We often receive enquiries from people who want to make a Will, but they are not quite sure how to go about starting the process or what it involves.
We like to keep the process as simple as possible, as making a Will is not always the easiest decision for people to make and it is not something that a lot of us like to think about.
How do I begin the process of making a Will?
We have a number of ways in which you can contact us to start the process of making your Will:
- Telephone the office on 01279 295047 to make an appointment to meet with us to discuss your Will face to face
- Complete our enquiry form
- Complete our Online Will Submission form
- Request a Will pack in the post
Our online Will form and our Will pack are a good introduction to the types of information we will need to make your Will and are an effective way of speeding up the process.
Whatever option you choose, we will always need to see you face to face to discuss your Will, however, it is personal choice as to whether or not you wish to start the process by going through the online form which can help guide you through the process of making your Will, or if you would just prefer to sit down with us from the outset.
What do I need to think about when making a Will?
When we meet with you to discuss your Will, we will go through your personal circumstances to be able to provide you with the best possible advice for your Will. This can include but is not limited to the following:
- Are you married, in a civil partnership, divorced, separated, widowed, co-habiting or single?
- Do you have children, to include step-children, or are you expecting children?
- Do you own property?
- Do you own property or any other assets abroad?
- How do you hold your financial assets (are these in your sole name or in a joint name with another person)?
- Do you have a private pension?
- Do you have a death in service cover with your employer?
- Do you have any valuable personal effects such as jewellery, vehicles, collectables?
- Do you have a portfolio of shares?
- Do you have anyone who may wish to make a claim against your Estate?
- Do you wish to make provision for the welfare of your pets?
- Are you due to receive an inheritance?
- Do you have any liabilities?
In discussing the above, we will be able to give you the best possible advice tailored to your personal circumstances and suggest options for you which will not only make your Will tax efficient but will also protect your Estate and your beneficiaries.
Can you help mitigate inheritance tax?
Included in our fixed fee for Wills is inheritance tax advice.
With careful planning we can help you to reduce any potential inheritance tax liability and, in some cases, avoid it altogether. There are a number of inheritance tax options available, and we will also discuss these with you during our meeting. These include:
- Small gifts
- Wedding gifts
- Charitable giving
- Gifts from surplus income
- Annual exemptions
- Making use of the Transferable Nil Rate Band and Residence Nil Rate Band
- Potentially exempt transfers
Reliefs for business and agricultural property
- Tax efficient investments
- Using the family home
In addition to inheritance tax advice, there may also be additional concerns you may have, such as provision for guardians for young children, protection for vulnerable beneficiaries or even elderly relatives. All of this will be covered during the same meeting.
What happens after our meeting to discuss my Will?
After the meeting has been concluded, we will then write to you enclosing our firm’s Terms of Business and Letter of Engagement. This letter will confirm all advice provided during our meeting and will also enclose a first draft of your Will. If you are happy with your draft Will at this time, we will then ask to meet with you again at the office to complete the formal signing. During this meeting, we will also act as your witnesses to your Will. If, however, after receiving your draft Wills, you wish to ask further questions, or make any further amendments to your Wills, this is not a problem, and we will be happy to do this for you.
After your Wills have been completed, we are happy to store your Will free of charge in our firm’s secure storage facility.
In addition to meetings at the office, we also offer free home visits and visits to hospices and care homes if required.
We understand how daunting it can be to sit down to discuss your Will and therefore, we will always do our very best to put you at ease and give you the best possible legal advice.
If you would like to speak to us about making your Will, please contact us today.