Wills

Your expert Family Lawyer for Wills Cardiff

Far too often, we encounter clients faced with expensive and distressing conflict or unmet needs because of the failure of loved ones to make a will or keep one up to date. Many people do not realise that certain important events can trigger the need to make a new will. Buying a property, the birth of a child, cohabitation (moving in with a new partner) marriage / civil partnership , divorce , separation ,starting your own business or significant change in your financial circumstances or those of your loved ones are all times to consider making a new will. This does not have to cost a lot especially if your finances are uncomplicated.

It is important to make a will, whatever your age or financial circumstances, particularly if you have children under the age of 18 and/or are not married to your life partner.

A professionally written will is the surest way to affect your wishes for distribution of your property to your loved ones or charities of your choice. Using a self-made will or employing a will writer of uncertain professional qualification, could result in technical mistakes in a will which could create more problems for your Executors and intended beneficiaries than not having a Will at all or worse still, see your Estate eaten up in the cost of litigation and legal fees that could have been avoided by a properly written will.

If you marry (unless your will states it was made in contemplation of marriage) any will which predates the marriage becomes automatically invalid. If you get divorced, it is also advisable to review your will both on separation pending divorce and after the divorce and finances are settled.

Having a valid Will ensures that your Assets will pass on your death to those who you would want to take care of and make financial provision for, as opposed to your assets and wealth being distributed according to the rules of intestacy.

The Rules of Intestacy written in 1925, aim to take care of spouses, civil partners, children ( including adopted children) , parents, more remote family relations. The rules make no provision for unmarried cohabitees, pets or other loved ones unrelated by blood and charities.

The total of all these assets is added to the chargeable value of any gifts made within seven years of the death to work out the amount on which inheritance Tax is charged.

In your will, you can name up to 4 individuals as Executors and Trustees to deal with the administration of your Estate (property and possession) and where necessary look after such financial provision that you might wish to make for young, immature, incapable or vulnerable loved ones.

A will can also make provision for protecting your wealth for your surviving family members, planning to reduce inheritance tax and addressing the issue of residential care.

If you have parental responsibility for any children, you will need to consider who you would want to look after your children in the event that your children’s other parent does not survive you or is  otherwise unable to parent the children . You can appoint a Guardian or two in your Will to ensure the decision as to who will look after your children in the unfortunate event of them being orphaned is not left entirely up to the discretion of the Court. The Court will have the benefit of your wishes for the choice of Guardians for your Children in the event that the matter needs to be addressed by the Court.

It is essential that the person or people you choose as Guardians have agreed to be appointed as such, and that they are suitably responsibly people who are known to the children and are able to offer a stable home environment for the children to be raised in. Guardians will be responsible for making routine decisions about the children’s health, welfare, education, upbringing and their daily care.

We at Rebecca Oakley Family Law Solicitors can assist you in the professional preparation of suitable Will for a fixed fee based on your needs and circumstances. If you have more complex financial arrangements, we will work alongside professional Tax Experts to ensure you Will meets all your requirements.

We will register your will with Certainty.co.uk the professionally recognised national Wills register, to give you peace of mind in the knowledge that your Will can be found if its location is ever forgotten over the passage of time.

Registering your Will with Certainty is uncomplicated and effective. It is a fact that not being able to locate a Will causes untold distress and the potential financial loss for a family, or beneficiaries.

The cost of a one-off fee for registration of your Will is included in the costs that we quote you for the preparation of your will. There are no on-going or further annual registration charges.

Glossary

Assets : Possessions which have value, such as a house, land, cash or securities.

Beneficiaries: For inheritance tax purposes, a beneficiary is a person or organisation which receives property, or gets some benefit from, a will, intestacy or trust.

Trust: An obligation binding a person who holds the legal title, the trustee, to deal with the property for the benefit of another person; the beneficiary.

Trustee: The person who holds the legal title to settled property and who is obliged to deal with the property for the benefit of the beneficiaries.

Settled property: The property which a person puts into trust for successive beneficiaries is known as the trust fund or.

Executor/s

People who administer a deceased person’s estate in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and are named in the will.

Estate

From 22 March 2006, a person’s estate is made up of assets in the sole name of the deceased, their share of any jointly owned assets, assets held in a trust in which the deceased had an immediate post-death interest, a disabled person’s interest, or a transitional serial interest any ‘nominated’ assets, and any assets they have given away, but kept an interest in.
the value of an alternatively secured pension fund (ASP) from which the deceased benefited as the original scheme member, or as a dependant who received benefits from the left over ASP fund of an original scheme member.

In both cases, the total of all these assets is added to the chargeable value of any gifts made within seven years of the death to work out the amount on which tax is charged. For more information about composition of an Estate, please contact Rebecca Oakley Family Law Solicitors free of charge.