Frequently asked questions
Q: WHY MAKE A WILL?
Without a Will, the State decides who will inherit your property – it could pass to unintended people; your spouse may receive far less than expected; an unmarried partner is entitled to NOTHING of your personal estate.
Without a Will, the Courts decide who will look after your children – they could be placed into care or with foster parents.
A Will ensures that your wishes are carried out.
YOU decide who will inherit your property.
YOU decide who will look after your children and protect their inheritance.
YOU can protect your property from being seized by the State if your surviving spouse or partner needs Long Term Care after your death.
YOU can ensure that the estate of the first parent to die’s estate passes to your children when the survivor dies, instead of it accidentally being inherited by a future spouse or partner, whilst allowing him or her full access during survivorship.
Most of all, YOU can protect the future well-being of your family (and not only its financial well-being but its harmony) – by reducing the distress after your death, enabling your family to avoid arguments and wind up your estate quickly and efficiently.
Q: WHY SHOULDN’T I WRITE MY OWN WILL?
A Will is an important legal document. It might be your largest financial transaction.
Will writing is often difficult because the law governing Wills (to say nothing of the tax and property laws which must usually be considered) is complex.
So don’t risk your loved ones’ financial future by trying to write your own Will. Even one word out of place could prove disastrous. An unfair or inadequate Will can cause lasting grievances, which can be very expensive and time consuming to rectify or contest, with an uncertain outcome.
An experienced professional Will writer should take into account all contingencies that may occur, many of which you may not have even thought about. And, with the Inheritance Planning Company, your beneficiaries will also enjoy the security of being protected by adequate Personal Indemnity Insurance (a minimum of £2,000,000.00 cover for each Will).
Q: Why use The INHERITANCE PLANNING COMPANY LTD?
We are specialists in both inheritance planning and estate administration. We have no other disciplines. Every will is prepared by a lawyer of considerable experience.
Before we prepare your will, we will look at your assets wealth, family situation, and objectives. We can provide guidance and solutions to various conundrums. We take responsibility for our advice and implementation.
Our professional service can advise clients beyond simply administering and winding up an estate. We add value by:
- Removing as many problems from our clients as possible by being efficient and dependable,
- Communicating what, why and when we do things on your behalf,
- Distilling advice that makes a difference to their future,
- Making savings for clients where possible, e.g. Minimising inheritance tax,
- Ensuring that the deceased’s Will is appropriate for the beneficiaries,
- Ensuring that the beneficiaries’ estate planning is in order.
Q: HOW MUCH WILL IT ALL COST?
Very little compared to the eventual saving in time, money and distress. Our fees depend on:
– the complexity of your Will
– the time involved.
Once we know your requirements, we will be happy to provide you with a quote before you incur any expense. To receive a quotation, please email us giving as much information as you can about your requirements. If you would like someone to call you to discuss your requirements, please email us with your phone number and an appropriate time when you can be contacted and an advisor will call you.
Q: WHAT HAPPENS IF I GET MARRIED AFTER MAKING MY WILL?
Your Will is automatically revoked (made null and void) by a subsequent marriage, unless it was made specifically in expectation of that marriage. If you do intend to get married, we can draw up your Will in such a way that it will not be revoked when that marriage takes place.
If you need to make a new will, please contact us
Q: WILL MY WILL STILL BE EFFECTIVE AFTER A DIVORCE?
Yes – in part. For the purposes of a Will, a divorced spouse is treated as having died on the date of the Decree Absolute. This means that any gifts to him or her will fail and pass to substitute beneficiaries. Also his or her appointment as an executor will also fail.
It is prudent to review your Will after a divorce because your circumstances will almost certainly have changed substantially.
Q: CAN I CHANGE MY WILL?
Yes, your Will does not affect your right to deal with your property during your lifetime. Accordingly, you can change your Will as often as you like.
Q: WHAT HAPPENS IF I NO LONGER OWN SOMETHING MENTIONED IN MY WILL?
If an item mentioned in your Will is given away during your lifetime, the gift in your Will fails, but your beneficiary will not have any claim against you or your estate.
Q: WHAT HAPPENS IF A BENEFICIARY DIES?
It is generally a good time to review your will. It may not need to be changed but sometimes the death of a beneficiary can lead to a partial intestacy if there are not substitute beneficiaries.
Q: WHAT DO THE EXECUTORS AND TRUSTEES DO AND WHOM SHOULD I APPOINT?
There are generally three stages to the executor’s role:
- To inform necessary parties, value the assets and liabilities of the deceased and once complete,
- To apply for the Grant and submit an Inheritance Tax return. Once the Grant is obtained,
- To collect in the assets and pay off any debts and distribute the surplus according to the will.
Executors are often the beneficiaries. Naturally it should be someone you trust. Up to 4 executors can prove your will.
Trustees are those who manage the trusts within a will. There must be a minimum of two trustees where there is a trust.
The executors and the trustees are often the same people. You can also appoint professional s to act in either role if the duties are burdensome or complex. Alternatively, your executors and trustees can go to a professional for help when the time arises.
The Directors of Inheritance Planning Company can act as executors and trustees or advisers to them. The reason to appoint us is to optimise tax and ensure that your estate and trusts are protected for the benefit of your family or chosen beneficiaries.
Q: WHEN ARE GUARDIANS NEEDED AND WHOM SHOULD I APPOINT?
Generally, the appointment of Guardians only has effect if both parents have died while one or more of their children are still under the age of 18. The role of Guardians is to assume parental responsibility for the child, to their ensure safe upbringing and that the child is properly clothed, fed, housed and educated and to take legal decisions on behalf of the child – such as giving consent to hospital treatment.
Who to appoint as Guardians is probably the most important decision in making your will. Ideally, Guardians should be persons of a similar age to yourselves whom you would trust to look after your children in the same way as you have.
As with the choice of Executors, our consultants will be happy to discuss this with you and offer further advice if needed.