Your Will tells everyone what should happen to your money, possessions and property after you pass away (all these things together are called your Estate). If you do not leave a Will, the law decides how your Estate is passed on – and this might not be in line with your wishes.
A Will makes it much easier for your family or friends to sort everything out – without one the process can be more time consuming and stressful.
A Will can help reduce the amount of Inheritance Tax that may be payable on the value of the property and money you leave behind.
Writing a Will is especially important if you have children or other family members who depend on you financially, or if you want to leave something to people outside your immediate family.
You can also use your Will to tell family about any other wishes you have, like instructions for your burial/cremation.
If your family is small and you want to leave everything to them, making your Will is fairly straightforward. However, if your situation is more complicated – for example, if you have a second family or you want to leave money and gifts to lots of people – you will need to plan more carefully.
There is also the option to include a Trust in your Will.
When someone close to you passes away, having to deal with Probate at the same time can simply be too much for many bereaved families. Here at Emin Read we will be pleased to assist you in dealing with their affairs, professionally and compassionately.
The role of an Executor or Administrator (also called the Personal Representative) takes responsibility for dealing with all of the Estate. If you are named in someone’s Will as an Executor, you have a number of responsibilities, which include:
- finding all the financial documentation
- sending copies of the Death Certificate to the organisations that hold money and asking for confirmation of the value of the money held
- the amount of income received during the last tax year
- opening a bank account on behalf of the Estate
- finding out details of any monies owed
- preparing a detailed list of the property, money and possessions and debts in the Estate
- Working out the amount of Inheritance Tax due and arranging payment (if applicable)
- Preparing and sending off the documents required by the Probate Registry and HM Revenue and Customs
- When Probate or Letters of Administration has been granted, collecting monies belonging to the Estate from banks, insurance companies, pension funds and building societies
- Paying any debts, expenses and fees
- Sharing out the Estate, as set out in the Will or according to the rules of intestacy
It is also important to sort out benefits, tax and National Insurance as soon as possible.
Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA)
Thinking and talking about what would happen, should you lose capacity, is an uncomfortable topic. However, it is important to consider how much worse the situation would be if you had a stroke, serious accident or dementia (eg. Alzheimer’s).
There are two Lasting Powers of Attorney:
- Health and Welfare
- Property and Financial Affairs
The Health and Welfare LPA sees a nominated individual make decisions over day-to-day healthcare and medical treatments, as well as deal with any health and social care staff, and can only be used after the person loses capacity, not before.
Just because you give the trusted person power of attorney over your health, that does not mean they will automatically gain control over your financial affairs and vice versa.
You can give someone power of attorney to deal with all your property and financial affairs, or only certain things, for example to operate a bank account, to buy and sell property or change investments.
If you wish to make an LPA which only deals with certain matters, you should make sure that it is drawn up very carefully, so that the attorney is very clear about what authority they have to deal with your affairs.
A Property and Financial Affairs LPA must be registered before it can be used. This means that the attorney will be able to start making decisions about your property and financial affairs straight away, even if you are still capable of making your own decisions. If you do not want the attorney to be able to make decisions about your affairs straight away, you should make sure the LPA clearly states this.
Please refer to our Charging Policy for fees in relation to these services, which can be found by clicking on the About us tab at the top of this page.
We would be happy to discuss any aspect of our services with you, and our contact details can be found by clicking on the Contact Us button at the top of this page. Alternatively, please complete the on line form and we will contact you direct.