a responsible person has to take charge of dealing with their estate.  If there is a Will, this will usually be the executors (unless they do not wish to act) but if there is no Will the intestacy provisions set out who is entitled to the estate and who is entitled to deal with the estate (the Personal Representative(s) – the PRs).

We can help Executors with obtaining a Grant of Probate (if there is a Will) or a Grant of Letters of Administration (if there is not) and complete the necessary forms. We can advise on the process to be followed, the risks (Executors can be held personally liable if mistakes are made) for a Personal Representative and how to mitigate those risks and alert you to any tax planning opportunities that may arise in the course of the administration.  The PRs have a duty to carry out the wishes of the deceased as set out in their Will (or to follow the rules of intestacy if there is no Will).

We can guide you through all of the steps involved in administering an estate from handling the entire process or dealing with particular individual parts of the process, such as obtaining a grant of probate and preparing Inheritance Tax forms. With our expert assistance, potential problems can be avoided, allowing for a straightforward administration process, relieving as much stress from you as possible.

The cost of legal advice is always a key consideration and we wish to be completely transparent on this. We offer competitive rates that reflect the high level of service we provide. During your initial consultation, we will get a clear understanding of your situation and what you want to achieve, so we can ensure our fees are aligned with your requirements. For straightforward matters or specific tasks, we can often offer fixed fee services. This means the cost is agreed at the outset and will not change unless your requirements do.That said, not all  probate matters are straightforward to resolve. Where ongoing support will be needed, we will sometimes charge for our services on an hourly basis. In such cases, we always give a realistic estimate of costs and keep you regularly updated.

That said, not all  probate matters are straightforward to resolve. Where ongoing support will be needed, we will sometimes charge for our services on an hourly basis. In such cases, we always give a realistic estimate of costs and keep you regularly updated.

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    Decide who inherits and what they inherit.