Wills, Estate Planning and Probate
Everyone should give serious consideration to making a will irrespective of your age or walk of life. It is easy to delay making a will but this may expose your family at an already very difficult time to complications and possible financial difficulties on your death.
There are many rules governing the validity of a will, we at PRH have an experienced team who can advise and assist you in the drafting of your will to ensure that:-
Your estate is distributed to those you wish to benefit
Where a person dies without making a will they are said to have died “intestate”. The property and assets of the deceased are passed to certain of their surviving relatives in accordance with the Rules of Intestacy. The Rules of Intestacy especially with modern family structures may mean that those people closest to you may not receive any of your estate as there is no provision whatsoever for co-habitees or step-children.
To avoid Inheritance Tax
By making a will you will have the opportunity to ensure that your estate is left in a tax efficient way. If you do not make a will your loved ones may end up having to pay much more tax than is necessary.
To appoint Legal Guardians for your minor children.
By making a will you will have the opportunity to appoint legal guardians to look after your children in the event that you die before they reach 18 years old and on the basis that anyone else who has parental responsibility for the children is also deceased.
Legal Guardians are responsible for the day to day care of children and will decide how the children are brought up, looked after and educated.
If Guardians are not appointed in a will they will be appointed by the Court and the Guardians appointed by the court may not necessarily be the person/ persons you would have preferred to look after your children nor where the children will be happiest.
Once you make a will it is vital that you review it periodically. If you have made a will a few years ago PRH would be happy to review it to see if it still meets with your requirements.
In the following circumstances a will should be updated:-
- Marriage, Re-marriage or Civil Partnership
- Divorce, separation, or dissolution of a civil partnership.
- The birth or adoption of children or birth of grandchildren if you wish to add these as Beneficiaries in your will.
Administration Of Estates
When someone has died, you can have confidence that P R Hanna will deal sensitively with the legal issues involved minimising strain on the family at such a difficult time. We can:
- Obtain Probate or Letters of Administration;
- Deal with Inheritance Tax;
- Gather in all the assets of the estate,
- Pay any liabilities owed by the estate; and
- Distribute the estate to the beneficiaries.
Enduring Power of Attorney
An Enduring Power of Attorney is a document executed during your lifetime which allows you to nominate ‘attorneys ‘ to deal with your affairs in the event of mental incapacity.
This avoids difficulty in dealing with Property, bank accounts, investments etc. if a mentally debilitating disease such a Dementia/Alzheimers should occur.
The Enduring Power of Attorney is a straightforward document that can be drafted and executed quite quickly by P R Hanna Solicitors for a reasonably small charge. Care needs to be taken in regard to who you appoint as Attorney as they will have control of all of your financial affairs as if they were you. You can appoint one Attorney or more than one. Consideration also needs to be given as to what powers you grant to the Attorney or Attorneys. You can restrict their powers any way you like for example you can include a restriction that your attorney or attorneys must not act on your behalf until they have reason to believe that you are becoming mentally incapable or a restriction that your attorney or attorneys may not sell your home. P R Hanna can advise what powers should be granted to the Attorney based on your instructions and wishes.
In the absence of an Enduring Power of Attorney when a person becomes mentally incapable a much more complicated and expensive application for Controllership requires to be made to the court which will result in delays in dealing with property and investments.