We spend so much of our adult lives working hard to build a home, a family and the means to support ourselves and our families as comfortably as we can, and yet the very thought of making a Will can be a daunting one.
Some of us tend to think that making a Will is something we can simply put off until we are older, or we think we don’t need a Will simply because we have made incorrect assumptions about what will happen to our property when we pass away.
In fact, recent statistics show that nearly 60% of the adult population of the UK have not made a Will. By making a Will now, you can help your loved ones avoid so much heartache, stress and even financial difficulty later on and you can ensure that everything you own and have worked so hard for throughout your life will be distributed in the way that you want. If you die without a valid Will, the law (not you or your family) will determine who should receive everything you own.
A professionally written Will is the only way of guaranteeing that everyone will be looked after in the way you want them to be. Here at hpjv, you can be assured of a friendly, professional and sympathetic service. Our primary objective will be to tailor your Will to your individual circumstances, thus giving you peace of mind in knowing that your Will is legally valid and that your wishes will be followed.
In fact, we will not only draft your Will for you – we will also ensure the final version is lawfully witnessed and signed and we will safely store the original for you if you want us to. We can also arrange to register your Will on a national Will database for a fee.
Get in touch with our lawyers in Newport who can help yo today.
We can speak with you either by phone or at our offices, to take instructions and advise you as to the type of Will that best suits your needs.
We are able to arrange home and hospital visits for an extra cost. There will be no extra cost (subject to location) for clients with a disability or who would otherwise be unable to attend our offices.
What type of Will do I need?
We offer three different types of Will, each of which we then tailor to your individual circumstances and wishes to protect you, your family and your assets for the future.
This is our simple, basic Will which provides for:
This is a more complex Will which includes all the features of the Simple Will together with other features, such as:
Financial Complex Will
We recommend this Will for those of our clients who have more complex financial circumstances. It will include the features of our Simple Will and Complex Will but also safeguards your interests and assets where, for example, you own (or have shares in) a business, you have property abroad or the value of your assets is likely to be above the Inheritance Tax threshold and where more specialized advice is required to minimize the impact of that tax.
How much will it cost for me to make a Will?
Our Simple Wills costs £150 (exclusive of VAT) and for a couple wanting a mirror Will we charge £225 (exclusive of VAT). No charge is made for lifetime storage of your Will.
Our Complex Wills costs £250 (exclusive of VAT) and for a couple wanting a mirror Will we charge £385 (exclusive of VAT). No charge is made for lifetime storage of your Will.
Our Financial Complex Wills will be charged at an hourly rate (exclusive of VAT). No charge is made for lifetime storage of your Will.
Top 10 reasons to make a Will
1. You will have complete freedom over who inherits your estate
In England and Wales, you have testamentary freedom to leave your money and property to whomever you choose. However, only by making a Will can you ensure the correct people inherit from your estate.
2. You can avoid legal disputes
One of the greatest benefits of leaving a Will is certainty. When you have clearly set out your wishes for how you want your estate to be distributed after you die, it is very difficult for anyone to challenge your wishes. This can prevent disputes arising amongst your family after you are gone.
3. You can reduce Inheritance Tax
Inheritance Tax could eat up to 40% of your estate (above your tax-free threshold) after you die. However, using your Will and other estate planning mechanisms, you can structure and arrange your estate to reduce the amount of Inheritance Tax that will fall due.
For example, leaving your estate to your spouse or civil partner, or leaving the family home to your children or grandchildren can help reduce Inheritance Tax.
4. You can choose who deals with your estate
After you pass away, someone must take on the responsibility of administering your estate. If you leave a Will, the people you appoint are called Executors. Their responsibilities will include getting the estate valued, selling your property, calculating and paying Inheritance Tax, and distributing the remaining inheritance to the Beneficiaries. You can appoint anyone to be an Executor and it is important to choose someone you trust to take on the task.
If you do not leave a Will, only certain people are allowed to administer your estate. Usually this will be your next of kin and not someone you would have necessarily chosen yourself. For example, unmarried partners cannot apply to administer your estate.
5. You can appoint guardians for your children
If you have young children, it is important to think about what will happen to them in the event that you and their other parent die while they are still under the age of 18. You can use your Will to appoint someone you trust to be their guardian and take care of them if the worst should happen.
6. You can ensure your unmarried partner inherits
If you are unmarried but do not leave a Will, your partner will not be allowed to inherit money or property that you own in your sole name. Under the Rules of Intestacy (which set out who can inherit if a person dies without making a Will), only married spouses and civil partners are allowed to inherit (and in some circumstances children and other relatives).
7. You can protect the family home
Following on from the previous reasons above, you can only ensure your home is left to the person/people you want most to inherit (for example, an unmarried partner or step children) by making a Will.
8. You can disinherit people who would otherwise inherit
If there are certain people in your life you would rather not benefit from a lifetime of hard work, such as estranged children or other relatives, you are entitled to exclude them from your Will. If you don’t leave a Will, you cannot ensure that these people will not inherit.
It is possible for disinherited family members to start legal action, but the bar for proving they require a proportion of your assets is high and difficult to overcome. Therefore, you can write your Will sufficiently confident that it will protect your interests. We will also provide legal advice if there are any concerns about disinherited family members taking legal action.
9. You can avoid a lengthy probate process
The majority of estates need to go through the probate process, whether the deceased leaves a Will or not. If you leave a Will, the process becomes much easier because your wishes will be clearly set out, including the person/people you want to take on the responsibility of Executor.
If you do not leave a Will, someone still needs to deal with your estate but they will need to apply to become an Administrator. This process, and the process of distributing assets according to the Rules of Intestacy, can cause lengthy, unnecessary delays.
10. You can make gifts to charity
The Rules of Intestacy do not allow any legacy donations, even if you enthusiastically supported specific charities during your lifetime. If you want to leave any money to charity, you will need to write a Will. Leaving charitable donations may also reduce Inheritance Tax on the entirety of your estate.