Wills & Trusts

Why do I need to write a Will?

If you do not write a Will, your estate will be distributed under the Administration of Estates Act 1925. This would mean your wishes as to who gets what would most likely not be met.

When should I write my Will?

As the saying goes ‘There is no time like the present’ and it is always better to be prepared in the event of anything unfortunate or sudden happening. Once your Will is written it is then easy to keep it up to date with any changes you wish to make such as marriage, births, divorce or death.

Can’t I just buy a DIY Will kit?

You could, but you run the risk of writing a Will that is invalid. With our professional assistance you can rest assured that your Will is valid and meets all the legal requirements.

Do I need to set up separate Trusts?

It is possible to add Trust clauses to your Will so on first death at least half your estate will be safeguarded. You may also want to protect your assets and ensure they are distributed to your amongst your family members according to your requirements. Talk to us, we can help with these decisions.

What is a ‘Letter of Wishes’?

A letter of wishes is primarily for your executors to understand your thoughts and wishes after you are gone. It is also helpful to leave a financial summary with your Will. It is never too early to make a Will but often too late.

Please do not hesitate to contact Tim Poole on 01736 758418 or 07900 323939 for clear, unbiased advice in confidence.

Funeral Plans

Are there any advantages to forward planning?

Traditionally the costs of funerals have risen well above the rate of inflation. A funeral that cost £950 10 years ago costs £3,500 today.

Is it possible to arrange my funeral now? Yes! Over 300,000 people have already purchased pre-pay funeral packages. 

Yes. Alongside the cost saving, it will relieve your bereaved family members of the additional responsibility of arranging your funeral – especially stressful in the circumstances and particularly so for elderly or infirm relatives. You get to choose where you would prefer to be buried or cremated and what can happen to your ashes. You have the luxury of time to shop around for the best value package for you – something your relatives will not have in the event of your death.

The purchase of a pre-paid funeral plan may reduce your capital savings and therefore you may now be entitled to (or an increase in) state benefits. Saving you and your family money in the long run. As mentioned previously, funeral costs rise sharply each year, buying now will ensure you still have the funeral you want at today’s costs.

Can I arrange my funeral through you?

Yes. We are proud to be associated with Golden Leaves. The Golden Leaves Company are a member of the National Association for Pre-paid Funeral Plans and are also registered with the Funeral Planning Authority giving you total confidence that all our work is carried out within a strict code of conduct. We can offer you a range of wholly ethical and reliable funeral plans at a reasonable cost and you can pay for your funeral in one lump sum or in monthly instalments, whichever is most convenient for you.

Probate & Estate Administration

When somebody dies, there are a number of legal formalities that need to be dealt with. It can be extremely distressing to have to deal with these matters on your own and many people do not know where to turn for help. It can also be extremely expensive. TP Wills offers personal, practical and straightforward assistance to help you through this, whether you require full administration of the estate, or simply guidance.

There is no charge for an initial meeting and no obligation to proceed with our help. There is no minimum fee either, so you really can just seek our help with the smallest of queries.

If you would like to know more about Probate & Estate Administration, or would like to arrange a free no obligation meeting with Tim Poole, please call 01736 758418 or 07900 323939

Inheritance Tax
Under current legislation, you are allowed to leave only part of your estate to your beneficiaries without inheritance tax becoming payable on your death. Your estate is made up of everything you own including your property, savings, investments, cars and personal belongings. The inheritance tax rate is currently 40% on everything above the threshold of £325,000 per person (2017/18 tax year). This tax is payable by your beneficiaries and is due before your estate has been distributed.
Through careful planning within your Will, we can try to reduce the amount of tax payable by your beneficiaries.
If you would like to know more about inheritance tax planning, please contact Tim Poole at TP Wills to arrange a free, no obligation meeting on 01736 758418 or 07900 323939
Sideways Disinheritance

If you are considering writing or have already written your first will and have left your estate to your partner, you must consider the possibility that if they remarry, the whole estate will be left to them and your own children could end up disinherited.

What can I do to prevent this happening?

There are two options: The first is to set up a life interest trust on the first partners death or the second (and preferred option) is to put all of your assets (either individually or together) into a trust now to protect your children’s entitlements.

Please feel free to contact us to talk this through in greater detail.

Care Home Fees
“Half of women and a third of all men will require some form of long term care” – Andy Burnham, Health Secretary – 14/7/2009.
We are an aging population and Help the Aged predict the above figure could rise to 1 in 2 people.
 
Will you be forced to sell your home to pay for your care?
 
Each year, many thousands of people are forced to sell their home to pay for residential care because they are no longer able to manage living by themselves.
 
If you need care, and have assets (including the value of your property) of over £14,250, then you are required to meet the costs.
Average care home fees are £35,000 per annum (2017 – Age Concern) so your savings can very quickly diminish.
 
