You won't be bombarded with legal jargon - everything will be explained in plain English
You'll be advised on how your Will can be made to satisfy your specific family circumstances and tailored to your instructions. You should make a will to choose:
Who should administer your estate
Who should be the guardians of your children
Who should benefit from your estate How any tax payable when you die can be minimised or wiped out altogether
The funeral arrangements you want
If you do not make a Will, then you do not have control over any of these things.
All Wills are charged on a fixed price basis.
Court of Protection
If you are dealing with a with a friend or relative who can no longer deal with their own affairs and they have not appointed attorneys to act for them, then you may need to make an application to the Court of Protection.
The most common type of application is for you to be appointed as a Deputy of the Court, to manage that person’s finances on their behalf. If having looked at the financial circumstances of the person who can no longer make their own decisions, there is a need for such an application, I will be pleased to take it forward on your behalf.
Other applications can be made to the Court of Protection to make lifetime gifts for someone who has lost mental capacity or to write a Will for someone who cannot make one because he or she has lost mental capacity. These applications are useful when the family wants to sort out the affairs of someone before they die for personal or tax planning reasons.
Deputy applications are charged on at fixed price. Other applications vary hugely in their complexity, so price estimates will be given in a range and will depend on how much information the Court asks for to support the application.
When someone dies there is much to be done to settle their affairs. I can help by:
Advising on the terms of the Will and if there is no Will then who will benefit from the estate
Identifying all the assets in the estate and their value, and also any debts or liabilities there may be
Preparing a full account of the estate for HM Revenue and Customs if there is inheritance tax to pay
Obtaining a grant of representation (called Probate if you left a Will, Letters of Administration if not) from the Probate Registry - this is the official authorisation for executors or administrators to deal with the estate
Paying any taxes due, and also any debts
Preparing accounts showing what the estate consists of and how it is to be divided up
Distributing property and money to the beneficiaries who have inherited it
Whether there is a Will or not, tax to be paid or reclaimed, I will logically and efficiently administer the estate on your behalf and account for the proceeds. I can also advise whether any tax can be saved by an agreement known as a Deed of Family Arrangement to alter the way the estate is divided up.
My service is flexible. Having discussed the options with you, I can do as much or as little of the administration of the estate as you wish. All services are charged on a fixed price basis.
Declaration of Trusts
Declaration of Trusts are used principally to set out who has put money into a property or to set out the shares of the different owners.
Declarations of Trust are an absolute must where unmarried people buy property together. They can also be used to by parents giving money to children to buy property to make sure their cash is protected.
Powers of Attorney
A Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Financial Affairs allows you to choose who can take care of your home, money and investments should you become unable to, perhaps though illness, old age or an accident.
A Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare allows you to choose someone to step into your shoes and make decisions about how you are cared for and what medical treatment you receive if you lose mental capacity. Without this Lasting Power, although your family may be consulted, these decisions will rest with the care homes and doctors.
There are many ways of organising Lasting Powers of Attorney depending on your circumstances and I will discuss the options with you and prepare Lasting Powers of Attorney tailored to your needs.
Lasting Powers of Attorney are an insurance for your future. Having these will mean you have control over what happens to you and your property if you lose mental capacity. Making Lasting Powers of Attorney helps your family or friends to help you with the minimum stress when times are difficult.
A trust is a way of managing assets (money, investments, land or buildings) for people. Trusts are set up for a number of reasons, including:
to control and protect family assets
when someone’s too young to handle their affairs
when someone can’t handle their affairs because they’re incapacitated
to pass on assets while you’re still alive and make inheritance tax savings
Trusts aren’t that complicated, they are simply a ‘wrapper’ to alter who controls and who benefits from the assets. I prepare straight forward family trusts for the reasons above, to your specification and requirements.