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Wills & Trusts FAQs

1. Why do I need to make a will?
To ensure that your estate will be dealt with by persons of your choosing, who can then distribute your estate to the people who you want to see benefit, in the right proportions. It also gives you a chance to deal with any aspects of your estate that you worry may be troublesome.

2. Can my executors also be the beneficiaries of the will?
Yes.

3. What if I do not make a will?
The rules of intestacy will apply to your estate. Statutory provisions exist which dictate how an estate should be divided in the event that a person dies without leaving a will. This may not match your own wishes.

4. I am married for a second time and want to make sure that my wife/husband can remain in the property after my death, but I want my children to ultimately benefit. 
We can advise you on the best way to achieve this. This is something which is more and more common and really needs to be given some thought so that it is workable in the event of your death.

5. I am worried about Inheritance Tax.
The current individual allowance for inheritance tax is £325,000. This is transferable between spouses, which gives most married couples, who are leaving everything to each other on the first death, a fairly generous allowance. However, there are ways to mitigate inheritance tax, depending on your circumstances, this is something that we will be able to advise you about.

6. What are the rules for common law spouses?
The concept of ‘a common law’ spouse is in fact a myth. Just because you have lived with someone for a long period of time, doesn’t necessarily give them any automatic rights in law. If you want to make provision for a partner, in the event of your death, then you really must make a will to reflect this wish.

7. I am getting married soon, what should I think about?
If you are about to get married, you need to be aware that your marriage will revoke your existing will. You can make a will before the marriage, in contemplation of your pending marriage, which will not then be revoked. You may also want advice about pre-nuptial agreements, which our family department could assist you with.

8. What happens if I lose capacity and can no longer manage my affairs? 
It is vital that you think about what would happen in this scenario, particularly if you are a home owner and have savings. Due to tight regulation by the banks and financial institutions, it is quite impossible to manage someone else’s affairs, without a power of attorney. The preparation of a power of attorney is the best way to ensure that you have made the right arrangements in the event that you lose mental capacity.

9. What if I do not make a power of attorney and I lose capacity?
In this instance your family would have to apply to the Court of Protection. The Court will then asses the circumstances and appoint the most relevant and appropriate people to be your Deputies.

10. Is my Enduring Power of Attorney still valid?
Although you are no longer able to make Enduring Powers of Attorney (due to a change in the law, which introduced Lasting Powers of Attorney in their place), if you made one previously, it is still perfectly valid. You may however still wish to discuss the merits of make a Lasting Power of Attorney, for your Health & Welfare.

11. When is probate needed?
Probate is not always required. For example, if all of the assets are passing by survivorship, because they are held jointly, no application for probate would be necessary. If however, the deceased had savings and property in their sole name, a grant would certainly be required.

Contact Us

Get expert legal advice from one of Sheffield’s most respected law firms, Wake Smith Solicitors.

Our team of friendly, professional solicitors can provide support and advice in a wide range of areas for you and your business. Call our Solicitors in Sheffield on 0114 266 6660 or fill out the simple form below and we will get back to you as soon as possible. 

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