WILLS + ESTATES
RJS Solicitors have years of experience with preparing and writing wills, planning estates and dealing with the affairs of those who have passed away. Planning for the inevitable can be difficult and dealing with a loved one’s affairs following a death can be a distressing and overwhelming process.
Will writing and planning your estate
A last will and testament allows a person to decide exactly what will happen to their money, property and possessions in the event of their death, including care instructions for any children aged under the age of 18. A will is formal legal document which has to be signed and witnessed in order for it to be considered legally valid. The process of confirming the validity of a will is known as probate.
Wills: Contesting and defending a will
When a member of your family, close friend or loved one passes away, there may well be a noticeable error within their last Will and Testament, or it might not been correctly implemented in some way. If you believe that this could be the case, then you could well have a justifiable cause to legally contest the contents of their will in court.
Asset protection is a component of financial planning intended to protect your assets from creditor claims. Individuals and business entities use asset protection techniques to limit creditors’ access to certain valuable assets while operating within the bounds of debtor-creditor law.
Dealing with an Estate
Depending on the assets left to you by the deceased in their will, you may need to apply for a grant of representation (often commonly referred to as a grant of probate) from the probate registry before you are able to deal with any of the deceased assets. You may have inheritance tax to pay and complex forms to complete.
Estate Planning for Business Owners
We can assist business owners with planning for the future, ensuring individual directors have planned their estates to comply with shareholder agreements and at the same time limiting their own exposure to tax.
Equity release refers to a range of products that allow you to access the ‘cash’ (equity) that is tied up in your home. If you are over the age of 55, you can take the money you release either as a lump sum, in several smaller amounts or even as a combination of both. It is a great legal tool when used to its full potential.
Powers of Attorney
A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a legal document that allows you to appoint one or more people (known as ‘attorneys’) to help you make decisions or to make decisions on your behalf when dealing with third parties such as with the local council, banks and in some cases, where you live. It’s particularly important for business owners and trustees of Self Administered Pensions.
‘Gifting’ assets or money outside of your will
Making a gift to your family and friends while you’re alive can be a good way to reduce the value of your estate for Inheritance Tax purposes and benefit your loved ones immediately.
Tax and Trusts
This is a broad topic and there are many avenues one can explore. At RJS Solicitors, we have many legal tools and knowledge to guide you to making the best decisions. We have some brilliant associates in the form of accountants, financial advisors and even pension solicitors who can also bring advice to the table.