Wills, Trusts & Probate

…with you every step of the way!

Fact!

Of the 2000 or so people who die in the UK every day, approximately only one third had made a Will!

What is a Will?

A will is a legally binding document which sets out to whom you wish to leave your property and possessions when you die. In addition, it is an opportunity for you to make specific provision for the needs of your spouse/partner/civil partner/children with the minimum of trouble and expense.

Consequences of not having a Will

It is a common misconception that if you die without making a Will (Intestate) everything automatically passes to your surviving spouse, but that is not always the case. Under the Intestacy Rules it is the law, rather than you, which dictates who will inherit your property and possessions. This has far reaching effects in terms of how much your spouse and children etc will receive. Perhaps very significantly if you are not married, or registered under the Civil Partnerships Act your partner would NOT benefit at all under the Intestacy Rules as your property and possessions will automatically pass to your nearest blood relative. Failing this then the Government will get everything!

In addition, if you have young children, you will not have indicated who you wish to look after those children and bring them up. You could also end up paying unnecessary inheritance tax.

Why do you need a will?

We all die one day and at a time when your family will have more than enough to cope with, at least it will be some comfort that your affairs have been legally taken care of. The key considerations are-

  • Your property and possessions will be left to your family and friends you wish
  • You can provide for your spouse / partner and children
  • You decide who will look after your children
  • You can make provision to a friend, charity etc
  • You can state your wishes in relation to your funeral
  • Your Will is particularly important if your circumstances change, e.g. marriage, divorce
  • Reduce IHT and CGT payments

Although stationers sell do-it-yourself Will packs, we do not recommend using these as in doing so there are a number of potential pitfalls. We advise using an expert who will discuss all aspects of arranging your Will as well as focussing on other important issues that you may not have considered but that could have far reaching consequences if they were not included. Here the solicitor will ensure:- that there is no ambiguity; that the Will is correctly signed and witnessed; provide advice on other matters such as Inheritance Tax Planning etc. Periodic reviewing of your Will is also advised as your personal circumstances and wishes may change.

Inheritance Tax Planning

With ever increasing house values added to life insurance, death in service benefits, pensions etc, more and more people are now finding themselves to be above the tax threshold (currently fixed at £325,000) which means that their family would be liable to paying 40‰ tax on the value of the estate over that level.

Our experts will be able to help you on the most tax efficient way of avoiding or significantly reducing inheritance tax.

Lasting Power of Attorney

If through illness or an accident you are unable to manage your own affairs (paying bills, accessing your bank account and all the other things that you currently take for granted) then you will need to appoint someone to do this on your behalf. A Lasting Power of Attorney is a recently introduced document which the solicitor can prepare for you, which can ensure that your interests will be taken care of should you become incapable of dealing with these matters yourself.

How much will it cost?

Not as much as you may think. It all depends on your personal circumstances and the complexities of your needs, but a simple Will could cost as little as £175. Your solicitor will give you a complete breakdown of the likely costs at the beginning of your meeting

Remember this is one of the most important documents you will ever sign, so you need to get it right! Having a Will, planning for Inheritance Tax and Capital Gains Tax, and possibly LPA arrangements, will save so much worry and heartache in the future.

So for your peace of mind and your family's security please contact us on 01484 821300 or click here.

Team for You – Wills, Trusts & Probate

T: 01484 821409
Ben Cooper
Ben Cooper
Partner
T: 01484 821418
Anna Drapan
Anna Drapan
Associate
T: 01484 821314
Charlene Vilia
Charlene Vilia
Senior Solicitor
T: 01484 821 445
Lucy Cortis
Lucy Cortis
Solicitor
T: 01484 821346
Kay Johnston
Kay Johnston
Private Client Advisor
T: 01484 821428
Liz Wood
Liz Wood
Private Client Advisor
T: 01484 821386
Rachael Wilkinson
Rachael Wilkinson
Private Client Advisor
T: 01484 821419
Megan Quigley
Megan Quigley
Secretary

testimonials

Dealing with your company is easy with very knowledgeable people.

G Oldroyd

We were very satisfied with the service. Kay was very helpful and clear, visiting the house and meeting the family. We are happy with the result and would not hesitate to use Eaton Smith again. 

K. Beckwith

Charlene was very helpful and explained everything to us clearly. 

R. Burns

Ms Vilia was extremely easy to talk to and explained everything in plain English. 

N. & K. Kaye

We were fortunate to have someone of Ms Charlene Vilia's experience and demeanour to guide us through making our Wills and LPAs. Thank you. 

D. Chaffer

We are always highly delighted with the service we receive whichever department we have used. 

S. Crossland

Totally satisfied with the service you provided I have no adverse comments whatsoever. 

M. Black

The service was friendly and very appropriate for the needs of a 96 year old client. Excellent. 

A. Barber

Excellent service and customer care throughout. Anna was very responsive to my needs. 

E. Emery

Lucy provided exactly what I wanted and the right level of support regarding probate/letters of administration and IHT. The whole issue was resolved in a timely manner. Thank you!

Having being a client for almost 40 years, I think this speaks for itself. A very professional service is provided at all times by all members of the organisation. 

My solicitor showed great insight and understanding every step of the way when family issues were difficult following the death of my mother. Her kindness and professionalism was very much appreciated.

I have known various members of this firm for many years although I have not needed your services except on rare occasions. I have always found them friendly and helpful and would be happy to contact them should it be necessary.

J Patterson

All the staff I came into contact with were helpful and sensitive to my needs. Rachael was particularly supportive, explaining everything I needed to know and being there if I needed something clarifying or help with anything.

Client

We use Eaton Smith because they are friendly, understanding, knowledgable and very efficient. First class solicitors!

S Stanford

Anna was very helpful and clear in explaining legal matter, friendly and polite. 

Mr Maude

All areas of the process were explained clearly and all matters were dealt with efficiently.

Client

Very happy with the service and relaxed approach, I will always recommend Eaton Smith. 

Mr McNulty

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