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Estate Planning Services

Through effective Estate Planning, we will help you take control of your assets to make sure that your beneficiaries receive the right money, at the right time and it stays with them.

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Our Estate Planning Services include:

Estate Planning Services is about making sure you have all the right legal documents in place to carry out your wishes and manage your estate in the event of your death or ill-health. Taking the time now to plan what happens to the legacy you leave behind, can help reduce your Inheritance Tax bill and ensure your family will have less to worry about when you are gone.

Will Writing

Protect your loved ones from unnecessary legal hassles. Trust our experienced will writers. Expert will writing services tailored to your needs. Start planning your estate today.

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Lasting Powers of Attorney

A Lasting Power of Attorney is a way of giving someone you trust the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf.

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Trusts

With our Trust planning services, we are able to provide advice from the initial settlement right through to final distributions and termination, as well as everything in between.

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Funeral Planning

We believe that celebrating a life shouldn’t cost your life savings. That’s why when you pre-plan your funeral, there are no extra costs to pay for your funeral takes place.

Inheritance Tax Planning

There are many ways to manage, reduce or eliminate an inheritance tax bill, including: Making gifts to family, loved ones and charities and using Inheritance Tax Planning Services

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Care Fee Planning

Planning ahead for your future careThe possibility of needing long-term care later in life is often overlooked when planning for retirement.

Approach

How does our Estate Planning Service work?

Without having a valid Will in place, there is a myriad of ways in which your wealth can be distributed and diverted away from the people you wanted to receive it. Your Estate Planning can be as simple or as complex as you choose to make it. You will need to make sure that your Estate Plan provides the right level of protection you require in the event of your death.

Step 1

Speak to our friendly team to arrange an appointment.

Step 2

One of our Will-writing consultants will visit your home and guide you through the whole process of completing your Will.

Step 3

Your Will is checked over by our legal team and then returned to you for signing.

Why should you use us for Estate Planning Services?

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The importance of wills for protecting your wealth

Inheritance tax applies to the worldwide estate of anyone who dies domiciled in the UK. At 40% of any value of an estate over £325,000, it is, potentially, a substantial liability. However, assets given to a spouse or civil partner are exempt from inheritance tax (IHT) and the IHT free band is transferable between partners.

Taken together, these two features can be used to real advantage, achieving significant tax savings for your family and safeguarding your wealth.

Will planning and writing in Biggleswade
Online will planning and writing services

The solution

We’ve created ‘Will & Estate Planning’ – a sophisticated estate plan that is tailored to you and your family at an affordable price. Whether you’re worried about who will look after your children should you die prematurely, your children’s financial future, protecting their inheritance from a possible divorce, your own future health and ability to make decisions or your ageing parents, we can help.

Frequently asked questions

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What is Estate Planning

Estate Planning is about making sure you have all the right legal documents in place to carry out your wishes and manage your estate in the event of your death or ill-health. Taking the time now to plan what happens to the legacy you leave behind, can help reduce your Inheritance Tax bill and ensure your family will have less to worry about when you are gone.

What is the Importance of Estate Planning

Estate planning is planning the distribution and management of your estate. This process must be done during your lifetime, or your survivors’ will have to do it after you pass away. Real estate planning is important to make it easier for your family and loved ones to deal with your estate after you leave them.

Why do I need an estate plan?
  • Estate planning protects beneficiaries
  • Estate planning is vital to keep young children safe
  • Estate planning reduces tax payable on the inheritance
  • Estate planning may prevent potential family feuds

The two major legal instruments of estate planning are wills and trusts.

Do I need to instruct a solicitor to make a will?

Whilst you don’t need a solicitor to make a will, there are legal formalities which need to be followed to make sure that your will is valid. Without the help of an expert, there is a real risk that you could make a mistake. This may invalidate your will, or create problems for your family and friends after your death.

We recommend that any legal professional you instruct is regulated by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority. You should be careful if using an unregulated provider, as you may have little to no protection against negligence or fraud.

Documents Used for Estate Planning in the UK

The two primary legal documents that record your wishes and instructions for the distribution of your estate are wills and trusts.

What are Wills?
Wills are documents that hold information about the individual’s assets, debt and beneficiaries. It contains the wishes of the deceased, and their instructions to distribute their estate after they are no more.

What are Trusts?
Trusts are legal arrangements that protect assets and distribute or direct them according to the individual’s wishes, instructions and intentions.

Trusts can come into effect before or after the individual’s death.

There are primarily two types of trusts

Revocable trusts – Revocable trusts can be modified at any time.

Irrevocable trusts – Irrevocable trusts can not be modified after they have been created without the beneficiaries’ consent.

