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When a loved one dies without leaving a valid Will it can cause much heartache and stress at an already difficult time. Making a Will gives you the opportunity to choose what happens to your estate rather than relying on the legal rules which operate on an “intestacy”, which means when no valid Will is left.
Too many people leave making a Will until tomorrow and often leave it too late. With the complexity of a modern family, it is essential to take specialist legal advice when making a Will to ensure that your wishes are carried out, as the outcome of how the estate is divided by intestacy rules may be very different to what you would have wished.
A Will is a document in which a person, called the Testator, appoints Executors to administer their estate after their death. The Executors are in charge of collecting all assets, paying any inheritance tax and distributing the estate to the beneficiaries as per the directions outlined in the Will. The document is signed and witnessed and must comply with certain legal requirements to be valid. It is therefore important to seek legal advice to ensure that your Will is valid.
Why Should I Make A Will?
Everyone should make a Will but more than 50% of the adult population does not. If a valid Will is not made, you die subject to the intestacy rules. These are the statutory rules which have financial constraints and are rigid in their application.
The division of your estate under the intestacy rules depends on your surviving relatives. In the case of a Husband and Wife and two children, if the Husband were to die without a Will then the Wife will receive all the Husband’s personal belongings with a statutory legacy of £270,000 (or everything if the total is less) plus one half of any balance outright. The children will then receive the remaining half of the balance in equal shares. Where a person dies without a Will leaving a spouse but no children or other descendants, the whole estate passes to the spouse.
The intestacy rules do not apply to surviving partners who were not married or in a civil partnership with the deceased, or any stepchildren, therefore making a Will is important to ensure your family members receive their inheritance.
What Can I Include In My Will?
You can choose to give specific items or specific amounts of money to people or charities
If you run a business, alone or in partnership, you can decide what happens to your interest after your death
You may be able to carry out some Inheritance Tax planning
You may be able to mitigate the survivor’s exposure to care home fees
You may be able to pass assets to grandchildren skipping a generation for Inheritance Tax planning
You can leave clear instructions on what should happen to your possessions after your death which may help to avoid disputes
How Much Will It Cost?
Making a standard Will is not as expensive as you think. Our standard charge for a single straightforward Will is £250+VAT. If Wills are required for a married couple or civil partners then our standard charge is £400+VAT (i.e. where Wills are almost identical).
Online Will Instruction
The online Will Instruction enables our solicitors to complete for you a straightforward Will without you leaving the comfort of your own home. Making a straightforward Will with Hegarty Solicitors has been streamlined to give you a simple, cost effective service with the backup of a personal consultation with one of our solicitors if required. This can be done by telephone, email or Skype so you don’t have to visit the office.
To start your online Will simply complete the appropriate Will Instruction form below and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org,email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to discuss any elements before submitting please call either Emma Carter on 01733 295 608 or Martin Banwell on 01733 295 646. If you prefer to complete by hand, please post to: Wills, Trust & Probate Department, Hegarty Solicitors, 48 Broadway, Peterborough. PE1 1YW. Remember to sign and date the declaration at the end of the form.
Unlike other online Wills, our price includes a one to one consultation with a solicitor to ensure peace of mind that your will suits your needs for now and the future. The charge is all-inclusive to enable your final Will to be produced in a way to suit your busy lifestyle.
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