Wills, Tax & Estate Planning Lawyers In London
A Last Will and Testament is a legal document that sets out how you wish your assets to be distributed on your death. Over the years we have developed a strong reputation for providing quality Will drafting and writing services in London. If you don’t already have one, making a Last Will and Testament should be high on your agenda. We offer a reliable, professional service to our clients in a range of legal matters and our location in Central London makes us ideally situated. For help setting up a Will, or for further information, call 020 3490 1475 to arrange a consultation.
We can advise you on making a Will and structuring your affairs to ensure that your estate passes to your intended beneficiaries in the most tax-efficient way. Our expert Will writers and estate planners can provide advice on all aspects of Wills from basic Wills for individuals, mirrored Wills for couples, through to the complex. We also have a growing reputation working with high net worth individuals to protect their estates.
Make Your Will For Free In London
We are part of the National Free Wills Network, offering a free Will writing service to the people of London. You can have a simple Will or Mirror Will written or amended for free as part of the scheme.
The scheme allows people to have a Will written for free, with a number of well-known member charities paying for a limited number of Wills. You can leave a gift in your Will that will benefit your chosen charity and the important work that they do, although you are under no obligation to do so.
Contact us or call on 020 3490 1475 to take part in the scheme, or for further information.
Frequently Asked Questions About Wills
Why do I need a Will?
If you don’t have a Will, the law will decide who receives your assets, which can be very different from your wishes. Make sure you protect your estate and ensure it goes to your loved ones.
A Will allows you to appoint a guardian for your children and vulnerable others should the worst happen. You can also delay the age of inheritance to a time when your child is old enough and responsible enough to receive a considerable sum of money or assets.
Writing a Will protects your spouse or partner. You can ensure your assets are passed to those you hold dear to you rather than the taxman!
Do I need a Will if I’m married?
If you’re married and die without a Will, intestacy rules dictate who receives your assets. If you’re married or in a civil partnership and have no children, then your spouse will receive everything.
If you do have children, whether together or from a previous relationship, the intestacy rules mean that your spouse will receive your personal possessions, plus the first £250,000 (plus interest from the date of death) and one half of anything that remains. Your children will receive the other half. If your spouse has children from a previous relationship they Will receive nothing.
It is worth noting that unintended beneficiaries may lose valuable tax-free allowances and could trigger an Inheritance Tax Liability. We can advise you on this.
What To Include In A Will
We’re regularly asked, ‘what do you write in a Will?’ The answer is usually the following:
- Bequests and cash legacies: You can leave cash legacies to named relatives, friends or charities. You can also bequeath your valued possessions to whomever you wish. After debts, tax and fees have been paid the residue of your estate (what’s left) can be left to an individual or shared out between several beneficiaries.
- Leaving property: You can leave a property in your Will if it is held as a tenancy in common. You can leave your half to whomever you choose and they will become a tenant in common with the other owner. If the property is owned as a joint tenancy, then your half will pass to the surviving tenant automatically.
- You can appoint guardians of your children (if under 18) if both parents die as well as indicate where the money to look after them will come from. If children are to inherit money or property, then this will be held in trust until they are 18 or married.
- Appoint executors: These are named individuals that carry out your wishes prescribed in your Will. It is best practice to name one Executor and one substitute. These can be relatives, friends or a solicitor.
What is intestacy and what are the rules?
Dying without a valid Will is called intestacy or dying intestate. The law dictates who receives your assets. Intestacy rules state that if you don’t make a Will and:
- You’re not married and not in a civil partnership, your partner is not legally entitled to anything when you die.
- You’re married, your husband or wife might inherit most or all your estate, even if you’re separated, and your children might not get anything. This is not the case if you’re divorced.
- You have children or grandchildren, how much they are legally entitled to Will depend on where you live in the UK.
- You die without a Will, any inheritance tax that is required to be paid could be higher. Planning your estate will help to avoid this.
- You die with no living close relatives; your estate will be passed to the Crown or to the government.
What happens if you die without a Will? Who will inherit?
Visit the Gov.UK online calculator to find out who will inherit your possessions if you die without a Will.