Trusts and wills, together, may be the better for estate planning, than individually.

Can I do Estate Planning myself?

Just because you can do something yourself, does it mean you should do it yourself? There are reasons why you might be tempted to do your own Estate Planning, the cost saving being one obvious reason.

Yes, there are elements of your Estate Planning you can do yourself, but the risk in doing so is having legal documents which are incorrectly drafted and executed. Invariably any mistakes or errors in someone’s DIY planning do not come to light until it is too late, when someone loses mental capacity or dies. At that point, it can cost your loved one’s thousands of pounds in legal and court fees fixing these errors retrospectively. In the worst-case scenario doing it yourself could lead to your Estate paying more Inheritance Tax, not less. That is why we always recommend seeking professional advice in this important area of planning.

Estate Planning vs creating a Will

To many, Will Planning and Estate Planning are the same. While the terms may seem interchangeable, they are quite different processes that both play an important role in the management of your assets.

A Will dictates who should receive what from the division of your assets when you die, based on your documented wishes. Estate Planning ensures that your assets are protected from the unforeseen risks that often reduce the value left in your Estate and your family’s Inheritance.

Estate Planning is a comprehensive look at your entire Estate, understanding the makeup of your assets, making sure your Estate is structured in the most tax efficient way, whilst maximising your tax reliefs, protecting against Long Term Care Fees, Inheritance Tax, Divorce, Relationship Breakdowns, as well as reducing the risk of your Will being successfully contested. Typically, it includes planning like Trusts and Lasting Powers of Attorney to protect you during your lifetime, as well as a protective and tax efficient Will and Trust arrangement to deal with your Estate upon your death. These are just some of the key differences between Estate Planning verses just creating a Will.

If I die without a Will, what happens to my Estate?

We often meet people who, for one reason or another, have just never gotten around to putting a Will in place. It is only when they have clarity about what a Will is, what it can achieve, and the amazing benefits of true Estate Planning that they appreciate why a Will is so incredibly important.

When a person dies without leaving a valid Will, everything they own, (The Estate), must be shared out according to certain rules. These are called the Rules of Intestacy. A person who dies without leaving a Will is therefore deemed to have died intestate and the Government through the Rules of Intestacy will dictate how your Estate is distributed to your spouse, children, siblings, parents, and other bloodline relatives. This means the family members you believe will inherit your Estate, may not be the ultimate beneficiaries of your Estate after all.

If someone makes a Will that is subsequently found to be invalid because it has not been drawn up correctly, the Rules of Intestacy will also be used to decide how the Estate will be shared out. Any instructions and wishes expressed in the Will are not followed. That is why it is so important to use suitably experienced and qualified Estate Planners when drafting your Will, so you can have confidence that your Will not only reflects your wishes but is also valid.

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Do you have any questions? Our team will be happy to assist.

Administration of Estates and Trusts

When someone dies, it is hard enough to deal with the emotional aspects of grief, without the added complication of sorting the legal and financial affairs.

Most people assume that it will be simple and everything will be straight forward especially if they are married. Quite often though the person you expect to deal with your estate will be the very person that is least likely to be in a position to think clearly and understand the importance of the documentation to be completed due to the emotional and practical upheaval of losing a loved one.

Administering someone’s estate imposes the following duties and responsibilities:

  • Draft and prepare the probate papers and submit to the Probate Registry.
  • Complete the relevant Inland Revenue forms and calculate any inheritance tax payable.
  • Arrange for the payment of any inheritance tax by liaising with beneficiaries/banks.
  • Place the relevant Trustee Act Notices to require any claimants to come forward.
  • Identify any life or minority interests.
  • Set up and manage any Trusts created by the Will.
  • Ensure that the legal procedures are adhered to, which will enable the state to be administered correctly.
  • Contact the financial institutions, government bodies and other interested parties, and obtain details of all assets and liabilities of the estate.
  • Arrange any necessary formal valuation of any assets, e.g. house, jewelry, company.
  • Establish whether there are any joint assets and liaise with the joint holder about the transfer.
  • Arrange the sale of the assets, cashing in and closing of accounts.
  • Complete and submit any necessary income tax returns both for the period to death and during the administration period.
  • Obtain clearance from HM Revenue and Customs.
  • Prepare a final income tax return prior to distribution of the estate.
  • Calculate whether there is any income tax or capital gains tax payable and arrange payment with HM Revenue and Customs.
  • Collect in all of the assets of the estate.
  • Pay all liabilities of the estate having regard to the correct statuary provisions.
  • Prepare estate accounts and obtain approval.
  • Distribute the proceeds of the estate.