Wills & Estate Planning
Why is making a Will so important?
Your Will is one of the most important documents you will ever sign. It is more than just a piece of paper which sets out what will happen on your death.
A properly drafted Will makes it easier for your family and friends to sort out your affairs after you die and can prevent problems later on. It ensures your assets pass to the individuals you specify and can help reduce your inheritance tax liability. Putting it off doesn’t help anyone.
At Timbrell Law, we ensure the process of making a Will is as straightforward as possible. We will visit you at home or connect with you in whatever way is most convenient.
If you are ready to make a Will, please get in touch. If you are not quite sure, there is plenty of further information about Wills on our blog or our Will FAQs below.
Timbrell Law Solicitors are experts in Wills & Estate Planning. If you would like any further assistance, please don't hesitate to get in touch. We offer free initial consultations for all matters to help you decide how to proceed. We are available on 01242 420744, or you can use our contact form to arrange a free callback at a time to suit you.
What type of Will do I need?
The type of Will you need will depend entirely on your circumstances and what you want to achieve.
Following your free initial consultation, we will be able to recommend a structure based on your wishes and the types of assets you hold.
We commonly advise on the following types of Will:
- Essential Wills – for when your circumstances are straightforward, and you want those inheriting from your estate (“your beneficiaries”) to receive their entitlement outright.
- Wills for second marriages – these Wills are drafted to ensure that the new spouse is provided for, while ultimately protecting the underlying assets for the benefit of other named beneficiaries; for example, children of a first marriage.
- Asset Protection Wills – these Wills are drafted to protect your assets to ensure your beneficiaries receive the maximum benefit possible. For example, Asset Protection Wills can safeguard your beneficiaries’ inheritance until they are mature enough to deal with their entitlement themselves or protect against third party claims, such as on bankruptcy or divorce.
Discounted rates are available for mirror wills for couples. Call us today to find out more.
Instruction meeting or call to discuss your circumstances and wishes
Drafting your Wills with a clear explanatory note
Discussing any changes or queries you may have
Preparing final Wills for Signature
Assisting with execution
Drafting your final wills to incorparate either "second marriage" or "asset protection" trust provisions
Working with you to draft detailed Letters of Wishes addressed to trustees and providing an explanatory note setting out the key terms of your Will Trusts
Frequently Asked Questions - Wills
Do I need a Will?
Signing a Will is about making the lives of those you leave behind easier and protecting their inheritance. Many people do not fully understand how their estate will be divided if they die without a Will. Not making a Will is still a choice and it is important that you understand what will happen on your death.
At Timbrell Law, we believe everyone should make a Will because you never know what is lurking around the corner. Making a Will should be at the forefront of your mind if:
- You own property.
- You own or have an interest in a business.
- You are cohabiting with a long-term partner.
- You are getting married or remarried.
- You are starting a family or have children under the age of 18.
- You are getting a divorce or have separated.
- You want to make gifts to godchildren, wider family, friends or charity.
- You want to skip a generation and provide for your grandchildren.
- Your estate will have to pay inheritance tax.
Can anyone make a Will?
As long as you are over the age of 18 and have the requisite “testamentary capacity”, you can make a Will.
What is wrong with a DIY Will?
If you write a DIY Will the burden is on you to get it right. If your Will is ambiguous, incorrectly signed, fails to deal with your entire estate or attempts to do something not permitted by the law, these failings will only be discovered on your death causing problems for your family and those left to deal with your estate. We explore the potential pitfalls further in our blog.
If you don’t want the hassle of meeting with a solicitor face to face, we can help you prepare a Will remotely and out of office hours. This way you still receive the benefit of a professionally drafted Will, but at your convenience.
What happens to my assets, if I die without a Will?
If you die without a Will, the division of your estate will be governed by the intestacy rules. The resulting effect may not be as you would have wanted, so it is important to be aware of the position. These rules also determine who has the authority to administer your estate.
What do executors do?
Your executors are responsible for administering your estate after your death. They will need to notify third parties, collect in details of the assets and liabilities in your estate, apply for a grant of probate, inform the beneficiaries of their entitlement, collect in your assets, settle any debts, taxes, legacies, funeral and administration expenses and distribute the remainder in accordance with your Will.
Your executors might be family members, trusted friends or professionals, such as a solicitor or accountant. Where you appoint non-professionals, there is nothing to prevent them seeking advice at the time. For details of how Timbrell Law supports executors, click here.
Can I include funeral wishes in my Will?
Yes, you can include funeral or cremation wishes in your Will. These wishes will not be binding but are normally followed where possible.
What type of gifts can I make under my Will?
Under your Will you can make specific gifts of property, personal possessions or cash.
Can a Will help protect my property against care home fees?
For couples, protection against care fees can be obtained through Asset Protection Wills. If you would like to know more, please get in touch.
I don’t have a significant amount of money, should I bother with a Will?
The simple answer is yes. Whilst you may not have a large estate now, this could change in the future. You should also consider any death in service benefits and life assurance that may pay out on your death.
My children are still young, should I wait until they are 18 to prepare a Will?
For parents of children under the age of 18, the best way to appoint legal guardians for your children is through your Will. This ensures that should something happen to you, the legal guardians chosen will have parental responsibility immediately and be able to concentrate on looking after your children.
When is a Will valid?
A Will is valid from the date it is signed providing it is executed properly. All Wills prepared by Timbrell Law include clear signing instructions and are checked by a professional after you have signed.
Where should I keep my Will?
It is incredibly important to keep your original Will safe so that your executors can prove your Will on your death. Wherever you store your Will you must consider the risk of fire, flooding and theft. Timbrell Law offers storage of original documents for an annual fee.
How often should I review my Will?
You should review your Will whenever your personal circumstances change. We make sure to stay in touch with our clients to make changing your Will as easy as possible.
Home visits are available in Cheltenham, Gloucester, Tewkesbury, Cirencester and the surrounding villages. Evening and weekend appointments are also available on request.
If you live further afield, we would still be happy to help. Please get in touch today for our online services.
Still Looking For More Information?
If you need more information to decide on which Will or Estate Planning option is right for you, then why not read some of our related Wills and Estate Planning blog posts for additional helpful insights.