The work of the Wills and Lifetime Planning Team is often perceived as being orientated around all matters connected with death. In actual fact much of what they do is connected with planning for life and ensuring that your assets, family and future generations are protected.
Time to Plan
At rhw we are aware that every individual has their own unique situation and no one strategy, proposal or approach works for everyone. We always seek to understand the circumstances of our clients before offering any advice. This applies to Wills, Trusts and Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA), as well as all the other legal services the team offers.
Don’t leave things to the last moment when dealing with ensuring your wishes are respected and your assets and family protected. Too many people bury their heads in the sand because they don’t wish to think about aspects of their own mortality or because they never get round to arranging what needs to be put into place.
Many people avoid putting their affairs in order, in terms of have a Will drawn up or an LPA put into place until it is too late. Having full mental capacity at the time of agreeing these documents is important, as is avoiding your estate ending up in the Court of Protection or your wishes not being respected should you not have the proper documentation in place.
It is vital that your Will is drawn up correctly, in line with what the law demands and also that it reflects your wishes. Wills often control the distribution of large value assets and other monies. It needs to be written by a competent, experienced and regulated entity. If your legal advisor does not challenge you over your wishes through asking questions you may well not have thought of, they are not doing their job.
At rhw we have a team of Solicitors who specialise in writing Wills as well as the provision of all other Private Client services. We are one of the few firms in the area to hold the Law Society’s Wills and Inheritance Quality Scheme accreditation, a testament to our procedures and record.
In England and Wales Probate is the word used to describe the legal and financial processes involved in dealing with the money, property and assets of a person who has died.
If there is a Will, the executors named should administer the estate, and rhw would usually act on their instructions. If there is no Will, we can advise on the persons (called administrators) who should wind up the estate and who will inherit.
It may take some time to collect the information needed to move the Probate process forward. The documents needed include the original Death Certificate(s), original Will, if we do not already hold this, full details and supporting evidence of assets and liabilities, e.g. pension book, passbooks, bank statements, share certificates, property deeds and any relevant references and addresses.
rhw can deal with all the financial aspects, planning for the payment of debts, legacies and interim distributions, dealing with the tax issues, registering of probate and completion of the administration. Please contact rhw’s team to understand the full process and how we can help you at what is often a very stressful time.
Inheritance Tax Planning
If you live in a wealthy area of the country then it is likely that sooner or later your life will be touched by issues surrounding Inheritance Tax. Guildford was recently reported as having one of the highest average rates of inheritance tax payments in the country, with payment averaging in excess of £230,000.
rhw can help you plan to minimise your payments by ensuring that you are taking advantage of all possible reliefs, using lifetime gifts and trusts and ensuring other documents are as tax efficient as possible. We have helped many clients save on the tax they would have otherwise have had to pay.