Tag Archive: will

  1. DRN Probate Lawyers’ Top 5 Will Writing Tips

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    When it comes to writing your Will, you want to be absolutely certain that your wishes will be carried out. A watertight Will ensures that you have nothing to worry about once you pass away, and gives ultimate peace of mind that you will be able to take care of your family and loved ones even when you’re gone.

    Writing a Will can be confusing and a little overwhelming, but as expert Wills and Probate lawyers, we’re here to guide you through every stage of the process. With extensive expertise in completing Wills for a large number of clients over the years, we’re committed to learning about what’s important to you, and to ensuring all of your wishes are detailed and your Will meets legal requirements. 

    Here are our top 5 tips for writing your Will, to help you get the process started. 

     

    Tip 1: Don’t hesitate! 

    The best advice we can give to anyone considering writing a Will is to get started as soon as possible. While it can be a difficult or daunting prospect, making a Will with DRN is a simple and straightforward process. What’s more, once you’ve made your Will, you will no longer have to worry about what may happen to your estate or other assets after your death.

    The sooner you make your Will, the sooner you will have the peace of mind that comes with knowing your family, friends and loved ones will be able to carry out your wishes exactly as you planned.

    Tip 2: Enlist the expert support of a Wills and Probate lawyer.

    Whilst it might be tempting to attempt creating your own Will without the help of a solicitor, it’s important to note that it is easy to make a mistake when drafting your Will if you’re not completely familiar with the processes involved. Errors in your Will could lead to your beneficiaries missing out on receiving what you wish to gift to them, and errors can even reduce the value of your estate, as funds could need to be offset towards unexpected tax bills, or the cost dealing with a legal fallout from disgruntled beneficiaries. 

    Making your Will with a trusted legal professional means you’ll be covered by the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority. A qualified solicitor will understand the intricate legalities and be able to offer in-depth tax advice, including details on your inheritance tax allowance, enabling you to make decisions now to aid your family and loved ones in the future.

    Check for the WIQS mark. WIQS is a recognised quality assurance scheme which awards the very best Wills and Probate lawyers with certificates and accreditations – an achievement which DRN have successfully reached year after year. 

    Tip 3: Choose who you want to leave your estate and assets to.

    A key fact to make note of is that your assets and estate will not automatically be passed to your partner, no matter how long you have been together.

    If you live with a partner but are not married, and have no Will in place, the law states that your assets will be passed to your nearest blood relatives. Making a Will ensures that your home, assets, investments and any other items in your estate pass to your partner if you wish them to do so.

    In addition, choosing not to make a Will means dying “intestate”. This means your assets will devolve according to intestacy rules and will be divided in strict order amongst blood relatives. In such circumstances, your assets could even pass into the hands of a blood relative you are no longer in contact with, or someone you might not even have met. 

    Tip 4: Remember to appoint guardians.

    In some Wills, details are given on the subjects of assets and estate, but guardianship can be overlooked, especially if you are in a family unit with more than one parent.

    While it isn’t pleasant to think about, your Will should consider the worst-case scenario, and provide a plan for if it should occur. Should you and your partner pass away, provisions must be made to ensure your children are cared for by those you know and trust. If a guardian is not appointed, one will be automatically appointed by the court.

    If you are in an unmarried partnership, it is important to place each other as guardians so that any children you have under the age of 18 are automatically legally placed in your partner’s care in the event of your death.

    Tip 5: Choose your executors wisely

    Choosing the executors of your Will is a big decision, and it is better to choose more than one in many cases. Your executors will be in charge of exercising your wishes and dealing with all aspects of your estate. It is important to talk through your plans and double check that the person you’d like to be your executor is willing to be. Be sure to explain what the role might entail, as it is a substantial responsibility to take on and you need to be absolutely sure the executors will have the ability to perform their duties and maximise the estate for your chosen beneficiaries.

