Wills

Many people are reluctant to make a Will — some because they do not like contemplating their own deaths; others because they think it is something they can put off until they are older. Not everybody dies of old age. Making a Will can avoid creating additional problems for your family at a difficult time. Without a Will, the law decides who gets what. This may not be what you expect or want. If you have young children you have the opportunity of appointing guardians to take care of them and their interests. If you have made a Will it is important to review it as the law and your circumstances may change. Making a Will can help reduce the amount of inheritance tax payable on your death.

Power of Attorney and Court Protection

A Power of Attorney enables you to delegate decision making to someone, for example, a relative, a friend or business advisor in the event you are unable to act or manage yourself. This could be as the result of either mental or physical incapacity. Lasting Powers of Attorney replaced Enduring Powers of Attorney from 1 October 2007 and allow you to give authority to others to assist in the management of your affairs even in the event of loss of mental capacity. Lasting Powers of Attorney come in two separate versions: one for financial affairs and another for decisions about health and welfare issues, such as long term care. If you have not already signed an Enduring Power of Attorney (which remains valid after 1 October 2007), and you lose mental capacity then you have no say over who is appointed to look after your money and property. If you wish to preserve your right to choose, then call us to arrange to discuss either type of Lasting Power of Attorney.

If you lose mental capacity the Court of Protection may have jurisdiction over your money and property If you haven´t signed an Enduring Power of Attorney or one of the new Lasting Powers of Attorney or if either fails for any reason. We can guide you through the maze that is the Court of Protection.

Saving Tax

We can assist you in considering options that might be available to you to reduce the impact of Inheritance Tax on your family.

A Professionally Drafted Will

A person who dies without a Will this is termed “intestate”, and the distribution of their estate is governed by law. It is a misconception to think that your spouse will automatically inherit your estate on your death.  The law governing intestacy can be complex and can result in a harsh or undesired outcome.

The only way to ensure your estate is left to those you intend to receive it is to leave a Will.

It is possible to write you own Will however we can explain the implications of your choices and ensure that your intentions are legally reflected in the document. Often handwritten Wills or ‘fill in the blanks’ Wills can result in perverse outcomes and certainly not what was intended, whereas a Will drafted by a solicitor can prevent this.  Further, we can advise on the inheritance tax implications of your decisions and offer solutions to protect assets such as your house against the rising costs of care home fees, or ring fencing assets for children of an earlier relationship.

David Barney & Co Solicitors are also a member of Certainty, the national will register, providing our clients with free registration if they want to register their will.  In a survey 67% of people in the UK did not know where to find their parents’ Wills.  The passage of time, house moves, a new Will and new relationships are all contributing factors to your family not knowing where you have stored your Will.  The Certainty register allows family members to trace if a Will is stored with a solicitors firm when someone has died and ensure that the correct Will is traced and the deceased last wishes are respected.

The cost of a professionally drafted Will is often less than anticipated and could save thousands in the long run. Basic Wills start from as little as £140.00+VAT. We also provide a Will and Deeds storage facility free of charge.

Contact

David Tough (ext 239) – davidtough@davidbarney.co.uk