Wills

If you have not made your Will, we strongly advise that you do so in order that your assets pass in accordance with your wishes. It is a common misconception that a spouse/civil partner will inherit all assets even if there is no Will. If you are not married or in a civil partnership, then your partner will not inherit at all unless provision is made for them in a Will.

If you are in a second relationship and perhaps have children from a previous relationship or step children, we can assist with preparing a Will that will both provide for your new spouse/partner and also protect your children's inheritance.

A Will is central to your overall tax planning strategy, especially if you wish to keep Inheritance Tax to a minimum. We can help you to protect your assets with careful and specific tax planning arrangements. We can advise on the best ways to pass on your assets to your dependents and others and any charitable organisations. We can also advise with regard to mitigating your liability towards care home fees.

We can assist with the following, and should your particular concern not be mentioned below, please do contact us:-

  • Preparing/updating your Will
  • Effects of re-marriage/position of unmarried partners
  • Inheritance Tax planning
  • Care home fee planning
  • Advising on charitable gifts, inheritance and intestacy
  • Current and future tax liability
  • Deeds of Variation
  • Disputed Wills
  • Living Wills (also called Advance Directives)

We can store your Will and other documents free of charge and provide you with copies.

Should a home or hospital visit be necessary, this can be easily arranged. We are also more than willing where possible to see people at very short notice if an urgent Will is required for deteriorating health reasons.

Powers of Attorney

You need to consider what will happen to your dependents and assets, the effect on your business and your liability to taxation should you not be able to manage your own affairs. By taking steps now, you can provide security for your dependents, peace of mind for yourself and an easier transfer of responsibility if it becomes necessary.

The best way to plan for such an eventuality is to prepare a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). There are two types of LPA available, one covering your property and financial affairs, the other covering your personal welfare (including the appointment of someone to make a decision as to whether you should receive a particular form of treatment if you are unable to make the decision yourself). You can prepare either one or both forms of LPA.

By preparing an LPA, you ensure that a trusted person will be making decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so yourself. Please do not leave it too late to prepare an LPA, as you cannot enter into such an arrangement after the onset of any mental incapacity.

If you are caring for someone who is no longer able to take such decisions, we can still help you with an application to the Office of the Public Guardian (the Court of Protection) for you to be appointed as a Deputy on their behalf. This course of action should not be relied upon in the decision making process as to whether to prepare an LPA, as an LPA is a much more straightforward and therefore cheaper course of action.

We can also assist with registering Lasting Powers of Attorney and Enduring Powers of Attorney with the Office of the Public Guardian, but we regret that it is no longer possible for new Enduring Powers of Attorney to be prepared, as these forms have been replaced by the LPA.

Probate

When someone dies it is necessary to administer their estate. In brief this means making sure that all debts are paid, that any inheritance tax liability is settled and that the assets pass to the beneficiaries in accordance with either the Will or (if there is no Will) the Intestacy Rules.

There is also the option of varying the distribution of the assets (with the beneficiaries consent) by way of a Deed of Variation. This is often done for tax reasons, but can also be of use if a beneficiary would rather his or her inheritance was gifted to somebody else.

These are just some of the ways Adlams LLP can assist you in administering an estate:-

  • Explaining the contents of the Will, or advising as to the position if there is no Will
  • Ascertaining what assets fall into the estate
  • Finding out what the estate is worth
  • Completing the necessary tax paperwork and if necessary arranging the payment of tax
  • Advising on the ways of mitigating any tax liability
  • Obtaining a Grant of Probate (if there is a Will) or a Grant of Letters of Administration (if there is no Will)
  • Gathering in the assets of the estate
  • Settling all debts
  • Preparation of estate accounts
  • Distributing the assets to the Beneficiaries
Please click here to send an email to our Wills and Probate Department or telephone 01480 474061 (St Neots) or 01480 458885 (Huntingdon) for a free informal discussion.