    You should also confide in your executors the location of your Will. You should keep it safe, ideally with your solicitor. Whilst a safety deposit box may seem like the safest place to keep your Will, choosing to deposit it with your bank can cause complications, as banks are not legally allowed to grant access to a safety deposit box without the executor having probate, and probate cannot be granted without reviewing your Will! 

    Entrusting your Will into the safe hands of your solicitor is the best option. Most solicitors will also register your Will on the Certainty National Will register, which maintains a record of the location of your Will to prevent fraud or loss – a service offered by DRN to all clients, free of charge.

    If you’d like more advice on our Wills and Probate services, or if you’d like to speak to our lawyers about writing your Will, contact us today on 01282 433 241

  2. Bereavement and Organising a Loved one’s Estate: Some Practical Advice

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    One of the first things we ask our clients who are recently bereaved, is how we can help with any practical arrangements necessary in the estate. Losing a loved one is difficult and upsetting and it’s our job to support our clients in every way we can.

    However, there are a number of items that must be attended to by our clients upon the death of an individual, and unfortunately they cannot be delayed. In most cases a relative or person responsible for organising the funeral proceedings is needed to carry out these important tasks. If this roll falls to you to organise, you can of course enlist our support should you wish to do so. At DRN, our sympathetic team can help you every step of the way, enabling you to carry out your loved one’s wishes efficiently and carefully, with as little upset as possible.

    Please read on for practical guidance to help you through this difficult time.

    Registering a death and obtaining a death certificate

    Once a person has died, it is the law in the UK for their death to be registered within five days at a registry office. A person’s death can be registered by:

    • A relative
    • An individual present at the death
    • An individual responsible for organising the funeral

    Once a death has been registered, a death certificate will be issued by the registrar. At this stage you may wish to request several copies of the certificate so that sending proof of death to insurance companies, banks, pension providers etc. (if applicable) is as simple as possible. A small cost is charged for copies, however this can be refunded from the estate should you not be the sole beneficiary.

    You will also be provided with a form to assist with notifying all the government institutions such as passport, HMRC, Council and Benefits agencies. This is called the Tell Us Once service

    Inform the relevant organisations

    Upon the death of a loved one, it is very important to inform institutions such as your local council so that council tax, state pension and other government services. This prevents overpayment of benefits that have to be re-paid and also liability for council tax continuing.

    Gov.UK has a service called “Tell Us Once” to help make things easier. By signing up and providing some personal details, you will be able to make the necessary changes to your loved one’s driver’s licence, and inform the relevant people within the personal tax, Department of Work and Pensions, passport office and other important governmental departments.

    Arranging the funeral and accessing the will

    If possible the Executors should check the will to see if there are any funeral wishes noted in it or perhaps it will contain details of a pre – paid funeral plan.

    Our team of dedicated will and estate solicitors are experienced in all types of probate matters. If you are unable to locate a will, or a loved one has died “intestate” – that is, without a will – we can help you to recover the details you need to continue carrying out your loved one’s wishes.

    We can also act on your behalf, guiding you through the probate process, helping you to understand items such as inheritance tax and distribution to the correct parties.

    We understand that attempting to navigate the legal requirements needed upon the death of a loved one can be difficult to deal with for the bereaved. We are here to answer any of your questions about Wills and Probate and to support you through the complex process of administration of the estate, or contesting a will you believe may be invalid.

    If you would like to speak to one of our solicitors, please call us today on 01282 433 241.

  3. Got a Pension? You Need an LPA.

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    Long retirements offer so much freedom, and longer lives are helping to contribute to the stretching out of our golden years in the UK. But where some retirees are reaping the rewards of wise investments and sound financial advice, many people are unsure of the best course of action when it comes to accessing their hard-earned pensions.

    Owing to the government’s many changes to the accessibility of our private pensions, there are many retirees who are looking to take out their money early to do the things they’ve always wanted to do. While this is an exciting proposition and what many people have hoped to plan once they’ve finished working, a report published by Zurich UK has stated that around 80% of retirees are potentially facing difficulties later in life due to failing to commit a Lasting Power of Attorney.

