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Wills & Probate

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Will Writing, Probate Service, Tax Planning & Trusts

If you have ever experienced the death of a loved one, then you will understand what a difficult and emotional time it can be.

That is why planning for your own death will really help those you leave behind and, in my experience, I find it also helps break the taboo of talking about death.

My team of Solicitors and legal experts have experience in a range of different areas so you can rest assured you’re in good hands.

Whether you’re looking for advice on making or amending your Will, planning for the future with a Lasting Power of Attorney, dealing with an estate, or if you need advice on Inheritance Tax or setting up or running a Trust, you’re in the right place.

Reassurance that you are being helped by the best

My Wills, Probate, Tax and Trusts team are one of the largest in the area. And because we’ve helped tens of thousands of people, we’re confident we can help you with whatever legal concern you have.

If you’re a BBC Radio Derby listener, you may have heard one of my interviews on Wills and Probate. I also regularly present to local special interest groups.

As well as being ‘recommended’ by The Legal 500, I am also recommended as a ‘Leader in their Field’ by Chambers and Partners legal directory.

I and two other members of our department are also Trust and Estate Practitioners. This means we have all passed the prestigious Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) exams, and so are specialists in our area.

So if you would like to speak with someone today and arrange an initial consultation, please contact me on 01332 340 211.

Or to read more about how we can help you, click on one of the headings below:

Wills

An unbelievable 2 out of 3 people will die without making a Will. And for many of those that have made a Will, their Will will be so out of date by the time they die that it will no longer reflect their true wishes.

Many people believe that their estate will automatically pass to their family when they die, but this is not always the case and will depend upon their circumstances. In the absence of a Will, the law sets out who is entitled to the estate and this is known as the “law of intestacy”.

Say you have a record collection or jewellery that you want to pass down, or even a multi-million pound estate – without a Will your wishes may not be carried out and your family left to struggle with administering your estate.

No matter how wealthy you are, you should have a Will stating what you want to happen when you die. With second and subsequent marriages becoming more common, it is essential that consider what may happen on your death.

You should also consider who you would like to deal with your estate on your death (your Executors) to ensure your estate is distributed as you wish.

And most importantly of all, if you have children under 18, you should consider who should bring them up if you were not here to do so. In the absence of an appointed guardian, the courts will be left to decide who looks after your children.

So, if a Will or an update to your Will is what you’re after, simply call us today.

Probate

Coping with the loss of a loved one can be one of the hardest emotional challenges you might ever face.

And even though we all know that dealing with death is a part of life, it can still overwhelm us and leave us feeling vulnerable and uncertain.

It’s not always easy to think about what needs to be done and it’s only natural to have many questions.

Questions like:

  • What are the duties of an Executor?
  • What happens with the finances?
  • How do I pay for the funeral?
  • How do I administer an estate?

Our comprehensive guide can help with the practicalities.

It also has a number of checklists to help you. What’s more, it’s completely free to download. Simply click here to get your copy now.

For the more complicated questions or if you would like my team to assist you with administering an estate, give us a call today.

Administering estates is one of the largest areas of work that my team deals with and they have assisted thousands of people with dealing with a loved one’s estate.

Lasting Powers of Attorney

As you get older, you may start to think about what would happen if you become physically or mentally unable to look after your own affairs.

A ‘Lasting Power of Attorney’ or LPA for short enables you to appoint someone (your Attorney) to manage your affairs in relation to your:

  • Property and Finances and/or
  • Health and Welfare

The benefits of making an LPA are that you get to choose who manages your affairs and you can even include guidance as to how your affairs are dealt with. Your Attorney would have a great deal of responsibility and power and so it is important to think carefully about who you would choose.

For advice about making an LPA, why not give us a call and my experienced team will be able to guide you through this very important process.

It is important to act now as you can only make an LPA whilst you have the mental capacity to do so.

Court of Protection

If someone does sadly become incapable of managing their own affairs and there is no Lasting Power of Attorney or Enduring Power of Attorney in place then a Deputyship Application to the Court of Protection may be required.

Deputyships are usually granted to a family member, friend or professional and the role of a Deputy may include the following:

  • Liaising with members of a care team;
  • Payment of routine bills;
  • Assessing and reviewing the availability of state benefits;
  • Investing money including financial reviews;
  • Budgeting and general financial management and monitoring of cash flow;
  • Dealing with requests for capital expenditure such as holidays;
  • Dealing with household matters such as contents and buildings insurance, repairs and maintenance etc;
  • Completing an annual tax return and dealing with HM Revenue & Customs;
  • Completing the Office of the Public Guardian annual report;
  • Liaising as required with the Office of the Public Guardian; and
  • Applying for a Statutory Will.

Applying for Deputyship can be a daunting process but our experienced team will guide you through each step.

Inheritance Tax Planning

When you die you’ll want to make sure that your loved ones are left with the maximum amount possible.

Inheritance Tax is payable at 40% on your property and other assets worth more than £325,000. So your estate can end up paying a lot of tax reducing the amount your loved ones will receive.

But you can plan for this. There are many ways you can reduce the amount of tax you’ll pay and there are various reliefs and exemptions available.

My team of experts can help you with advice on:

  • Charitable donations and the reduced rate of tax which may be available;
  • Making gifts;
  • Minimising Inheritance Tax in Wills;
  • Trusts;
  • Business succession planning; and
  • Deeds of variation (where a benefit received under a Will, or some of it, can be redirected after your death to save you Inheritance Tax).

There are some time limits which may affect the availability of reducing Inheritance Tax and so it is important to take advice sooner rather than later.

Trust

Trusts are often misunderstood and whilst they can be complex, they are often very useful.

A trust arises when assets and property are put under the control of one set of people (trustees), for the benefit of another set of people (beneficiaries).

Trusts often arise in Wills but can be set up during your lifetime too.

Trusts can have a number of benefits from reducing the amount of Inheritance Tax payable on your death, to managing and protecting your assets during your lifetime.

There are many reasons someone may choose to set up a trust. For example:

  • To control the benefit a beneficiary will receive;
  • To minimise Inheritance Tax;
  • To ensure your wishes are carried out in the event you or your partner have children from a previous relationship or your spouse or partner enters into another relationship after your death;
  • To protect your assets should your spouse or partner need nursing care in the future; or
  • To protect a personal injury settlement.

Trusts are taxed independently taxed for Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax and Inheritance Tax purposes and different types of trusts are taxed in different ways. It is therefore important to fully understand the consequences of any trust you are involved in.

If you’d like to discuss how a Trust can help you simply call my team of experienced professionals today.

 

Need help now?

Then contact me, Claire Rudkin, on 01332 340 211. Or click here to email me.

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The firm are congratulating eleven individuals across the business following a successful application process, which started earlier this year. Andrew Cochrane, who led the project, invited Solicitors and Associates to participate in a group process to give them the tools they needed to feel confident in their applications. A number of activities took place throughout […]

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Derby Head Office:
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Derby
DE1 3HQ
Tel: 01332 340 211
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