Everyone should make a Will. The consequences of not doing so can be serious for those concerned. You should not assume that the estate will automatically pass to the surviving spouse if someone dies without having made a Will.
Many people consider they do not need a Will until they approach retirement age. Most people when they first set up home incur considerable obligations and responsibilities both financial and otherwise. Others feel that making a Will is a final step. But you can alter your Will. Indeed you should keep it under constant review to ensure it still meets your needs and wishes and is not affected by new legislation. Wains can advise on long term tax planning both during life and after death which can yield considerable savings for the family.
Wains can advise on all aspects of the preparation of Wills including the appointment of Executors. If requested, Wains can act as Executors. After death Wains can provide the speedy and efficient administration of the estate. This includes:
- Ascertaining and valuing assets as at date of death
- Preparation of papers to lead to Grant of Probate
- Obtaining the probate
- Dealing with assets, turning them into cash or transferring them direct to the beneficiaries
- Paying debts and legacies
- Investigating and resolving any tax queries before distributing the estate to the residuary beneficiaries
Probate is the legal process that deals with the transfer of property and possessions owned by the deceased to their beneficiaries. Here at Wains we can aid in the valuation of an estate, complete the relevant Inland Revenue forms and oaths, acquire the grant of representation and arrange to release the assets and settle any liabilities.
At Wains we understand that after losing someone close it can be difficult to conclude related matters. Probate work has a reputation for being a lengthy procedure. However, Wains will expedite the matter in a speedy and efficient manner so far as is possible and keep clients fully and regularly informed of the position as the matter proceeds.
Our team can assist in obtaining a Grant of Probate. This is in the form of a legal document that proves the person or persons named in it are entitled to collect in and distribute the monies or other assets of the deceased and may be produced to organisations such as banks, building societies, etc holding such assets. Where the deceased died without leaving a will the grant is referred to as letters of administration. We can also aid in the collection and distribution of assets and provide guidance on the possibility of tax savings through a deed of variation.
There are a number of different trust types which our solicitors can administer. Wains can assist you in the formation of a trust designed to hold money during your lifetime by mitigating inheritance tax or ring-fencing money to maintain State benefits.
Lasting Power of Attorney - Property & Affairs / Personal Welfare
Elderly people may require assistance in connection with pensions, residential care and how, if at all possible, to avoid the family home from being used to meet nursing home fees. In the future this will be of even greater importance as more people retire earlier and live longer.
Wains can advise on all such matters of concern. These include advice and preparation of Lasting Powers of Attorney relating to your property and affairs or your personal welfare, or both, and registration at the Office of the Public Guardian. Members of the firm, if required, can act as attorneys if there is no member of the family available for this purpose.
Delay in seeking proper advice can make all the difference between retaining family assets and the peace of mind of the client or losing these and the client suffering hardship. Wains can advise on legislation and many social security regulations which have to be considered and for which local and other authorities sometimes have different interpretations.