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Here are some questions we’re often asked.
What is a will and when should I get one?
Nobody can predict their future, so it’s always a good idea to have a will, just in case. Preparing one now can give you and your family some peace of mind, as your finances and possessions will be handled the way you want.
What will happen if I die without a will?
Complications are inevitable if you pass without a will. The only way you stay in control of what happens with your finances and asset when you die is to make a will. Dying without a will places your estate into the hands of the “rules of intestacy”, which means monetary values, marital status and family relationships are all called into question. For example, everything doesn’t always automatically go to your wife, husband or children – if you’re not married (and even if you’ve lived with your partner for many years), your partner is unlikely to be entitled to any of your estate. The same rules apply to stepchildren you live with, as well as half-brothers and sisters.
How much will it cost to write a will?
Not as much as you may think. Our online wills cost £99, including VAT. Each person who completes an online will with us will receive a promo code for a second Will for £59.99. This can be shared with partners or friends and family members (although it will only work once!). This means that a couple can complete both of their wills for a total cost of £158.99.
What is a power of attorney?
Power of Attorney is a way of entrusting someone with the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf. It should be created while you’re mentally able and always before you need it. It’s a legal tool which becomes relevant if your mental or physical health declines and leaves you unable to make decisions or leave instructions regarding finances and/or your health and welfare if you pass.
Can I make a Will online?
Absolutely. Our online Will Builder allows you to create your will at your own convenience. There are guidance notes to help you along the way, plus our specialist team are on hand to answer any queries via the message centre.
What happens if my Will is contested?
If you create your will with us, it shouldn’t be contested. However, in the unlikely event that it should happen, we will be on hand to make sure your wishes are explained when you are no longer able to speak for yourself.
What happens if I need to change my Will?
We can update it for you. No matter the change, we’re on hand to assist or advise on any amendments you may want to make.
Do I need a solicitor to make a Will?
While a straightforward Will can be written without a solicitor, using one does offer you additional protection. We’re regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and carry professional indemnity insurance for protection in case anything does go wrong. Our services have been designed by expert solicitors to make sure that we can offer you the appropriate guidance when creating your Will.
Where should I keep my Will?
That is entirely up to you, but we would recommend keeping it with a solicitor. Some people keep it at home and others keep it in the bank – but one thing is certain, you should always tell your executor (the person you’ve chosen to carry out your will) where your will is kept.
What is probate?
Probate is the establishment of a will’s legal validity. We put a process in place for you to deal with the estate of someone you love when they die. Often, a ‘Grant of Representation’ is required for you to sort out the affairs of someone who has just died – probate is a spoke on the wheel of us helping you to deal with said property, money or possessions.
How can Beaumont Legal help with probate?
Beaumont Legal will guide you through probate one step at a time and make sure you understand everything. Our process will simplify probate for you and give you more time to focus on the emotional these difficult times can bring. If you want us to handle the whole process, we will. If you want us to offer advice, we will. We’re here and happy to help take you through probate step by step.
What is a trust?
There are many kinds of trusts, so getting the advice of a solicitor is vital for picking the right one to suit the needs of your estate. Trusts are an increasingly popular way of leaving money to your loved ones, especially if you have children or are worried about inheritance tax. However, there are different types of trusts and they are all taxed differently. Contact us today and find out if a trust is the right move for you and your family.
What is a trustee?
A trustee is the legal owner of the assets held in a trust. It’s worth remembering that while a trustee can change, the trust is fixed. The trustee will also manage your trust, pay any tax due and then decide how to invest or use your trust’s assets, should you leave instructions for them to do so.
What is inheritance tax?
Inheritance tax is a tax on your property, money and possessions when you die. How and when it is paid depends on the size of your estate and the tax year you’re filing for. Some things, such as wedding gifts, are exempt from inheritance tax. It can be complicated, but only a small percentage of estates are considered large enough to incur inheritance tax.
Gifts and exemptions from inheritance tax
A popular way to reduce inheritance tax is to make a gift to a loved one before you die. Advice from a solicitor is vital to help avoid several potential complexities in this area. Questions that can arise often relate to how much you can give to a spouse or civil partner tax-free, how much you can give to your children and family tax-free and potentially exempt transfers. It’s best to err on the side of caution and seek professional advice to help you and your recipients make the most of your gifts.
Who pays the costs of the legal proceedings regarding a Will dispute?
That often depends on the outcome of the dispute. Historically, defence claims have meant that the defendant does not have to ‘challenge’ the Will, forcing the case to go to court and the inheritor to cover the legal bills or be forced into settling a weak claim. However, a recent costs rule has established that if wish to dispute a will, you must be prepared to prove that you have good reason for opposing it or be prepared to pick up the legal costs.