WILL WRITING & ESTATE PLANNING

Will Writing & Estate Planning

Around 60% of the UK population do not have a will, believing that their estate will automatically go to their loved ones. Many people do not realise the issues of dying intestate and the problems this causes for the family or friends left behind to deal with their affairs. Too many people hide their head in the sand, not wishing to acknowledge that death is a certainty for us all. 

 

Why do I need a will?

A will is a legally binding document. Writing a Will means for your family the process of finalising your affairs will be simpler, easier, and much less stressful. 

 

A Will give you certainty and peace of mind over several areas of your life and finances including-

 

  • Who will have legal guardianship of your children? If you have not made suitable provision, it will be left to the courts to decide. 

  • Arranging trusts for the money left to children, you can decide at what age they would have access to the money.

  • If you have stepchildren, who are not legally recognised as your children, you can leave a legacy to them. 

  • Who will benefit from your estate? If for example, you are not married, it is essential to consider who would be your beneficiary. Your live-in partner is not automatically entitled to benefit from your estate. 

  • Reduce Inheritance Tax Liability. 

  • Leave a gift to a charity.

  • Ensure specific items and possessions, for example, your car, jewellery, family heirlooms or furniture are left to the people you wish to gift them to.

  • Make provisions for your pets. You can name who will take care of them and any financial arrangements regarding their welfare. 

  • Clear directions about your funeral wishes. 

 

What happens if I do not have a will?

Without a Will, the law decides who decides how your estate is distributed, and this means this might not be in line with your wishes.

Having a Will in place will also help:-

  • Avoid family disputes.

  • You can arrange trusts for loved ones, including partners, children, and dependents with additional needs. Without a Will, if you have dependent children, you will not have a say in their care. A Will enables you to appoint Official Guardians, so this ensures your wishes are considered.

  • The probate process will be far lengthier if you do not have a Will. 

 

 What are executors?

Executors are persons you have named in your Will, so consider this carefully who will handle your estate.

The executors are responsible for administering your wishes in your Will. We would advise at least two people.

 

Why do I need a professional to draw up my Will?

You can draw up a Will yourself; however, you may make mistakes rendering the Will invalid. Gaining advice from an expert is essential. The information and guidance will help you make the right decisions for your circumstances. 

 

At Cruze Financial Solutions we have years of experience. Our will writers are fully accredited, insured and trained by the New Leaf Will Writers Federation. Plus, we are also affiliate members of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners for added peace of mind. 

 

When you book a consultation with us to arrange your Will, we will go through a step-by-step process. This will include several detailed questions with you to ensure that your requests are documented. We will also be able to advise what you cannot include in your Will and ensure the Will is compliant with English law (Scotland has different laws on Wills) 

 

How do I validate my Will?

Once your Will is prepared, you will need to get the Will witnessed and dated. The Will must be signed and dated by you in the presence of two adults, independent witnesses, and then signed by the two witnesses in your presence. Please note that the witnesses cannot be people who are going to inherit anything from you or their husband/wife or civil partner.

 

Frequently asked questions about wills.

I have remarried since writing my Will, is it still valid?

No, you will need to make a new will.

I have just got divorced do I need to make a new will?

Once your divorce is finalised your ex-spouse will no longer be a beneficiary, but it is best practise to update your will and be clear on what you want to happen. While separated it is important to revise your will and make it clear that you do not want your spouse to inherit in case something happens before your divorce is finalised.

 

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

This is sometimes referred to as a living Will (LPA) as this document enables your chosen representative to deal with your affairs while you are still alive.

Meaning in the event of illness, injury or any form of incapacitation your appointed person will be able to deal with your financial and health affairs on your behalf. An LPA must be drawn up when you have mental capacity and cannot be done once lost. Less than 1% of the population have an LPA in place. 

  

There are two types of LPA’s 

Health: The health LPA covers decisions about your health and welfare. 

Financial – this LPA authorises your appointed person to handle your financial affairs, and this will include access to your bank accounts, any investments, pay your bills and manage your property affairs.

 

Why do I need an LPA?

Without a Lasting Power of Attorney your family, even your spouse will need to apply to the Court of Protection to have a deputing appointed to deal with your financial affairs.

This can be very time consuming and expensive, often running into thousands of pounds. Whilst this is being applied for accounts will be frozen, and it may even be difficult to withdraw money from the bank account to pay bills and other essentials.

If you do not have an LPA, you cannot control who may be appointed to handle your affairs. 

 

How do I set up a Last Power of Attorney?

 

We offer a full certification service for Lasting Power of Attorney.

Our service includes collating the information and submitted it to the court. 

 

Get in touch now to arrange your Will and Last Power of Attorney.

 

Do not leave decisions to people you do not know!

Ensure your wishes are known and documented

Make sure the people you love benefit from your estate.

Ensure your estate is tax efficient.

 

Create your Will now! 

When you leave this world, depart with peace of mind, knowing you have not left a nightmare behind for your friends and family to deal with! 

WILL WRITING IS NOT REGULATED BY THE F.C.A