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Personal Professional Prompt

Wills & Probate

Why Make a Will?

The only way legally to direct who should receive your property and assets when you die is to make a legally binding will. If we are acting for you regarding property matters, then it is very easy for us to prepare wills for you at the same time and we can then offer a reduced fee for the preparation of the wills as we will be meeting with you in any event to discuss property matters. We strongly advise all our clients (whether we are acting for you regarding property matters or not)  to have wills for the following reasons:

Certainty

You can say who should have your property and assets.

If you do not make a will the legal Intestacy Rules will dictate who should receive your  property and assets when you die. This may not be what you want.

Executor

You can choose in your will who is to be responsible for carrying out the wishes expressed in your will.

Speed

An executor appointed by will has the legal duty to carry out the terms of your will  and to deal with your property and assets as directed by you. An executor has legal authority to start work immediately upon your death. He will in due course obtain Grant of Probate .

If there is no will then the nearest surviving relative must come forward and apply for Letters of Administration. If the nearest relative will not come forward, then the next nearest relative must come forward in his or her place. An administrator (as compared with an executor appointed by a will) does not have any legal authority to start work immediately you die, but must wait for the Probate Registry (Probate Court) to issue Grant of Letters of Administration. This can take some time.

Guardians for Children

In your will, it is possible to state who you wish to be the guardians of any of your children who are not yet 18 years of age.

If no will has been made and no guardian appointed, there can be uncertainty on your death  as to who should look after the children. Disputes can arise regarding these matters. Disputes are perhaps less likely to happen where there has been a clear, express appointment contained in a will.

Inheritance Tax

In some cases, it is possible to make a saving in Inheritance Tax (death duties) by making certain gifts in your will. Added savings can also be made by life-time tax planning linked to the will.

In some cases it is still possible to achieve an Inheritance Tax saving where there is no will. This involves preparing a Deed of Variation which is a legal document drawn up and signed up by all interested parties. The Deed of Variation changes the effect of the Intestacy Rules . However, difficulties can arise regarding the preparation of such deeds.

We regularly deal with the administration of estates either as executors ourselves or as the solicitors acting for the executors.

We do not provide dedicated tax planning advice ourselves but we can assist you to obtain this.

If you would like a quote for preparation of your will, please contact us.

Probate & Estate Administration

When a person dies, someone has to deal with their affairs.  This is called 'administering the estate'. 

If you need help administering an estate or obtaining Probate, please contact us to make an appointment so that we may discuss the case with you and provide an estimate of our fees.