Would you like to make a Will for the first time or update an existing Will? Would you like to ensure that the most money possible goes to provide for your family’s future? We can help.
As working careers get longer, house prices increase and we all own more, planning for the future becomes more and more important. Protecting your accumulated wealth, whether for yourself or to pass to your family on your death, needs some basic planning. Sadly many people don’t spend enough time taking some simple and cost effective steps and end up paying too much tax or losing control of their assets.
At Backhouse Solicitors we can help you take those steps with expert legal advice and support. We can help you make a proper, tax efficient Will and ensure that your wishes are properly considered when you die.
Why Make a Will?
Drawing up a Will is generally far more straightforward than most people realise. At Backhouse Solicitors we can prepare a Will for you (and your partner if appropriate) which gives you the reassurance that your money will go to the right people, whether that is your partner, your family, a favourite charity or anyone else.
Here are some of the key benefits from making a Will:
- To give you control over what happens when you die – see our page “What Happens if I don’t make a Will?” which explains the consequences of losing control
- To choose who inherits your estate and when – especially important for unmarried partners who wouldn’t otherwise receive anything
- To choose what happens to your business assets if you are a business owner
- To express your wishes regarding your funeral – for example burial or cremation
- To choose the executors who will carry out your wishes
- To appoint legal guardians for your children
- To prevent all your assets going to pay care home fees
- To minimise the inheritance tax payable on your death
- To give money to charity or other causes outside of your family
- To choose the age at which minors (under 18) should inherit
- To set up trusts where appropriate to look after assets, pay out to beneficiaries over time and minimise tax payable
Why Use Backhouse Solicitors?
At Backhouse Solicitors we have been preparing carefully drafted Wills for over 200 years. One of our expert solicitors will sit with you (and your partner if appropriate) to establish your financial situation and find out what you would like to happen to your assets on death. We will draw up either single or joint wills for you (discounted prices are available for preparing more than one Will), and once signed and witnessed we can store the originals in our strong room for you.
With your permission we will also free of charge register the location of your Will(s) with Certainty, the National Register of Wills. This means that if you move away, lose touch with us or forget to let your family know where your will is stored, it can easily be traced and your wishes carried out.
And here is a final benefit – making a Will with Backhouse Solicitors is probably cheaper than you think. You don’t need to risk using an unqualified, uninsured will writer when our prices start from less than £200.
Updating your Will
Once your Will has been drawn up and stored safely, then we suggest putting a note in your diary to have a 5 minute think about it every year or so. The Government advises that you should review your Will every 5 years and after any major change in your life, but we think that an annual “mental MoT” of your will is best to make sure you don’t forget. Otherwise it’s very easy to leave it in the bottom of a drawer and forget all about it!
Minor changes to your wishes can be made by drawing up a supplementary document called a “codicil” which must be signed and witnessed like the original Will. For major changes however, it is advisable to re-write your Will properly, noting that it supersedes all earlier Wills and then destroying the old versions.
Major changes that would usually prompt a re-write would include:
- Getting divorced or separated from your partner
- Getting married – this automatically cancels any earlier Will so a new one should always be made
- Having children
- Moving house
- If an executor you have name in your Will dies or becomes otherwise unable to act for you
ProtectPlus – A Free Will when you purchase a Lasting Power of Attorney
For complete peace of mind we recommend putting in place a Lasting Power of Attorney at the same time as your will. With our ProtectPlus service you receive a free simple will worth £150 when you purchase one or more Lasting Powers of Attorney, and the more people you protect the more you save.
To find out more, download our ProtectPlus information sheet:
Making a Living Will
A “Living Will” is a commonly used term to describe a document expressing wishes regarding medical treatment. The person signing it requests that certain medical treatment should, or should not, be given in a particular situation if he/she is not able to consent or refuse such treatment at the time.
A Living Will is not actually a Will at all since it doesn’t deal with a person’s property on death. The correct legal term is in fact an “Advance Directive”.
If you wish to make a Living Will to express your wishes, our expert solicitors will be happy to draw it up for you. We do however strongly recommend that you discuss it fully with your doctor beforehand. This will ensure that you understand the possible medical consequences of what you are thinking of including in your Living Will. We also recommend that a copy of your Living Will is sent to your doctor so that it can be placed with your medical records, otherwise it may well overlooked in an emergency.
We understand that making a Will is probably not at the top of your To Do list, and is easy to put off to another day. Let us help you take the first step to properly planning your affairs. Contact Backhouse Solicitors today to book an appointment with one of our expert solicitors.
Tel: 01245 893400
Email: [email protected]
Visit: 17 Duke Street, Chelmsford, CM1 1JU
Or send us a message through the Contact Us page on this website.