Whilst many people would rather not think about making a Will, it can be the most important document you sign. Professional advice is essential and can make a significant difference to any provision made for those close to you. Even if a Will has already been made, it is worth reviewing it to ensure that it is up to date and takes the latest inheritance tax position into account.
We are a founder member of the Certainty National Registry of Wills, a confidential central database containing details of where to locate a person’s Will. In a recent survey, 67% of people surveyed did not know where to find their parents’ Wills and indeed tens of thousands of estates fall into intestacy each year, which can cause emotional and financial turmoil for loved ones.
Changing circumstances, moving to another area or simply the passage of time can sometimes make it difficult for beneficiaries to locate a Will. Registering your Will ensures that solicitors across the country can log the existence of Wills in a central place. This ensures that your Will is easily traceable by your beneficiaries and your wishes are not overlooked.
What does the Registry of Wills do?
- The registry records that we hold your Will, but no one there sees it, as we still keep it securely stored at our offices;
- Following your death, the registry will give us details about anyone who is looking for your Will;
- We would answer the query only if it is legitimate, thus protecting both your privacy and your beneficiaries.
Sadly, none of us are immortal and we cannot take our possessions with us. Regularly reviewing your Will and having it registered is one of the most important things that you can do for your loved ones.
Should you review your Will?
If you made your Will some years ago, it might be time to review it, especially after a change in your personal circumstances such as marriage, divorce, a house move or a new addition to the family. A change to your financial situation, an increase in your property value and even new tax laws or legislation can also make an update to your Will necessary.
A review helps you to be sure that the people and charities you want to benefit from your Will continue to do so. Often, changing a Will could be as simple as drawing up a codicil – an addition or change to your existing Will – that can be signed and kept with your Will.
If you are concerned that your Will is not currently up to date, or you haven’t made a Will, please call us to discuss your requirements.
Lasting Powers of Attorney
Sadly, through illness or old age, we may not always be in a position to make the most informed decisions about our finances and welfare. Creating a Lasting Power of Attorney could be the best way of safeguarding your interests should your mental capacity become adversely affected.
There are different types of Lasting Powers of Attorney depending on which decisions you would like to be made on your behalf and we would be happy to advise you about these and Powers of Attorney in general so that you can be sure of doing the right thing.
What we can help you with…
We can provide you with extensive knowledge and expertise across a wide range of areas, including:
- Drafting a bespoke Will based on your individual circumstances
- Reviewing existing Wills and producing a Codicil where appropriate
- Advising you on Inheritance Tax laws and tax efficiency of your Will
- Registering your Will with the Certainty National Registry of Wills
- Lasting Powers of Attorney
- Deputyship and administration
What should I do now?
If you would like us to assist you with your Will or Power of Attorney, or would just like to discuss these with one of our friendly, helpful experts, don’t hesitate to call us on 020 8907 2000.
Click here to download our Wills & Powers of Attorney guide.