Frequently Asked Questions
1. WHY DO I NEED A WILL?
Our clients make their Wills for a variety of different reasons. Here are just some of them:
- Control the distribution of your Estate. If you don’t have a Will then the way that your assets and property will be distributed will be left up to the authorities (Laws of Intestacy 1925). Unsurprisingly not many people want this to happen as it may result in a number of problems – not least the fact that a surviving spouse may have to share their inheritance with other relatives. If you’re unmarried and don’t have a Will these Laws may also mean that your partner inherits nothing at all. If you’re single your money could actually end up going to the State.
- Appoint Guardians for your Children. A Will is one of the most practical ways of appointing Guardians for your children. In the case of a married couple, if you and your partner die without appointing Guardians then the Local Authorities will do this on your behalf. In cases where a couple is unmarried and have children born prior to 2003 it may actually mean that the father may not get automatic Parental Responsibility.
- Protecting your Wealth. One of the most popular reasons for arranging a Will is to ensure that your accumulated wealth is not wasted by beneficiaries or inherited by those you do not want to access your funds (e.g. on remarriage).
- Leave a Legacy to Charity. A Will provides you with the opportunity to benefit your favourite Charity (free of tax) by leaving a legacy.
- Look after a family pet. If you aren’t around your will can help ensure that your much loved pet will be looked after.
- Set up Trusts. These can be established for the benefit of children to ensure that they do not inherit too early and waste money or assets you have given to them. You can also put longer term conditions in place to guarantee that Trust funds are only used for certain things.
2. WHO ARE WE?
We are part of the largest specialist Estate Planning organisation in the UK and write many thousands of Wills each year – many of which have already passed though the Probate process. Each document that we produced is insured up to £2,000,000. Most of our clients are introduced to us either by Professional Advisors (IFAs, Accountants, Estate Agents) or large Corporations.
3. SHOULDN’T I USE A SOLICITOR?
Most solicitors do a little bit of everything rather than being specialists – a little like your local GP. As a general rule they will have had no more than a few hours training on Wills and Probate prior to qualifying. A good Estate Planning consultant can give better and more cost-effective advice and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t use one. Before you do perhaps see what their experience is and whether they carry PI Insurance. We have a great team of consultants based all over the UK who are backed up by a central legal team who are expert in what they do. So we’re confident that you’ll get the very best advice available. In fact it’s one of the reasons why we’re frequently featured on the BBC or in the Press.
4. WHAT ABOUT THOSE PACKS THAT COST £9.99 FROM THE HIGH STREET?
Rumour has it that solicitors make more money out of putting incorrectly compiled DIY Will Packs together than they do out of writing normal Wills for their own clients. These are fine if you use them for relatively simple requirements as long as you follow the instructions carefully. And if we had a penny for every client who has told us that they bought one but never got around to doing it…
5. I’VE SEEN AN AD OFFERING A WILL PLUS A HOME VISIT FOR 19.99?
Every industry has its cowboys. Rather than pretend that they don’t exist we’d rather warn you about them as many people have been caught out by scams such as these and have ended up paying far in excess of £19.99. As a general rule of thumb a home visit service should cost around £175 for a single Will.
If you would like further details or would like to arrange an appointment please Contact Us