Wills & Probate
Our Colleague Sarah Terry is now certified with the Institute of Professional Willwriting and is able to providing you advice on wills, LPAs and probate from the comfort of your home.
Making a Will
It is important for everyone to have a professionally drafted Will, one that you can be certain will be legally valid when you die.
No matter how simple your affairs may seem or whatever age you are, a Will ensures that your wishes are set out clearly so that on your death your assets will go to the people you want them to go to. If you have young children you can also appoint Guardians in your Will to look after them should you die before they reach 18.
Although a standard Will might meet the needs of a small number of people, most would benefit from the more specialist advice and planning provided by APS Legal & Associates. This is because most people are not aware of the threats by Government and Local Authorities, or even certain family situations, to the assets that they have worked so hard to gain and which standard Wills may not protect against.
Getting actually round to making a will is often the problem and the average age to make a will is 58! The drafting and witnessing of a will is very straightforward and something that can be done relatively cheaply and quickly, so if you are unsure as to whether to make a will here are 5 top reasons for doing so :-
1. It creates certainty over what will happen to your assets and prevents problems.
2. Allows you to appoint executors and Guardians.
3. Not making a will may result in your entire assets passing to someone you don’t want.
4. You could reduce the payment of inheritance tax by a carefully drafted will.
5. If unmarried having a will is vital.
There are a number of Trusts that can be used either in your Will or set up during your lifetime to protect those assets.
Severance of Tenancy
Protecting property is something we all like to do. No one likes to think about the consequences of dying however in today’s modern world of blended families. you want to be sure that your beneficiaries inherit your share without the worry of a partner remarrying and your beneficiaries missing out.
Usually when you buy a property jointly it is held as Joint Tenants. This means that should one owner die before the other the property passes by way of survivorship to the survivor. However if you wanted to protect (say) your children within your blended family, then unfortunately there is no knowledge after you have died whether any share would be passed to your children. Your surviving partner is free to leave their share – which ultimately includes your share – to whomever they wish!
What we would do is check how you are holding the property whether as joint tenants (as is most usual) or as tenants in common – in equal or unequal shares. Severing a joint tenancy allows your share to be ringfenced when the survivor passes away thus leaving your share to your chosen beneficiaries.
Benefits of Severance of Tenancy and Protective Will Property Trusts for Survivor
By your will, a Protective Will Property Trust could be set up which will guarantee the surviving partner potentially a right to reside in the property and once the survivor passes away then the estate can be distributed accordingly.
Benefits of Severance of Tenancy for IHT purposes
How you own your home with your spouse or partner is very important. If one of you dies, what happens to your financial stake in the property will be very different depending on whether you are joint tenants or tenants in common.
This could also affect the level of funding you’re able to get for care home fees and the amount of inheritance tax that has to be paid on death. with today’s ever growing property prices, most people now fall into the threshold for paying IHT. This is most often overlooked when estate planning.
For example, it can also push you above the threshold for any means-tested benefits you would otherwise be eligible for, including support for care home fees.
If you are tenants in common, you can leave your share of the property to your partner or to someone else in your Will, or you can put it in a trust for safekeeping. This can protect your estate from unnecessary tax and make sure your partner is able to keep living in the house when you’ve gone.
We can discuss your objectives in more detail and provide you with a methodical and bespoke estate planning strategy to help protect what’s most important to you.
Making Lasting Powers of Attorney
These are documents that enable you to give legal authority to a person or persons who you trust, called Attorneys, to manage your affairs for you or make decisions on your behalf, when you are not in a position to do so yourself, for example following an accident, stroke or the onset of dementia.
There are two kinds of Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA), one that deals with your Property & Financial Affairs and one that deals with your Health and Welfare.
The former would enable your Attorneys to do things like draw your pension or pay your bills or sell your property on your behalf. The latter would enable your Attorneys to make decisions related to your health and personal welfare, for example what sort of care you receive, but this type of LPA can only be used once you lose mental capacity.
Both types of LPA must be registered by the Office of the Public Guardian before they can be used by your Attorneys.
Although we all tend to think of Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney documents as useful for later life it’s important to think what would happen now if you were unfortunate enough to have an accident or serious illness.
