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Writing a will is something you should do at any time, however, the Coronavirus outbreak has served to concentrate minds with regards to this important issue.
Approximately 70% of us die intestate, that is, without a will. Even if you have a will, it is important to update it after a major life event such as buying a home, getting married or getting divorced.
Having an up to date will gives you peace of mind that your wishes will be carried out and your loved ones will be looked after financially. If you die intestate, in many cases your property will not necessarily pass to the people you would have chosen. Your next of kin under the rules of intestacy
will inherit, just because they are nearest to you, even though they may not be your “dearest”.
● A will allows you to decide on how you leave your property on death rather than having this determined by the intestacy rules.
● A will is a flexible instrument, which permits the person making it to make more varied and complex provision than is offered under the intestacy rules.
● You may select your own Executors and Trustees.
● You can incorporate additional powers for your Executors and Trustees
which will facilitate the administration of your estate.
● You may appoint a Guardian for your minor children.
● There may be tax advantages resulting from a carefully drafted will where tax planning through wills is considered in conjunction with wider lifetime tax and financial planning.
● If you are at all concerned about the terms of your current will or the fact that you do not have a will or lasting power of attorney in place, please do get in touch and we can talk you through the next steps.
Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA)
Lasting powers of attorney are legal documents registered with the Court of Protection enabling you to appoint representatives to act on your behalf. These documents ensure that decision making rests with those you trust if you are no longer able to make important decisions yourself. By making a lasting power of attorney, you are able to appoint nominated persons to act on your behalf, should the need arise. You may limit the power to suit your particular circumstances.
There are two different types of lasting power of attorney. One covers property and financial decisions (property and finance) and the other covers decisions about your well being (health and welfare). You are able to make just one or both and you can always make another if needed. Lasting powers of attorney and wills are more often that not regarded as one of life’s administration tasks which can often come at the bottom of the list of those things that we need to do. The current pandemic has brought the need to prioritise this task into “sharp focus”.
We have seen an increase in the number of people getting in contact to write a will or update an existing will.
During the Coronavirus outbreak, there are difficulties to overcome as this area of law is one which usually relies upon face to face meetings between legal advisors and clients. It is also important to have the will legally witnessed.
This may not be easy if you are self-isolating or observing social distancing rules. Wills must be signed by two independent witnesses who are not your beneficiaries or the spouses of your beneficiaries.
Given most of us are restricted to contact with those in our household, this can create some difficulty.
Sussex Law are committed to doing whatever we can to help you in this difficult time.
Our solution has been to take instructions from clients over the telephone or by Skype and then, to act as your witnesses, at your door or through your window observing social distancing measures at all times.
Further precautions include using your own pen, wearing gloves, and conducting the process quickly and washing hands and sanitising.
If you are concerned to get your affairs in order but you are unable or worried about leaving your home, we will do our utmost to help.
Reasons For Making a Will
Please contact our private client manager Sally Taylor or Linda Tomsett if you wish to discuss your Will or LPA’s and find out how we can help you.
Have peace of mind • Protect your assets
Please contact our helpful and friendly
team for more information on 01273 561312
Single Basic Will: £200+ VAT
Joint Basic Will: £350+ VAT
Living Will: £200+ VAT
Trust Wills: starting at £400+ VAT
LASTING POWERS OF ATTORNEY
For a single person
Health & welfare only: £275+ VAT
Property & Financial Affairs only: £275+ VAT
Both Types of LPA: £500+ VAT
The task of administering the Estate of a loved one can seem insurmountable, especially at a time when you may still be coming to terms with your loss. The procedures can be quite complex and there are a number of duties and responsibilities of an Executor you should be aware of.
If you have been appointed as an Executor we can provide assistance with as much or as little of the administration of the Estate as you feel you may require.
If you have acted as an Executor before you may be familiar with the Probate process and simply require assistance in completing the relevant tax returns to be submitted to Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs. Alternatively, you may be able to provide us with the majority of information in connection with the assets and simply require us to obtain the Grant of Probate on your behalf. We can also deal with the administration of an Estate from start to finish if you so wish.
Our charges will be discussed from the outset and if the Estate is not complex we can sometimes agree a fixed fee. We also offer a fixed fee if you only require assistance in obtaining the Grant.
Please contact our Probate Manager, Sally Taylor, if you wish to discuss the administration of an Estate and find out how we can help you.
What is Probate?
The validation of the Will by the Probate Registry confirms the appointment of Executors. The Probate Registry keeps the original Will and issues a sealed copy attached to the Grant of Probate (often called “the Probate”). It is this document which proves the rights of the Executors to deal with the deceased’s estate.
The NHS and Public Health England (PHE) are extremely well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases. The NHS has put in place measures to ensure the safety of all patients and NHS staff while also ensuring services are available to the public as normal. (more…)