Wills, lifetime planning, gifts and trusts

Frequent changes in laws concerning personal tax and inheritance, coupled with potential changes to personal health and decision-making ability, make it especially important to make appropriate plans in good time, and to review those plans as the law and your personal circumstances change.

If you are acting as an executor in the administration of an estate, please see our separate probate page.

Wills

While you can make a will for yourself, it will be a better one if you consult a qualified solicitor.

It may seem unnecessary, but there is value in the discussion, in fully understanding the implications of your decisions, and in ensuring you have done the best you can for those likely to survive you.

Our lives are often more complicated than we think, and ensuring the right outcome takes proper thought and planning.

It can be difficult for example, to predict how your financial affairs may need to take account of the cost of care for yourself or a spouse.

It is also important to properly understand the tax implications before making decisions about legacies to family members, or gifts to charity.

Our service is based on long and varied experience, and delivered with care and consideration.

Powers of attorney

There are different types of powers of attorney but each is designed to enable somebody else to help you either with your finances, with control of a business, or decisions about your health if you can no longer look after yourself.

Many people only make a lasting power of attorney when they are already frail, but we advise all our clients to consider what would happen if they suddenly lost the ability to make decisions themselves.

That is why we encourage clients to make powers of attorney as early as possible – and it is essential in the case of business owners.

In theory it’s a simple decision, but once you start to think about it, it often becomes more complex.

It really is worth considering the value of an experienced solicitor to steer you through the issues as well as to take care of the paperwork.

Gifts, trusts and tax

An ever-changing tax environment makes planning important, but equally important is regularly reviewing the plans you have already made.

There are many ways to achieve your objectives for passing on assets within the current tax regime, but expert advice is required to know the facts and make informed decisions.

You might want simply to know what to do about your current inheritance tax liability, or you may have given money to a child to buy a property but want to ensure the investment does not disappear in any future relationship breakdown the child may have.

Together we can talk through the issues with you confidentially and impartially and help advise you on documents such as declarations of trust that can protect the family’s money in such circumstances whilst allowing gifts to take place.                         

National Will Register

As a member of The National Will Register we can now register your will for you.

Why should I register my Will?

In a survey commissioned by The National Will Register, two thirds of children would not know where to locate their parents’ Wills. The passage of time, house moves and new relationships are all contributing factors to this statistic. Writing a Will and regularly reviewing it is one of the most important things you can do for your loved ones. Ensuring that your family can therefore find it when you have passed on is essential. If a Will cannot be found after your death then your assets will be distributed in accordance with the intestacy rules, not necessarily in the way you would have wished.

We hold your Will safely, but we record its location with The National Will Register so that beneficiaries can always locate it when the time comes. 

Contact us to register your Will with The National Will Register. 

About The National Will Register – nationalwillregister.co.uk

             

For straightforward legal advice for lifetime planning contact Lorna Bastian on 01245 673070 or lbastian@aquabridgelaw.co.uk  or Samuel Flower on 01245 673074 or sflower@aquabridgelaw.co.uk or  Emily Payne on 01245 206344 or epayne@aquabridgelaw.co.uk