    This simple process ensures that your money remains safe and secure, should you be unable to make these important decisions yourself at any point in the future.

    While this is an uncomfortable discussion to have, it’s incredibly important and can ensure your financial security for the coming years, no matter how your situation changes.

     

    Drawdown over annuities

    The way people are drawing out their pensions has changed. Where once annuities were the favoured method of claiming a pension, individuals are now choosing the drawdown method.

    This essentially means that managing income comes down to the individual. When complex decisions need to be made, this will also be dependent on the individual, making having a Lasting Power of Attorney or LPA even more important.

     

    Why get an LPA now?

    Organising a Lasting Power of Attorney now helps to make sure you’re ready for anything the future could hold. Here are our top reasons to make sure you’re covered by an LPA as soon as you begin drawing your pension.

     

    You will secure yours and your family’s immediate future 

    By organising an LPA now, you’re putting safeguards in place that make sure your pension is secure and protected now and in the future.

    Most people with LPAs find this peace of mind is in itself a worthwhile investment. Don’t let planning for the future become a burden.

     

    Give yourself the power to make your own decisions

    Waiting until you need an LPA can make it harder to create an agreement that suits your complex needs. Your pension is your money – don’t leave it until you might require support in making these important plans.

     

    Open up your later-life conversation

    Talking about your later life can be a difficult conversation. Don’t avoid it. Provisions for your care and security in later-life are important to set now, so that everything can be implemented as simply as possible.

    Encouraging your family to enter into these conversations with you will also help them to prepare for the future, and enable them to understand your wishes better.

    If you’d like help with setting up your own LPA or would like to talk to our specialist Wills, Probate & LPA team today at 01282 433 241. Alternatively, you can send us an on-line enquiry at drnlaw.co.uk/contact and one of our team will be in touch shortly.

     

  4. DRN Celebrates 30 Years of Will Aid by Waiving Will Fees

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    This November, Will Aid are celebrating 30 years of raising money for some of the world’s most vulnerable people. Once again, the wills and probate team at DRN will be joining in with the charity’s fundraising efforts, asking for donations towards Will Aid in return for our leading will-writing services.

    A charitable donation of £95 is requested for a single will and £150 for mirror wills for  anyone looking to support Will Aid’s excellent cause this year. This represents a 50% cost saving versus the normal price of a basic will.

     

    What is a basic will?

    A basic will includes details of :

    • Your executors – the persons who will be responsible for carrying out your directions
    • The appointment of guardians for any minor children or dependents
    • Your beneficiaries – whether there are individuals, organisations, or charities and in what way they will benefit. You can choose Will Aid as a beneficiary if you wish.

    Every single penny of every donation made to us during the campaign will go towards Will Aid and the sterling work they do.

     

    Who are Will Aid?

    Will Aid is a special partnership between the legal profession and nine of the UK’s best-loved charities. This means we’ll be alongside some of the UK’s top solicitors and legal firms, raising money together for partner charities such as Action Aid, Age UK, Save The Children and the NSPCC. Together with Will Aid, we’ll raise vital funds for these wonderful causes, while ensuring that anyone can gain the reassurance of knowing they have a professionally written will.

    Of course, another benefit of Will Aid’s nationwide campaign is the visibility and awareness the charity gives to wills, helping the public to understand how important having an up-to-date will really is.

    Find out more here: www.willaid.org.uk

     

    Director of DRN David Lawson said:

    “Our whole team is looking forward to helping Will Aid and its admirable partner charities with our specialist will writing skills. Being able to provide beneficial services while raising money for excellent charities based both overseas and at home in the UK is why we continue to support Will Aid and we hope that this year sees us beat our previous years’ donation targets.”

    Team up with DRN and Will Aid today by calling us on 01282 433 241 for Burnley and 01282 864 500 for Colne, to arrange your appointment, and take advantage of this opportunity before the end of the November.

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