Wills

Managing your personal affairs and wealth during your own life time and in the event of your death is important so that you can ensure that all of your assets and last wishes are dealt with in the manner that you intended. A Will is an important document and without one your assets, property and money might be distributed according to rules called the ‘Rules of Intestacy’. Our Wills and Probate team can advise you on the type of Will that is appropriate for you and your circumstances.

Why you should make a Will?

Use the Will Checker to see what would happen to your assets if you don’t make a Will.

Contact Hertford Office on 01992 558411

Probate

When a person dies somebody has to deal with their “estate”. A person’s estate is considered to be made up of the money, property and any possessions they had accumulated at the time of their death. The process of Probate involves collecting any money that is owed, settling any debts due (including outstanding taxes) and dividing the estate amongst the respective beneficiaries. Our Wills and Probate team can advise you or act on your behalf in gaining a Grant of Probate.

A guide to handling bereavement and Probate     Click for Help with Legal Terminology

Inheritance tax (IHT) can become an issue when someone dies. It is a one-off tax paid on the value of the deceased’s estate above a set threshold – currently £325,000.

The tax is set at 40% of any value over that threshold, reduced to 36% if more than 10% of the estate is given to charity. To work out how much IHT, if any, needs to be paid, the executors of the estate need to add up the value of all of the assets then subtract any debts, bills and funeral expenses. Inheritance tax fact sheet

In order to dispose of an estate’s assets (whether a Will  has been left or not), it may well be necessary to get a Grant of Probate from the High Court in order to be able to deal with the disposal of their property or to gain access to their bank accounts for example.

A Grant of Probate is simply a document which allows the person named in the Grant to collect in and distribute the estate of the deceased.

Our Wills and Probate team have long experience of providing a caring and sensitive service in obtaining Grants of Probate at a particularly distressing time in your life, and can also act on your behalf in the careful and exact division of the estate.

Trusts

A Trust will allow another person or organisation to hold money or property and also administer it on your behalf.

You may, for example wish to provide someone with a place to live during their lifetime, you may want to provide your children or other relative with a regular income or a lump sum at a certain point in their life.

These and many other circumstances can be covered through the formation of a Trust.

Lasting Powers of Attorney

The day may come when you would like a trusted person to act on your behalf in making decisions to administer your affairs or overseeing to your day to day needs.

This can be done through a Lasting Power of Attorney, this is a document that allows someone to sign cheques or letters on another’s behalf if they were going abroad for some time; it could allow someone to act on your behalf if you became seriously ill, or were mentally incapacitated, all of your interests could be looked after.

We can draw up these types of documents and can also store them safely on your behalf, free of charge, if you wish.

There are two main types of LPA:

  • A Property and Affairs LPA – which allows the person that you appoint to deal with matters relating to your financial affairs, such as administering bank accounts, paying household or medical bills or buying or selling property.
  • A Personal Welfare LPA – that will allow the person you appoint to deal with things relating to your personal health and welfare, including your day to day care

Contact Patrice Lawrence on 01992 558411.