The service that we offer provides a convenient and cost-effective alternative to that offered by solicitors and banks.
We visit you in the privacy and comfort of your own home, our consultations are free, and everything is explained in plain English.
- Property Protection Trust
- Inheritance Tax Planning
- Flexible Life Interest Trusts
- Single & Mirror Wills
- Disabled Discretionary Trusts
- Discretionary Trusts
- Lasting Power of Attorney
- Advanced Decision
- Pre-paid Funeral Plans
- Right of Residence
- First Registration of Property
- Transfer of Property Ownership
- Secure Storage of our Client’s documents
- Probate and Estate Administration Services
- Deed of Severance
Please contact Sarah on email@example.com / 07587745857 for details of all charges.
Why use APS Legal & Associates rather than a solicitor?
If you are appointed as an Executor/Personal Representative (PR) and have decided that due to the complexity, risk and time it takes to administer an estate, you wish to appoint a professional to act on your behalf, who should you turn to?
At APS we are frequently asked why us over a solicitor. Below are some of the reasons why an Executor/ (PR) turns to us for assistance.
- While solicitors are of course well trained, most are general practitioners and have knowledge and experience in several areas of the law i.e. the solicitor who acted on your behalf when buying your house, could also write your Will and administer your estate. APS Legal & Associates are specialised in Wills, Trusts and Probate. Private client (which is the collective legal definition for these services) is all we do. We have a department that specialises in drafting Wills, trusts and Powers of Attorney and a department that handles matters post death, estate administration.
- Our staff hold specific qualifications relating to drafting Wills (STEP Certificate in Will Preparation) and estate administration (STEP Certificate in Trusts & Estates, STEP Diploma in Trusts & Estates, CILEX).
- We have vast experience in administering estates (exceeding 40 years’ experience), from simple estates which leave everything to a surviving spouse or partner to complex taxable estates exceeding £8 million pounds and complex estates that include businesses and agricultural assets.
- A £5 million indemnity insurance policy, which can be increased for specific cases as no extra cost to the estate.
- Our fees are calculated on a case-by-case basis. We do not provide fees based on a percentage of the estate or fees calculated on an hourly basis. A quote is provided to the Executor/PR for the work that will be undertaken by us. This allows families to still be involved but not be charged for things that they wish to do i.e. arrange the funeral or clear the property.
- We provide details of the likely disbursements (costs charged by third parties) that will be paid by the estate. We also have a clear pricing structure for less common disbursements so that the Executor/PR if fully aware of the overall costs involved.
- While we are a National Firm, we have local representatives available to take families through the process.
- An estate is allocated to a case manager and a probate administrator that will be on hand to assist the family through this difficult time.
Sarah Terry Wills & Probate 67 Treloggan Road, Newquay, Cornwall, TR7 2JT / Tel: 07587 745857/ firstname.lastname@example.org /
On behalf of APS Legal & Associates Ltd, Head office: Worksop Turbine Innovation Centre, Shireoaks Triangle Business Park, Coach Close, Worksop, Nottinghamshire, S81 8AP / APS Legal & Associates is a member of the Institute of Professional Willwriters – https://www.ipw.org.uk/ APS Legal & Associates complies with the Trading Standards Institute Approved IPW Code of Practice APS can be contacted on https://www.aps-legal.com/
APS Legal & Associates is one of the most recognised and trusted brands in the Will Writing & Estate Planning profession. As one of the largest and most influential members of the IPW (Institute of Professional Willwriters), and with over 530 qualified Legal consultants and members of staff across the country, our approach in a traditionally fragmented industry has allowed us to build a strong brand name with rapidly increasing recognition. We cover all areas of the country, including England, Wales and Scotland.
We believe that providing legal services should be at the convenience of the client; not the convenience of solicitors or banks. We don’t expect you to visit us – we visit you in the comfort and privacy of your own home at a time convenient to you. The services we provide are affordable and cost-effective solutions to those alternatives offered by solicitors or banks.
We provide you with impartial advice and services, delivered in plain English and tailored to your individual needs. We will never pressure-sell and we will ensure that the service we provide fully complies with the law. Above all, we will treat every client with respect and provide personal attention from your first enquiry.