Wills, trusts and estate planning
When drafting your will, you need to have absolute confidence in us as you share your wishes and concerns for the future. We therefore invite you to come for a free initial meeting to interview us and ensure that you will be comfortable for us to handle your affairs.
We make no charge for an initial meeting and we will endeavour to provide a fixed price quotation for our services.
Online Will Questionnaire
Alternatively you can complete the Online Will Questionnaire (see tab above) and submit it to us.
This will assist in the preparation of your Will that provides for the full expression to your own wishes and addresses any unnecessary tax liability.
In some circumstances it may be desirable to supplement your replies by a discussion on the telephone or at the office before the Will is drafted.
On receipt of the completed questionnaire, we shall prepare a draft Will for your approval before arranging for engrossed copies to be prepared for you to sign before two independent witnesses
Making a will
If you live locally in Fulham, Chelsea, Putney or Hammersmith , your property interests alone are likely to create a serious liability for inheritance tax. Making a will is the only way to ensure that the Inland Revenue receives as little of your estate as it is legally entitled to.
It is also the only certain way to ensure that your spouse, partner, family and loved ones inherit according to your wishes. This is particularly important where there has been a second marriage and extended families to provide for.
Woodfords Solicitors has particular expertise in inheritance tax planning. As well as reducing the tax burden on your survivors, through your will you can:
- provide for your partner if you are not married or in a civil partnership
- safeguard the interests of your children by appointing legal guardians to care for them if you and your spouse should have an accident. You can specify what age your children should inherit and who should administer their entitlement until this time.
- Protect your business interests and direct them in such a way as to benefit from business property relief
- ensure that family heirlooms remain within the family and leave gifts to friends and family
- help your favourite cause, through a tax-free donation to charity
- set out any wishes regarding your funeral.
It is very distressing for the family to have to handle an estate where there is no will, as only £250,000 worth of assets will pass to your spouse if you have children and your other possessions will be distributed according to intestacy rules.
If you have already made a will it is important to keep all affairs under review to keep abreast of your change in circumstances and the change in taxation laws. We recommend that you ask us to review your will every five years.
We can also advise you on specialists trust schemes such as:
- Employee Benefit Trusts
- Family Trading Trusts for Land Deals.
Trusts and their benefits
A trust is a transfer of assets for the benefit of others. It can take immediate effect, by way of a trust deed, or it can be incorporated into your will to take effect shortly after your death.
We frequently advises high net worth clients on the use of trusts to meet a number of strategic objectives, such as:
- Controlling assets which you no longer need yourself. This reduces your own wealth and consequently your exposure to inheritance tax.
- Addressing concerns regarding children or grandchildren inheriting too much when too young.
- Placing assets into a family trust to protect assets from bankruptcy or divorce.
- Providing your spouse with a life interest in your assets rather than an absolute interest. This protects the assets from being frittered away or gifted should your spouse decide to re-marry.
Residence and domicile
Your residence or domicile status can have a significant impact on your tax liabilities, particularly inheritance tax. If you have an interest in living overseas then we can advise on the best solution according to your circumstances.
Protecting the value of your estate as you get older can become complicated by ill health. Sadly, as we are living longer the incidence of mental health diseases such as Alzheimers is increasing.
Woodfords Solicitors are here to protect your interests and can help you to plan your affairs in advance to ensure that your wishes are carried out, even in the event that you might not be able to communicate them yourself in the future.
We can help you with:
- Planning for care fees
- Challenging care fee assessments
- Assessing mental capacity
- Planning for incapacity with a power of attorney
- Living wills
If you feel strongly that you do not wish to be kept alive by certain treatment we can prepare a document that makes your wishes clear to medical staff.
After you have gone
This is a time when your family and friends will be distressed and handling probate and the administration of an estate can add unwanted stress at a difficult time.
Where an estate includes significant property and business assets it is important to have an experienced solicitor who can ensure that all your wishes are carried out, dispose of your assets professionally and complete the various tax returns correctly.
Occasionally we can save some additional tax at this point by a deed of variation.
Find out more
Woodfords Solicitors acts for many wealth families in Fulham, Chelsea, Putney or Hammersmith and often over several generations. If you would like to see if we are right for you, then please
contact us on 0207 731 0750.
Woodfords Solicitors a are members of:
- Probate Section of the Law Society
- The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP)
- Solicitors for the Elderley.