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How to write a will?

It can be daunting to think about preparing a will, but it need not be complicated. A will acts as insurance against family argument or the breakup of the personal and business assets that you have carefully built up during your life.

Why make a will?

Without a will the intestacy rules apply, which means that blood relatives who you may not have intended to inherit from your estate could benefit from it, even if you are married.

You can also ensure that people you trust look after your affairs after your death, including guardians if you have children or dependents under the age of 18.

By clearly recording your wishes you can avoid expensive litigation and ensure that you do not pay tax unnecessarily.

You can also leave gifts to your partner, step children, friends, and charities and set up trusts to protect the people you love, whether they are your spouse, young children, or disabled or elderly relatives.

How Vardags can help with making a will

Under English law a will must be in writing and signed by the person creating the will in front of two witnesses, all present at the same time. There must be no doubt as to what your intentions are, so the will must be very carefully drafted to ensure that it will be valid and stand up to any claims.

Vardags can advise what should and should not be included to reflect your individual circumstances. We can also act as Executors if required.

Even if you already have a will it is worth reviewing it to make sure it still reflects your wishes and current legislation.

The first step is to arrange a meeting with one of our solicitors.

Frequently Asked Questions - Wills, trusts and probate

Should any disputes arise either with the tax authorities or between beneficiaries in relation to the payment of tax, legal advice should be taken at the earliest possible opportunity in such matters, as delays in making tax payments can result in penalties being imposed on an estate.

If you are a beneficiary, you may encounter difficulties related to: obtaining information from trustees, requesting distributions from trustees, speeding up the administration of trusts. and actions for fraud or breach of fiduciary duties. Vardags can offer extensive guidance for beneficiaries in respect to the above issues and more.

You do not need to be a relative of the deceased to contest a will. If you were dependent of the deceased then you may also have a claim under the Inheritance Act if you believe they did not make reasonable provision for you.Of course, each case is unique, with different facts and circumstances to consider, but Vardags will guide you through the best strategy to make a claim against the deceased’s estate. If you do wish to contest a will you need to act quickly, and it is important to note that you do not need to wait for the grant of probate to start a claim. As such, the time limit for contesting a will is six months after the grant of probate or Letters of Administration.

If you are a trustee, it is not uncommon for issues to arise concerning a connected trust. A trustee may be faced with issues such as: a breach of trust claim, dealing with unforeseen tax liabilities, and handling difficult beneficiaries, to name but a few.

All estates must go through the process of probate, which is overseen by the Probate Court. It is this court which ultimately decides if the deceased’s will should be given legal effect. Unfortunately, disputes can arise when dealing with the deceased’s personal possessions.

Vardags can prepare Lifetime trusts as part of your succession planning or Will trusts to protect your assets for young, disabled or vulnerable loved ones. We can also deal with the alteration of existing trusts and offer bespoke advice on the implications of any such alterations, including all applicable tax and general advice, factoring in all the relevant circumstances.

Under English law a will must be in writing and signed by the person creating the will in front of two witnesses, all present at the same time. There must be no doubt as to what your intentions are, so the will must be very carefully drafted to ensure that it will be valid and stand up to any claims.

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