Trading as Powell Eddison Solicitors 
Trading as Avery Walters Ellis Solicitors 

Write or update your Will. 

Whether you wish to write your first Will or update an existing document prepared somewhere else, Powell Eddison can assist. 
We provide a free initial no obligation consultation which will include a review of any existing Will you may have in place. 
We offer Will drafting at a fixed fee, so you know what it will cost in total at the outset of the matter. 
The law around Wills can be complicated, but we’ll make it as easy as possible without using jargon. 
Why make a will? 
Around two thirds of the UK population die without leaving a Will which can make matters more complicated, more expensive and takes longer to resolve. This will no doubt cause stress for your family and dependents. As well as obtaining peace of mind, putting in place a Will can help you achieve many other objectives: 
Make sure your money goes to the right people. 
Ringfence assets for beneficiaries to be managed on their behalf. 
Provide and protect your partner/cohabitee if you are unmarried. 
Avoid unnecessary stress for your family/loved ones. 
Appoint a guardian for your children and provide for their future. 
Choose the right executors. 
Inheritance tax mitigation 
Care home fee planning 

What will is right for you? 

The basic simple Will, or mirror Wills for couples set out who you wish to deal with your estate, and who benefits. These are cost effective to set up and easy to administer. You can also stipulate your funeral wishes, appoint guardians and make specific gifts i.e. of jewellery or certain items. 
However, these types of wills are not usually advisable in cases or second marriage or in terms of planning to protect assets against bankruptcy, divorce, care homes fees and are not suitable if you wish to ringfence assets for certain beneficiaries i.e. if they are disabled or in receipt of means tested benefits. 
Lifetime interest trust Wills or Protective property trust Wills as they are sometimes called are used widely by cohabitees or those on their second marriage to protect 50% of a property for future generations of the family and from being used up in any bankruptcy petitions, divorce proceedings or care home fees. 
In these circumstances, a property owned as beneficial joint tenants will be changed so that the property is owned as tenants in common. We can check how you hold a property at the land registry and change this if necessary. Each respective 50% share of the property can then be distributed to the chosen beneficiaries in the Will. However, this will be subject to allowing the other owner the right to reside in your 50% for the remainder of their lifetime or until certain triggering events such as remarriage of cohabitation. 
During the right to reside, the life tenant will be given the right to downsize but any surplus capital form any sale will be directed to the ultimate beneficiaries of the 50% share. 
Discretionary trust Wills and Flexible life interest trust Wills are also an option which allow you to place assets into trust. These assets are then managed by the trustees who are selected by you. The beneficiaries only receive assets at such times the trustees decide and in such amounts as the trustees decide. This is in relation to both capital and income. 
These trust mechanisms are useful to protect against bankruptcy or divorce of any of the beneficiaries, care home fees, means tested benefits but also from any potential challenges from disgruntled family members. It also provides a fund for future generations of the family. 
It is important to put in a place a Will that caters to your specific requirements so call us today to book your free initial consultation on 01423 564551. 

What happens if I pass away without leaving a Will? 

If you die without leaving a Will then your estate will be distributed in accordance with the intestacy rules, a set of rules which apply dictating who can administer your estate and who benefits from your estate. This is set out in a hierarchy starting with spouses/civil partners down to those who are most closely related to you, through the bloodline. In some cases, the government may receive your estate. 
The rules also set out in what proportions your estate will be inherited. 
This may not accord with your wishes and may mean those who are closest to you i.e. step children or partners or charities you care about, receive nothing. 
If you have a large extended family this can become extremely complex and longwinded as who will deal with the matter will need to be determined as well as locating lost relatives, those who have moved abroad etc. In some cases, it is necessary to appoint a genealogist which adds time and expense to the matter. 

Contesting a Will 

Losing a loved one can be difficult enough without having to deal with a dispute over the Will. 
Where you wish to contest a Will or defend a challenge Powell Eddison can assist. 
You can speak to one of our colleagues in the litigation department who will be able to provide pragmatic advice in order to obtain closure quickly and cost effectively. 
Laura Stafford  
Private Client Solicitor 
Phone: 01423 564551 
Email: ls@powell-eddison.co.uk 
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