By making a Will, you get to decide what happens to your estate when you are no longer here.
Having a Will in place ensures that your estate is distributed as you wish. If you don’t have a Will in place, your estate may go to people that you don’t want it to. In the event that you die without making a valid Will, your estate would be distributed according to strict intestacy rules – your loved ones may not be legally entitled to receive anything and if you have no close relatives, your assets could even go to the government.
Whilst making a Will is one of those things that we tend to put off, doing so can ensure that your assets are left to the people you really want to have them. This can save a lot of time and worry in the long-run if you die without making a Will.
Making a Will doesn’t have to be a complicated process. Our team at Chilcotts Law will aim to make this as straightforward as possible. We will meet with you before drafting your Will to discuss your circumstances and requirements and ensure that your estate will be left how you want it to.
Our team can assist you and your new spouse with making legally binding, tax-efficient wills that will ensure your loved ones get the maximum benefit from your assets after you have gone.
Inheritance Tax Planning
The Inheritance Tax threshold is currently just £325,000 – any assets above this level are taxed at 40%. Effectively, that means that if you own a family home and have accumulated additional assets through inheritance, savings and other investments, such as shares, a significant amount of the assets you leave behind after your death could be lost to tax.
However, with careful, sensible planning now, you can ensure that your loved ones gain the maximum possible benefit from your assets after your death. Our team can help you with a range of measures which will help you to reduce the amount of inheritance tax payable on your estate – depending on your circumstances, we may even be able to help you avoid inheritance tax altogether.
Making a gift to charity is a very straightforward process. Many people think about leaving charitable legacies in their Will, but are not sure how to do this and whether or not there would be any implications on their estate. Gifts to charity do not accrue any Inheritance Tax and it is also a good way to support a charity that may have assisted you or had some positive effect on you or a loved one during your lifetime.
At Chilcotts Law we support the following charities and offer the opportunity to make a reduced rate Will to anyone who wishes to leave a legacy in their Will to a charity.
Advance Decision (Living Will)
An Advance Decision, which is often referred to as an Advance Directive or a Living Will, is a legally binding document that can be used to refuse some or all forms of medical intervention, including life-sustaining or life-prolonging treatment, in the event that you should lose mental capacity in the future.
Under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, anyone over 18 who has the mental capacity to do so can make an Advance Decision.
A valid Advance Decision is equivalent to the refusal of treatment by someone who has the mental capacity to decide for themselves, which means that if you refuse treatment through an Advance Decision, your doctors must in most circumstances respect your wishes or risk criminal charges. Our specialist team can help you to draw up an Advance Decision document which will allow you to express your choice, even when you have lost the mental capacity to do so.
There are some limitations to Advance Decisions. You cannot use an Advance Decision to name someone to make decisions about your treatment on your behalf. An Advance Decision can’t be used to request that your life be ended.