It is important to take action today to ensure your estate is dealt with as you would wish after you have died.
Quite simply, if you do not make a Will the law says who inherits your estate. Most people assume that everything would pass automatically to their partner but this is not necessarily so and certainly if you are not married or in a civil partnership, they will have no automatic right to inherit any part of your estate. Your estate may pass to the person or persons you would not want to inherit. It may result in financial hardship for your loved ones or an expensive court action.
Making a Will ensures that the people you want to benefit when you die receive your estate. Holmes & Hills Solicitors are experienced to be able to draft a Will that is tailor made to meet your specific requirements.
We appreciate that some couples have ‘simple’ arrangements whilst for others their affairs may be more ‘complex’. Whatever your specific circumstances, Holmes & Hills Solicitors will be able to assist you.
Our clients often wish to receive advice as follows:
- How to update an existing Will
- How to leave their estate in the most tax efficient way
- How to provide and protect young children – who will look after your children if you die, where will they live and who will look after the money they inherit?
- How to leave business interests
- How to deal with foreign property/assets
- How to provide for a disabled child or adult
- What steps they should take if choosing to leave out a beneficiary from their Will
- Provide for children from a former relationship
- How to set up a trust
- How to provide for vulnerable adult children perhaps going through a divorce or financial problems
- How to plan for future care needs
- How to protect your contribution to the purchase price of a property when you live with someone else*
- How to protect your contribution to the purchase of your child’s home*
- How to give away an inheritance in a tax efficient manner**
*Declaration of Trust
**Deed of Variation
- Meet with you face to face – at any one of our five offices in Braintree, Sudbury, Halstead, Coggeshall or Tiptree. Home visits available at a small additional cost and by prior arrangement.1
- Take time to find out about you, your family circumstances and your wishes
- Store your Will securely at our offices, for FREE, until it is needed by you or your family.
- Provide you with tailored advice including inheritance tax planning if required.
- Send you a draft of your Will for approval
- Provide you with a full explanation of the terms of the Will
- Supervise the signing of your Will
- Keep full records of our meetings with you in case someone challenges your Will after you die
- Tailor our letters to you (where emails are not being used) to ensure you can easily read them, including allowing you to dictate font sizes
Ensure your Will reflects your circumstances:
If you know your circumstances are due to change after you have made your Will, perhaps you are due to get married, are buying or selling a property, or are expecting children or grandchildren, your Will can be drafted to reflect this.
However, if you have previously made a Will and this does not provide for changes in your circumstances which have now happened, it is necessary for you to review and update your Will. Circumstances do change, and Holmes & Hills is able to review your Will and make any required updates you may need.
Will service levels:
Holmes & Hills understand that the complexity of people’s affairs may differ and offer four different levels of Will service depending on your individual requirements, needs and circumstances. Each service provides couples with a saving on legal fees when they make ‘Mirror’ Wills, up to 21%. Each service level is at a fixed price, except bespoke.
Holmes & Hills’ Standard Will Service offers a Will writing service suitable for single people leaving assets to their family or friends, as well as for parents with adult children. This service is designed to provide a robust, simple Will at a competitive price.
Our experience tells us that many of us have family and personal circumstances that benefit from sound legal advice and guidance prior to making a Will. The following Will services are centred on this advice and guidance to ensure you are able to make a Will that protects your wishes, your family and wealth, as well as reducing the risk of a challenge to your Will being made in the future by a third party.
Our Standard Plus Will Service provides more comprehensive advice, allowing you to create a personalised Will with the benefit of sound legal advice on areas that we know cause concern to many clients. For example:
- You may wish to leave a large number of gifts of cash or personal belongings to family, friends or charities/organisations
- You may wish to leave the balance of your estate to your husbands/wife’s family and to your own family in certain percentages
- You may wish to say who benefits if your primary beneficiary fails to survive you
- You may wish to discuss the role of executor and guardian for your children and wish to appoint a guardian for your young children
You may also ask us how inheritance tax works and about planning to cover your future care needs (or those of another relative) as well as how to protect your family in the event of divorce, bankruptcy or disability.
Our Premium Will Service is designed to protect you, your family and your wealth where particular requirements have been identified due to your individual circumstances. Our protective Wills may include a wish to:
- Leave your home to your children and avoid it passing to a third party.
- Protect your spouse or partner so that they can continue to live in the property
- Protect your children from their own divorce, partnership breakdown or bankruptcy
- Protect your children from the surviving spouse’s remarriage
- Make provisions for both your children and grandchildren
- Protect your business interests
- Have a vulnerable child who will need continuous financial control or input throughout their life
Holmes & Hills Bespoke Will Service allows you to access expert advice from the firm’s most senior solicitors and to have your Will tailored to your individual needs. This may be required due to complex family circumstances, business or farming interests or a personal wealth that requires protection through lifetime or Will trusts. You may also require advice on inheritance tax and a report on its impact on you. This service may require ongoing annual or bi-annual meetings but this will be discussed with you.
Couples save up to 21% when making Mirror Wills:
Married couples, civil-partners and co-habiting couples save between 16% and 21% when making Mirror Wills2, the exact saving is subject to the complexity of the affairs and will be advised at an initial meeting.
There really is ‘no time like the present’ for you and your partner to make your Wills. Even if you have already made a Will, it might be a good idea to review it and see if it still meets all your requirements and accurately reflects your wishes. If we did not draft your existing Will it doesn’t matter, we are still able to advise you and prepare a new one should you wish to do so.
Assisting your executors:
Following your death, because you have made your Will with Holmes & Hills Solicitors, your executors will be entitled to a free half hour initial appointment with one of specialist probate lawyers. This will inform them of their role an responsibilities.
Updating your Will:
Whether or not you made your original Will with Holmes & Hills Solicitors or not, one of our specialist lawyers can assist you in updating your Will to ensure it is aligned with your current circumstances and wishes.
A Will ensures that on the event of your death your estate and assets are distributed in accordance to your wishes. However, if during the course of your lifetime you become unable to make key decisions regarding your personal finances or health care, you will need to have made a Lasting Power of Attorney for your loved ones to be able to make the choices you would want them to. Holmes & Hills Solicitors are able to make Powers of Attorney alongside, or separate to your Will.
There are excellent money saving opportunities when a Will is purchased alongside an LPA. Ask us about Lasting Powers of Attorney and how much you can save when you talk to us about your Will.
Frequently asked questions when making a Will:
See answers to those questions we are most frequently asked - Click here >
The first step in making your Will
Call us on 01376 320456 (Essex) or 01787 275275 (Suffolk) and ask to speak with one of our team about making or updating your Will.
For people of all ages the thought of contacting solicitors to make a Will can be daunting. Our bespoke service guides you simply through the Will writing process addressing any questions you may have.
1By prior arrangement – home visit charges apply.
2Savings of between 16% and 21% are available for couples making Mirror Wills at the same time, compared to making individual Wills separately.