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Simple, clear advice. Wills at short notice. Dual wills available.
If you’ve got any assets at all, and you want to choose who receives them when you die, you need a Will. Without a Will, your assets will pass under the Intestacy Rules.
If you want to leave assets to your partner, but are not married or in a civil partnership, you must have a Will. They will not be entitled to anything under the Intestacy Rules.
If you already have a Will, contact us for a free Will review. Any change to your marital status, or the arrival of children, will have an impact on whether your Will makes provision for your chosen beneficiaries as you would wish.
Our home visit service is available at no extra cost
Single simple Will – £199
Pair of simple Mirror Wills – £299
Single Will including a Trust – £450
Pair of Mirror Wills including a Trust – £595
We can draw up your Will for you. First, we will consult with you to find out more about the value of your estate, the people or organisations you would like to benefit, and any existing Trusts or other Inheritance Tax planning you have undertaken. We will advise you as to the most tax efficient way to deal with your legacies, and encourage you consider the best way to ensure your wishes are fulfilled.
Here are some things you may want to think about before we meet:
Who should be responsible for administering your estate?
Choosing your Executor(s) is an important decision. Practically speaking, consider people who you trust, who live in this jurisdiction (England & Wales), who are a generation younger, and who have some administrative ability to enable them to collect in your assets and distribute them according to your wishes. Most people choose more than one Executor, which makes it easier to ensure the Executors at have at least some of these characteristics each!
What assets and liabilities do you have?
We do need to consider the overall value of your estate, so as to plan carefully for Inheritance Tax and to ensure your Will manages this issue as efficiently as possible. Think about all your assets, including debts owed to you and policies which will only pay out on death. They all form part of your estate.
You may wish to compile a list of assets, accounts and policies to keep at home or in an envelope with your Will. This will help your Executors to know where to start when detailing your estate for valuation. It is also useful to keep a note of any significant monies owed by or to you, for the same reason.
Who do you want to include in your Will?
When listing beneficiaries, it helps to have their full name and current address. This is useful both for tracking them down when the time comes, and ensuring the correct beneficiary is identified. We know that people do move from time to time. Again, you may wish to keep a separate note for your Executors if a beneficiary marries or moves, to help them identify who you mean.
If it has been several years since you drew up your Will and many of these details have changed, you may wish to have the whole Will updated.
You may wish to leave money to a charity in your Will. These gifts will be deducted from your estate before it is valued for Inheritance Tax purposes, so reducing the Inheritance Tax due on your estate. Do check the details of your chosen charity beneficiaries. We like to include their Registered Charity number in the Will to ensure the correct charity benefits from your legacy.
What do you want them to have, and when?
You may make all manner of gifts in your Will, from money to jewellery to cars to shares. This is the best place to list specific gifts of valuable items.
If you have a strong view on who should receive smaller pieces of jewellery or furniture, consider writing a Letter of Wishes, to be kept alongside your Will. This will guide the Executors when they are dealing with your estate, but is not legally binding like a Will. They are therefore able to distribute these items sensibly if your chosen recipients have already passed away, or are unable to accept your gift for some other reason.
Many people stipulate a particular age for children or young people to be able to receive their legacy under a Will, particularly if it is worth a significant amount. In circumstances where you and your partner are drawing up mutual Wills, it is really important to have considered and agreed the details of any terms relating to gifts, such as age or location or other conditions. We are able to advise you on these issues when we meet to discuss your Will.
Who will you ask to care for your children?
We know this is a distressing thing to consider but, if your children were to be left without parents, who would you trust to look after them? This is a big decision which requires discussion both with the other parent of your children and the people you both wish to nominate as guardians.
Without a Will, the Court will appoint guardians for your children. This may not be someone you would choose. It may be a distressing process for your children. It is well worth using your Will for to appoint guardians for your children.
What will happen to your home?
If you own your own home, you may benefit from an additional tax free band which applies when you leave your main residence to a direct descendant.
However, if you own your home with someone else, you need to check the legal status of your ownership. If you own as joint tenants, then your share in the property will automatically pass to the other(s). If you own as tenants in common, then you may leave your share to anyone you wish under your Will.
Oxford Wills & Probate
267 Banbury Road Summertown Oxford OX2 7HQ