Planning for what happens in the event of death is never an easy thing to talk about. However careful preparation for end of life shouldn’t be overlooked and can provide much needed peace of mind that your wishes will be respected once you are gone.

Writing a Will is something most of us won’t consider until later in life. A professionally drafted Will is however, one of the most important documents that an individual can have. A Will clarifies what happens to your assets after you die – who gets what, when they get it and can include details of how assets are managed. Access to DIY Wills both online and via large high street newsagents provide a tempting option, however the devil is in the detail when drafting these documents and a lack of care can often lead to unnecessary problems.

Anyone can make a Will provided they have the necessary capacity, however a Will must comply with certain requirements to be valid. The Linder Myers Trusts and Estates team is experienced in drafting Wills. From a basic Will which will suit most of our clients, through to complex Wills including all possible considerations – our team has the expertise to help.

We can help you with the preparation of:

By making a Will, you can:

  • Choose who will be your executors (the persons responsible for carrying out the administration of your estate) rather than leaving it to chance
  • Choose who benefits under your Will (e.g.. ensure your spouse inherits the whole estate, include the relatives you wish, provide for an unmarried partner,  benefit friends,  leave gifts to charities etc.)
  • Choose the age at which children and/or grandchildren inherit, and create a trust for their benefit
  • Incorporate provisions to reduce the risk of assets being assessed to pay for long term care fees if your spouse requires care
  • Incorporate planning to minimise inheritance tax
  • Deal with ‘special situations’ relevant to you (e.g. assets abroad, ownership of a business, looking after pets or other animals, addressing potential claims against your estate etc.)
  • Include wider powers for the executors and trustees to assist in the administration of the estate and any trusts.

If you do not have a Will the law provides for a set of fixed rules, which govern how a person’s estate will be distributed in the event that they die without a valid Will in place. These are known as Intestacy Rules.

The distribution of an individual’s estate depends entirely upon the number and class of surviving relatives. Key issues which can arise include:

  • If you are married or in a civil partnership, it is not automatic that your estate will pass to your spouse or civil partner
  • The rules make no allowance for friends or charities
  • If you are unmarried but have a partner, then they have no entitlement even if you share a home and irrespective of the length of the relationship

The rules are complex and in certain circumstances could mean the estate is distributed to the Crown.