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Most people see making a will as something to leave until later in life or they put it off assuming that it is an expensive process to go through. These days, there is no reason why writing a will should be time consuming or costly. And one thing is for sure: your family will thank you for doing it.
A will is a document that comes into effect when you die. In it, you identify what you want done with your with your property after your death. In it, you appoint individuals or a firm or a bank to be responsible for the administration of your estate in accordance with the terms of your will.
The Will document therefore needs to give them all the powers that they need to do this. It can minimise the effects of taxation, it can include express provisions about the disposal of your body and who you would want to be responsible for the guardianship of your minor children. In short, it enables the Will maker to state clearly the preferred destination of his or her assets.
Without a Will, a set of statutory rules is imposed which effectively leave everything to relatives in a fixed order. For example, a spouse and children would share an estate exclusively if they survived you.
The spouse would be entitled to a fixed statutory legacy and the remainder would be left in two trust funds, partly for the benefit of the spouse and partly for the benefit of the children. These fixed statutory rules do not provide for an unmarried partner, friends or charities that you may have supported. In fact, if you have no close relatives and do not leave a Will, then the whole of your estate will go to the Crown.
These same statutory rules also require specific people to act as the administrators of your estate whether or not they have the necessary skills. This could prove to be traumatic if for example you have been married before and have adult children from your first marriage and are survived only by them and by children from your second marriage. All of them would be equally entitled to act as administrators in your estate. They may not even have met or communicated with one another.
In a recent survey, 67% of people did not know where to find their parents’ Wills. Ten of thousands of estates fall into intestacy each year, which can cause emotional and financial turmoil for loved ones. Ask us to register your will today with the Certainty Wills register. The register lets other solicitors know that your solicitor holds it. This means that when your Will is needed by beneficiaries it is easily traceable and not overlooked. Protect your family now, for the future ……
It’s a simple question! But life is complicated.
Don’t assume that your partner or your children will inherit your worldly goods on your death especially if you are living in an unmarried relationship or you or your partner have children from a previous relationship. They may not be equally entitled.
We have expertise in all aspects of the process, from the preparation of wills to advice on provisions you may wish to make for the management of your estate, finances and assets.
You might also want to discuss trusts with us, to ensure financial responsibilities can be properly fulfilled, or to protect the inheritance of family members, during your lifetime and beyond such as to provide for young children or a disabled person, to save tax or simply to protect your assets in some way after you die.
Whatever your requirements, we’ll work with you to make the best of your assets, planning carefully and intelligently so as to benefit your family as much as possible after your death.
Everyone wants to live a long and active life. But, there may come a time when you may become dependent on others.
You may have made a will expressing what you want to happen to your Estate upon your death but who will make decisions about your affairs if you become mentally incapable ?
A Power of Attorney allows you to choose who is going to make the important decisions on your behalf.
You can appoint a relative, friend or solicitor to act solely or in conjunction with others to make the important decisions that affect your welfare if you cannot. There are a wide range of powers of attorney which we can help to prepare:
Other financial matters affecting elderly people that we can advise on are:
When a person dies, someone has to deal with their affairs. This is called administering the estate.
Except where an estate is very small it is likely that someone will need to be appointed to deal with the Administration of the Estate of the deceased and to deal with payment of any inheritance or other Taxes that may be due.
Hopefully there will be a tax efficient will which might mitigate the Tax liability of the estate. This also sets out whom the deceased intended to be appointed as Personal Representatives to deal with the administration. Where there is no will the law sets out certain categories of people who can apply.
The Personal Representatives of the deceased will usually require a Grant of Representation from the Probate Registry and we can help you with this application.
Administration of Estates can be complicated and may require the preparation and computation of Tax Returns and the division of family assets including land and personal effects and this may be at a time when a family is trying to come to terms with a loss.
We will give you the help and advice that you need. Get in touch with us.
If you decide that managing your affairs is getting too much you can appoint someone else to do it for you using a Power of Attorney. If you choose, we can manage your affairs on your behalf. This can include dealing with your day to day finances, arranging payment of your bills and household expenses, settling your tax position and ensuring that your investments are properly managed.
We will be happy to deal with completing your annual tax return.
When you appoint Beers LLP to manage your affairs you are secure in the knowledge that we have over 100 years experience of helping people in similar situations to yourself and that our management and accounting procedures are approved by the Law Society.
Born in Staffordshire, Sonia relocated to the South West in 2008 to join Beers LLP, becoming a Partner in April 2015. She began her legal career studying with the Institute of Legal Executives qualifying as a Fellow of the Institute in 2009. Sonia then continued her professional development at the University of West of England and qualified as a solicitor in 2011. Sonia’s specialisms include all aspects of Will writing to include the creation of trusts; preparation of General and Lasting Powers of Attorney, Probate, Inheritance Tax advice taxation of trusts and assistance with your financial affairs. Sonia is the Head of the Private Client Department.
Sonia is a fully accredited member of SFE (Solicitors for the Elderly) and a committee member with her local organization, a Dementia Friend and a student member of STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners). Until recently she was an active committee member of Devon and Somerset Law Society.
Away from the office Sonia enjoys spending time with her young family and also has a love of art and antiques.
A law graduate of Bristol University, Michael trained and worked in central London before joining Beers (on a temporary contract!) in 1991. He practises in all aspects of Private Client work, with particular emphasis on older client matters, tax planning, will, trusts and estates, and also has wide experience of property matters including agricultural land and pension fund purchases. Michael is the Deputy Head of the Private Client department.
Naomi qualified as a solicitor in 2011, specialising in all areas of Private Client work to include the preparation of wills, trust creation and trust and estate administration, tax planning, lasting powers of attorney and Court of Protection applications. She joined Beers LLP in August 2016 to enable the firm to offer these services from its Plymouth office. Naomi is an affiliate member of STEP (the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners) working towards full membership, which she hopes to achieve in the near future.
Outside of the office Naomi spends her time attempting to tame two small children and dabbling in a variety of arts and craft pursuits, as well as exploring the beautiful Devon countryside.
Gail originally joined Beers as a legal cashier in the 1980’s. She subsequently trained as a Legal Executive, being admitted as a Fellow in 1997. Gail’s specialisms include Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney, Taxation, Trust and Probate matters.
Kate joined Beers in July 2000 as an office assistant. Since joining Beers she has progressed through the ranks based mainly within the Private Client department. Kate continued her education with the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives and is now an Associate Member of CILEX as well as an Associate Member of the Solicitors for the Elderly. She is presently in the process of completing her final exams to allow her to qualify fully as a Legal Executive.
Kate is part of the team assisting our older clients with the management of their affairs. This can includes dealing with their day to day finances, arranging payment of their bills and household expenses, settling their tax position and ensuring that their investments are properly managed. She also deals with registration of Enduring Powers of Attorney preparation and registration of Deputy Orders and Lasting Powers of Attorney. Kate’s experience within the private client department also enables her to help in the areas of Wills, Administration of Estates, Taxation and the Administration of Trusts.
Established in 1885, today Beers LLP is one of the leading Legal 500 law firms in the South West of England.
29 Fore Street
Tel: 01548 857000
Fax: 01548 852101
North Quay House,
Plymouth , PL4 0RA
Tel: 01752 246000
Fax: 01752 246001
Beers LLP is a Limited Liability Partnership registered in England and Wales authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
Registered Number: OC323091