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Wills & Trusts
We have an experienced team of solicitors who are on hand to help with every aspect of planning your estate - whilst no one wants to think of their mortality a Will is an essential document that everyone over the age of 18 should have.
When you make a Will you ensure that your wishes will be carried out to the letter and that your estate passes to your intended inheritors and not those determined by strict intestacy laws. If you have no Will and die ‘intestate’ your estate is distributed in accordance with the law and the State steps in.
Unfortunately, many people assume their spouse or partner will automatically inherit their estate, this is not necessarily the case and often family members are left with a larger than necessary tax bill.
A professionally drawn Will can also help to avoid costly disputes which can eat into the inheritance of family and friends.
A Will is of course a legal document and it is always recommended that you seek the advice of a solicitor in preparing it - when surveyed 80% of people want a face to face meeting with a trusted adviser, whereas only 4% would be happy to make a Will online.
If you marry, have remarried, have surviving children, are in a civil partnership, or are a single person with no close relatives, it is all the more pressing that a Will is made.
We would also recommend that an existing Will is reviewed by a solicitor every 5 years, or if any major changes have happened to your personal circumstances, wishes, executors or inheritors. Divorce and remarriage, children, grandchildren, a change in your affairs and relationships can all necessitate changes in your Will.
A carefully drafted tax-efficient Will also minimises Inheritance Tax which is not only a massive tax but also a very avoidable one. Trusts can also play an important part in this strategy.
As an added benefit to our Will clients we provide a free Wills storage facility.
If you would like information on writing a Will, reviewing an existing Will, creating a Trust, or any issue that affects your estate, please call our team of helpful solicitors on 0161 785 3500.
CASE STUDY – What can happen if you don’t make a Will?
Mr C died in 2013, without leaving a Will. He was unmarried and had no children, but was survived by his father who was entitled under the intestacy rules to his estate.
Sadly, Mr C’s father died five months later.
Mr C’s father had also failed to make a Will and had no close relatives.
Relatives of Mr C’s father needed to be found who would be entitled to inherit the father’s estate (and through him Mr C’s estate).
Pearson Solicitors were able to trace a cousin of Mr C’s father who would be entitled to a share of the father’s estate. She was able to provide details of other family members. However, there were likely to be other relatives who would also be entitled.
We instructed genealogists to search for any other relatives. Their search took approximately 6 months and cost over £10,000.00. Some relatives remained untraced and an insurance policy costing over £2,000.00 was needed.
In total more than 40 people were traced who would be entitled to the estates of Mr C and his father.
Some relatives will only inherit less than 1% of the value of the estate and many of these relatives were not known to Mr C or his father.
CASE STUDY – How can a trust help me?
Mrs. A. was an elderly widow who was concerned that, upon her death, her only daughter an alcoholic, would have access to more money and drink herself to death.
Pearson Solicitors advised her to leave her estate into a discretionary trust, where the trustees have a discretion as to which of a number of potential beneficiaries should benefit from the trust fund.
Mrs. A. asked that the trustees should retain the funds until her daughter had been teetotal for over 12 months.
Mrs. A. died in 2013 leaving an estate worth about £200,000. The trustees used part of the funds for hospital treatment for her daughter and then later used the rest of the money to buy a house for her.
There is little doubt that the daughter would not be alive today if Mrs. A. had not taken this step.
If you need help and advice in making a will or advice on trusts call Pearson Solicitors on 0161 785 3500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org