Wills for your future
Everyone should have a plan for what happens to their assets and wealth (known as your estate) when you’re gone. A Will is one of the most effective and comprehensive ways to achieve this. Your Will is a set of instructions, which you create with the support of your loved ones, to say what happens with your estate in the event of your death.
Your Will is a legal document. There are very few limitations to what you can include in a Will, many people leave instructions for their funeral, and who they wish to be Executors of their estate (the people trusted with following the instructions in your Will).
Children and grandchildren are common beneficiaries of Wills, with parents and grandparents leaving their estate among close family, and we recommend including who you would like to be the Guardian of your children should they be left without parents.
In short, a Will is more than just a set of instructions to say how your estate should be managed upon your death. It is the reassurance that your wishes and loved ones will be looked after, should the worst happen.
If you have children under the age of 18, it is essential that your Will incorporates a children’s trust. Children cannot receive their legacy from your Will until they are 18 years of age. A children’s trust built into your Will allows the money you leave to be controlled by a Trustee (of your choice) until the child is 18.
The same rules apply if you want to leave money to a grandchild, niece, nephew or other relative under the age of 18. Instructions within a children’s trust can be flexible, meaning the child or children can benefit from the money before they are 18, under the guidance of your appointed Trustee.
For those of us with mixed family circumstances involving previous marriages and children from different relationships, planning for future generations can be difficult. Property trusts are used to ensure that children receive what you want them to receive, and that your assets are not distributed unfairly because of past relationships or claims by parents and guardians.
Property protective trusts are also effective when considering second homes, holiday homes, and whether you hold your property as a Joint Tenant or Tenants in Common. Extra care is often required if you have property outside of the UK, which is one of the reasons why we offer free consultation before you make any decisions about your estate.
In the event your health deteriorates and you are unable to make decisions for yourself, a Living Will (also known as an Advanced Medical Directive) specifies what actions you would like to be taken. This state of ill-health is known as loss of mental capacity and can be temporary or permanent, following an illness such as stroke or dementia. A Living Will is a legal document, meaning you have added reassurance that your instructions for care and your estate will be taken managed according to your wishes.
On completion of any Will, you will receive a physical copy. Should your Will get damaged, destroyed, or lost it would become invalidated. We recommend taking advantage of a safe custody of documents service to keep a legal copy outside of your home as an added protection. We offer this as an annual service, storing your Will in our limited access safe.
Your initial consultation with us is completely free, with no obligation to go ahead with our services. Should you wish to proceed with any of our services, you can split the cost of your payment following discussions with your estate planning Advisor.
The standard fee for a one-person Will is £140, with Mirror Wills (for two people) a fee of £195.
To add a Children’s Trust to your Will is £45, and to add a Living Will is £60.
Property Trusts are a tailor-made service that is dependant on your circumstances. Following your consultation we will be able to give recommendations about the content of your trust, and how much this could cost.
If you would like us to have safe custody of your documents, the fee is £25 annually.