incorporates wills and tax planning, probate and trust work, along with powers of attorney.
It might sound obvious, but everyone should make a will. There is no time like the present to sort out the future - a surprising number of people leave it until it is too late. If you die without one, there are rules determining who will inherit your estate, which might well not be what you would want. By way of example, if you are not married, your partner will not automatically inherit your assets (which might include a house - their home) and even if you are married, there is a limit on what your spouse will inherit automatically.
If you already have a will, is it up to date? When did you last review it? Do you have children now you didnít when you made it...or grandchildren? Are they properly catered for in the will?
We can help you draw up new wills or amend existing ones, advising on inheritance tax issues as required - and can do it at a modest cost in most circumstances. Have a look at your existing will - if it is up to date, you donít need to do anything. If it is not, come to see us.
POWERS OF ATTORNEY
A couple of years ago, there was a sea change in relation to Powers of Attorney, with new legislation and the introduction of Lasting Powers. These are registered with the Office of the Public Guardian, and allow the appointed attorney to take decisions on your behalf in relation to your finances, or your welfare (even if you become mentally incapable). They serve as an invaluable tool to enable family members or close friends to help you at those times in your life when you are least able to take care of things yourself, whether that be due to old age, or an accident or injury.
Many people only think of granting a Power of Attorney when it is is immediately required. The delays caused by registration mean that it takes roughly 3 months for them to come into force following signing, and very often this is too late. None of us like to imagine that the worst is going to happen, but it can do and when it does, we should be prepared. Talk to our specialist team about your concerns or requirements - the initial consultation will be free, and there is no obligation to proceed.
The death of a family member is a difficult time which affects people in different ways. The services we offer can be tailored to meet your particular requirements. We find that many people cannot face dealing with the administration of the estate, valuing the assets, applying for a grant of probate, closing accounts and distributing the funds in accordance with the will or intestacy, and ask us to take over. Others just want pointing in the right direction to do it themselves.
Whatever you need, speak to one of our sympathetic professionals - we can explore the options with you, advise you on time-scales, help you where you need help.
Many firms will charge you on the basis of a percentage of the estate, and some even charge an hourly rate on top of that. We donít. The value of your assets makes little difference to the work we do - how organised, and complicated your affairs are does. We charge you on the basis of an hourly rate - you only pay for what we actually do. If the estate is relatively simple, we may even be able to provide a fixed quotation, taking away any uncertainty. If it is more complicated, we will provide an estimate, and keep you updated as we go.
We will discuss our service with you at a free no obligation meeting if that helps, or over the telephone if you prefer. Contact us to make an appointment or to speak to one of our advisors.
Trust work very often arises from probate work - money is left in a will to children or grandchildren who are not old enough to inherit. If you are a trustee you might not know what obligations or options you have, and simply need some initial advice. It might be that you want us to help you administer the trust, particularly if there is a large sum to invest. We can liaise with financial advisors, and take over the day-to-day maintenance of the accounts for you, relieving you of what can be a quite burdensome task.
If you are in that situation, or are thinking of creating a trust, then come to see us for some impartial advice first.