Estate Planning Solutions provides:
Quality advice in the comfort and privacy of your own home, or, if you prefer, I can do consultations via phone or video call.
I can help you with your wills, trusts, lasting power of attorney, living will or funeral plan and offer advice on probate.
Last Will & Testament
With a Will you decide who receives what out of your house, savings and investments, any insurance and your sentimental items. You can ensure your loved ones are protected and that your final wishes are secured.
Grief is a powerful emotion, and when you lose a loved one it can be a harrowing experience. There can be a great deal of work involved in sorting out the affairs of the deceased, and all this comes at a time of great loss. Just Wills & Legal Services has a team of experienced probate executives and support staff to guide you through the maze of red tape in a caring, professional and efficient way.
Asset Protection Trust (APT)
An APT is a specialist trust which you can set up to safeguard your home and other assets, protecting them from being sold against your wishes.
With an APT, you retain control over the things you value and can also enjoy all the benefits they provide you for the rest of your life.
You can access the capital at any time and you can receive an income from the trust.
An APT is fully reversible. You are free to change your mind whenever you choose and put things back just the way they were before.* (subject to fees)
Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)
Accessing someone’s finances if they become incapacitated or ill is a complex and protracted process, which could make things very difficult for a spouse, partner or children. Bills could go unpaid and if cash is needed for any purpose, it would be inaccessible.
Setting up an LPA allows someone that you trust to act on your behalf should the need arise. Your chosen person can then manage your affairs in your best interests. This could be in the long term or until such time that you are able to take up the reins again yourself.
There are two types of LPA, both of which Just Wills And Legal Services can help you with.
A Property and Affairs LPA
This allows your nominated person to:
• Manage your finances and property
• Make sure your bills are paid
• Make decisions about your assets
A Health and Welfare LPA
This allows your nominated person to:
• Make decisions about your medical treatment
• Decide whether it’s best for you to continue to live at home or whether residential care would be more appropriate
Secure Document Storage
We all know how easy it is to lose or misplace documents which are kept at home, especially if you move house. Furthermore, with over 64,000 household fires, 1,000,000 burglaries and 2,000,000 homes at risk from flooding each year, the statistics are against us.
For your reassurance, our Customer Care Package offers a substantial range of benefits.
• Secure storage of your Will and associated documents
Irreplaceable paperwork is safe and remains confidential so it can’t be invalidated by accident or viewed against your wishes by family and friends
• Free annual update service
No need to pay a fee every time you need to make a small amendment to your Will. This covers basic changes such as new address details and the inclusion of new beneficiaries
Choosing an executor
Every person must nominate an executor or executors in their Will, to carry out their wishes after death. Up to four people can be chosen, but most people have two executors.
Being an executor is a job with a lot of responsibility, which might go on for months or sometimes even years, depending on how long probate takes.
Probate is the process of proving that a will is valid. During that time, the executors may be called upon to deal with many administrative tasks, such as:
- Interpreting the legal clauses in the Will
- Ensuring all debts and other liabilities are finalised
- Contacting people named in the Will
- Gathering detailed information for the estate valuation
- Dealing with paperwork for the Probate Registry, Land Registry and Tax Office
- Claiming entitlements
- Administering the distribution of assets, as set out in the Will
Many clients choose to detail the level of care that they wish to receive should they suffer a catastrophic medical emergency.
A Living Will (or Advance Directive) allows you to leave clear instructions for your doctors in the case of a life threatening or terminal medical emergency.
One of the primary reasons for this is to remove the decision-making responsibility from family or friends.
Funeral Services Plan
Providing for your own funeral arrangements in your Will makes a great deal of sense.
For most of us, funeral planning is not something we like to dwell on. At Estate Planning Solutions, we understand that this process can be difficult and emotional. However, taking the time to consider funeral planning services can offer emotional and financial relief to your family. It will also give you the valuable peace of mind that preparations are in place should the worst ever happen.
Laws of Intestacy
If you don’t have a Will, your assets will be distributed by the authorities according to some rules which were put in place over 80 years ago. These are known as the Laws of Intestacy (1925).
Needless to say these don’t bear much relation to modern personal and family situations and they can have an extremely damaging effect – especially in the event of unmarried partners, especially if they have children.
These Laws can also mean that a surviving spouse may have to share a large proportion of the Estate with children rather than having outright use of it themselves.
If you are unmarried with no close relatives the Laws stipulate that that your Estate will pass to the Crown if you don’t have a Will in place.
Estate Planning for Same Sex Partners
The Civil Partnership Bill came into force on 5th December 2005. Its arrival heralded the introduction of a new rights for same sex partners meaning that they move broadly in line with married couples.
The two main areas of interest from an Estate Planning perspective were the fact that a Civil Partner is now treated equitably from an Inheritance Tax perspective as well as being recognised under the Laws of Intestacy.
As a result more same sex partners are taking the opportunity to write or update their Wills to feature a new Civil Partner – or simply making provisions in anticipation of an impending Civil Partnership.
Setting up Trusts in your Will
Establishing a Trust in your Will can be extremely valuable in Estate Planning terms for a number of different reasons.
When it comes to protecting assets and controlling the distribution of your Estate, Trusts are essential and we provide a variety of different solutions depending upon your objectives.
Despite changes in Taxation policy in October 2007 there are still very valuable reasons for establishing Trusts in your Will.
Furthermore having certain assets ring fenced in a Trust environment can ensure that your children are not disinherited through remarriage after your death, and ensure that they are protected from subsequent divorce settlements too.
Should a surviving partner become infirm and need to go into long term care funds in Trust would not feature in terms of Local Authority means testing.
In terms of saving Inheritance Tax, by putting funds into a Trust on your death you can ensure that your children benefit without running the risk of the fund creating an additional Inheritance Tax burden in the future.
In addition to Will Trusts we offer a variety of lifetime Trusts such as Discretionary Trusts (Relevant Property Trusts) and Interest in Possession Trusts. We are also able to act as a Professional Trustee so we can administer the schemes that we set up for clients