When it comes to planning for the future, one of the most important considerations will be deciding what will happen to your property and possessions when you die. The easiest way to make sure that your loved ones benefit in the ways that you wish is to draft a Will, or if you already have one, to make sure that this is kept up-to-date to reflect your personal and financial circumstances. The Estate Planning Solicitors at Wilford Smith, with many years of experience in advising clients on drafting and updating wills, can provide you with practical and easy to understand legal advice to ensure that your wishes will be given effect. Call us today to find out how we can help.
Why is it important to make a Will?
Regardless of the nature of your financial circumstances, making a Will is important for a number of reasons. If a person dies without making a Will, their estate (that is their money, property and possessions) will be distributed according to a set of legal rules known as the rules of intestacy, rather than in the way the deceased might have wished. If you have a partner but are not married and not in a civil partnership, your partner will not inherit your estate unless there is a Will. This can create serious financial problems for surviving partners when an estate is distributed according to intestacy rules.
Changes to your circumstances can mean that it is especially important to update your Will, as by doing so you can ensure that your estate is passed on to your intended beneficiaries. If you have separated from a partner, but they are still included as a beneficiary in your Will, you may wish to make changes in order to reflect your present circumstances. If you have married or entered into a civil partnership, this will make any previous Will invalid. You should update your Will to reflect this.
Why should I instruct a solicitor when drafting or updating my Will?
A Will is a document that has legal effect. By seeking guidance from an experienced solicitor when drafting your Will, you can make sure your instructions are clearly and properly set out so that these can be understood and given effect by your loved ones. There are also certain requirements for a Will that must be complied with to ensure its validity, including that it is formally witnessed and signed. A solicitor can give advice in relation to these requirements.
Depending on the nature of your personal circumstances, it may be particularly advisable to seek legal advice when drafting or updating your Will. If you have investments or property overseas, such as a holiday home, or if you own your own business, a solicitor can advise you on the best way to deal with the distribution of these assets. If you have children from a previous marriage or a family member with a disability, you may also wish to seek legal advice in order to make special arrangements for these beneficiaries.
Writing a Will allows you to plan for inheritance tax. Consulting a solicitor will enable you to determine the costs that may be saved through effective tax planning. With inheritance tax applying at a rate of 40% on estates worth over £325,000, speaking with a solicitor about the best tax planning options for you can make a significant difference when it comes to distributing your estate. Tax planning is a complex area, with detailed knowledge of the interaction between trust law and the relevant taxation rules being vital. Our expert legal advice can provide you with the knowledge you need to plan effectively for the future.
Contact our Wills Solicitors in Sheffield and London
Wilford Smith’s Will specialists provide bespoke, professional advice on all aspects of writing and updating Wills. We will keep you right when it comes to creating a valid Will, and ensure that the terms accurately reflect your wishes – both now and as your personal circumstances change. Our Wills Team works alongside our legal experts in other departments, such as our Residential and Commercial Property Team, to guarantee your assets are adequately protected. Whether you are looking to make arrangements in regards to savings, property or a business, our solicitors will provide you with a high-level professional service tailored to your needs.
Our Estate Planning Teams are based in Sheffield and London and help clients across England and Wales. Contact us today on 01709 828 044 to find out how we can help.