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Making a will

Making or updating a Will is handled by our private client department. This team also deals with the preparation of Administration of Estates, advice to the elderly (including the making of powers of attorney) and applications to the Court of Protection. We also offer advice in respect of Inheritance Tax planning and Wealth Management and for other areas of personal taxation including Income Tax and capital gains.

It is a fact that less than 50% of the adult population of this country has made a Will. We cannot see into the future and death can unexpectedly intervene at an early age. The increasing value of property means that if someone dies without a will – intestate – the distribution of your estate among your relatives prescribed under the law can result in unforeseen results. In particular the cash limits laid down for the amount to be left to a spouse or registered civil partner are not particularly generous despite being revised in 2009.

By making a Will you can:

  • Ensure that your assets are left to the persons you wish to benefit
  • Decide who will be your executors – the persons you wish to deal with the winding up of your estate
  • Appoint a testamentary guardian – the person or persons you want to look after any of your children who are under 18 at your death in the absence of a surviving parent, particularly important for people who may be going through a divorce or living apart from the other parent
  • Set up trusts in connection with inheritance tax planning
  • Make gifts to charities – these will be exempt from inheritance tax
  • Set up a trust for a child or other relative suffering from a disability or learning difficulties – a straightforward legacy or gift of a share in your estate to your child or relative so afflicted may have unforeseen implications such as the withdrawal of means tested benefits

It is important that single, childless or widowed people should make Wills.  If they do not, the intestacy rules can produce unforeseen results and the estate may go to distant relatives with whom you had no close contact and possibly may not have known existed! In some cases, if you do not have any of the classes of relatives living prescribed under the intestacy rules, your estate may end up going to the Government if you have not made a will. Those who have been divorced or are separated but have remarried or formed a new relationship and have children from a former marriage or relationship should make wills. Ensuring that your estate is fairly divided between your loved ones in such circumstances can be difficult and we can suggest ways of wording your Will to provide for this.

The members of our private client team are very experienced in the writing of Wills and can advise you about the topics mentioned above.

 

 

Dollman & Pritchard Solicitors, 8 The Square, Caterham, Surrey, CR3 6XS   Tel: 01883 347823  Fax: 01883 340628     © Dollman & Pritchard 2005 - 2012
Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority – Firm Number 48857