Making a Will is neither complicated nor expensive but is often something that people put off doing. Jackson Quinn offer a fixed fee Will drafting service and at your initial appointment, will provide you with a clear timescale as to when your Will will be completed. Wills can also be prepared on an urgent basis should the need arise and home visits can also be undertaken.
There are many advantages to making a Will including:-
- You decide who will benefit from your Estate. If you die without making a Will i.e intestate, then the Intestacy Rules will determine who receives your Estate.
- If you die intestate it is not necessarily the case that your spouse will inherit your whole estate.
- A Will enables you to leave a specific monetary legacy to perhaps a relative, friend or charity or a specific item (perhaps of sentimental value) to someone.
- It is possible to omit someone who would benefit from your Estate if you died intestate for example a spouse who you are separated from or a child who you have little or no contact with.
- You decide how old your child / children would be when they inherit. If you die intestate, any children will become entitled to their inheritance at eighteen.
- There is no provision for step-children under the Intestacy Rules. If you wish step-children to benefit from your Estate then the only way to do this would be to include provision for them in your Will.
- Guardians can be appointed to care for your children if they are under 18 years of age at the time of your death.
- It may be possible to reduce your Inheritance Tax liability on your Estate with a tax efficient Will.
It is always advisable to seek legal advice when you are considering making a Will to ensure that it reflects your wishes and also to ensure that it is executed correctly. Sorting out any mistakes or misunderstandings made in your Will after your death can be costly and time consuming and may significantly reduce the value of your Estate.
It is also advisable to review your Will every few years or when there is a significant change in your circumstances e.g marriage, separation, birth of a child or a change in your assets.
Jackson Quinn are also able to assist you in the administration of an estate whether you have been appointed executor under a will or an administrator under an intestacy. We can advise you who are entitled to seek a Grant and how the estate should be distributed. We can also assist you to ascertain the assets and debts of the estate, make an application for the Grant, collect in assets, pay debts, finalise tax affairs, transfer property, prepare estate accounts and distribute.
Some common legal terms:
Testator/Testatrix – person who makes a will
Beneficiary – someone who inherits under a will or intestacy.
Guardian – someone appointed under a will to look after children under the age of eighteen.
Intestate – someone who dies without making a will. The deceased’s estate will be dealt with under the Intestacy laws.
Personal Representative – person appointed to deal with an estate. If they are appointed by a Will they are known as an Executor. Where there is no will they are appointed by the Court and are known as an Administrator.
Grant of Probate – legal document confirming an executor’s authority to deal with an estate.
Grant of Letters of Administration – legal document confirming an Administrators’ authority to deal with an estate.
Inheritance Tax Threshold – the amount above which Inheritance Tax will become due. If the value of the estate falls below this threshold (taking into account lifetime gifts etc.) no Inheritance Tax will be due.
Residuary Estate – the deceased’s estate after all assets have been collected in and debts paid.
Trust – where one or more people (trustees) hold property on behalf of others (beneficiaries).