People often think they can simply sign their property over to their children, and give their other assets away in order to avoid care costs. This is not the case, as the local authority will treat this as deliberate deprivation.
 
Giving away property and other assets will leave you extremely vulnerable to the changing financial fortunes of your family members – a bankruptcy, divorce, or premature death could mean your house has to be sold. You are also giving your family a potentially sizeable Capital Gains Tax problem, and any gift also has Inheritance Tax implications.
If you would like to know how to protect your assets whilst retaining control of them, please contact Tim Poole at TP Wills to arrange a free, no obligation meeting on 01736 758418 or 07900 323939
Relative Claims

Your Will can be contested by anyone under the Inheritance Act 1975. This is likely to be the case if you have not been considered to have left reasonable provision for your spouse, civil partner and dependant children. You may also face contest from cohabitees or other dependants provided you have lived or been together for at least 2 years.

If there is someone you do not wish to include in your Will, please contact us to discuss the options available. We can suggest an alternative solution such as a Trust in order to prevent any future claims that may be successful.

Document Storage

Keeping your documents safe

What happens with my Will when I die? The Probate Registry require your executors to produce your original/most recent Will after your death. Should your Will have been mislaid or lost, the court will presume that your Will is no longer valid and you did not intend it for use in the event of your death. If this happens, a former Will may be used or the laws of intestacy could apply. It is important that the Will you intend to use in the event of your death is kept in perfect condition. Should the Will be damaged, questions may be raised by the court as to the nature and reason of the damage, which could lead to the Will being rejected by the court. 

So, where to keep your Will? Most of us would assume that keeping a Will at home would be the safest place. In fact, keeping your Will at home could easily lead to it getting lost, misplaced or damaged e.g .when moving house. Statistics show that each year alone there are in excess of 1 million burglaries and over 64,000 house fires, coupled with the rising flood risks , this all leads to the uncomfortable conclusion that documents you think may be safe, probably aren’t.

But don’t panic, we can arrange for fully insured, secure storage for all your important documents. You can therefore have peace of mind that your documents will remain safe, undamaged and in no danger of falling into the wrong hands.

How can I access my documents? You and your chosen executor will be issued with identity cards. If you or they require access to your documents, simply call us and we will arrange this for you.

  • Security of a specialist document archive
  • Safe and confidential storage
  • Secure against water damage
  • Secure against fire damage
  • Fully insured

Wherever you decide to store your Will and other important documents, always make sure that your executors know exactly where to find them.

Advance Decisions

An Advance Decision (formerly known as a Living Will) is a legal document which allows you to refuse life-sustaining treatment should you no longer be able to communicate your wishes. An Advance Decision allows you to:

  • make choices about the level of medical treatment that you receive if you suffer from a life-threatening illness or condition in the future
  • appoint somebody to take part in medical decisions on your behalf should you become unable to do so
  • make statements about the treatment that should be delivered, for consideration by those delivering it

If you would like to know more about Advance Decisions, please do not hesitate to contact Tim Poole on 01736 758418 or 07900 323939

Power of Attorney

A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document which allows you to appoint members of your family or friends to make decisions on your behalf should you become unable to do so for yourself.

You might think that this is only relevant as you get older, but sadly, an accident or illness can strike any of us without warning.

Without a Lasting Power of Attorney, your family do not automatically have the legal authority to deal with any of your financial affairs should you become either physically or mentally incapacitated. This means that no one will be able to access or deal with your bank account, savings, investments, pensions, tax, property, or take care of any of your bills or loans.

If no Lasting Power of Attorney is in place, your family must make an application to the Court of Protection in order for a ‘deputy’ to be appointed to manage your affairs. This process is extremely costly, and can take many months.

A Lasting Power of Attorney must be set up whilst you have the mental capacity to understand the scope and implications.

There are two different types of Lasting Power of Attorney:

Property & Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney

In the event that you become physically or mentally unable to manage your own affairs, this gives the people you appoint (your attorneys) the right to make decisions regarding your financial affairs and assets, such as your house, savings, investments or any business interests you may have. It will allow your attorneys wide powers, including the ability to manage your bank accounts, buy or sell property on your behalf, deal with your investments, pay your bills, and receive any income or inheritances due to you.

Health & Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney

This type of Lasting Power of Attorney can only be used after you have lost mental capacity and allows the people you choose (your attorneys) the power to make decisions regarding your personal welfare, such as deciding where you should live, your day-to-day care, and it also allows them to consent to your medical treatment.

Both types of Lasting Power of Attorney must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before they can be used.

If you would like to know more about Lasting Powers of Attorney, or would like to arrange a free no obligation meeting with Tim Poole, please call 01736 758418 or 07900 323939