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Wollaston Associates

Experts in Estate Planning:
Wills, Trusts, Probate, Lasting Power of Attorney.

Call now: office 0161 526 6262 / mobile 07757 546 893

Martin Wollaston, expert in Wills, Trusts, Probate and Lasting Power of Attorney.

Expert will-making service

Will making expert Martin Wollaston talking with a female client.

A Will is a legal document that allows a person to pass on their assets, family heirlooms, appoint guardians for their children, and include gifts to charities, friends and family.

So, if you have children, own property, have savings or investments, or run a business, making a Will is important to ensure that beneficiaries will receive what is wished for by you – as opposed to some anonymous Court official giving assets to the wrong people.

Below are listed some of the reasons that you – or someone you know – might need to write a new Will or change an existing one.

Please note that a Will is not the same as a Trust – if you want to know how they differ, please see our FAQ page.

What are the life events that may trigger the need for a Will, or for someone to update their Will?

Getting married or entering into a civil partnership

Even if someone is married or in a civil partnership, without a Will it is not guaranteed that their spouse will inherit all or any of their property or assets.

The decision over who gets what will be made by a court in a process that can be both costly and lengthy.

Things can get more complex if it is a second or subsequent marriage and/or children, multiple properties and separate assets are involved.

Without a valid Will in place, if something were to happen to one or both parents, there is no guarantee that a particular individual will become the carer for a child or children.

The case might have to go through the courts, and social services may become involved.

Moved to a bigger, more expensive house should be a reminder to consider what will happen to the property in the future.

If not properly allocated in a Will, then the investment could be taken away from the family.

Any Will written before a divorce is likely to need updating to cater for the fact the marriage has ended.

If there is no existing Will, then it might be desirable to secure any remaining assets for children, other family etc.

Not surprisingly, those who are recently widowed are likely to wish to put a Will in place.

This might be because someone has gone through a process where there was no Will and experienced how traumatic it can be, or their assets and property status have changed and they need to ensure that their family is properly provided for in the future.

When they retire, people often feel the need to make arrangements for their estate, expressing clear intentions within a Will that they are either making for the first time or updating.

A Will may need to be updated to include all relevant assets, any new properties or change in beneficiaries.

If there is no Will and assets have increased or properties have been acquired, it’s worth considering what will happen to them as there is no guarantee they will go to a family member unless it’s written into a Will.

Also, maximising tax allowances is essential as assets increase over time and a correctly drafted Will could be the key to ensuring that allowances can be claimed by your estate.

If your circumstances have changed, perhaps due to one of the issues mentioned above, you should talk to your advisor about updating an existing Will to ensure it reflects your current situation and wishes.

Many people need to change those named in their Will.

This can be for a variety of reasons, such as someone outliving an executor or beneficiary named in a Will, or because a relationship has deteriorated or ended.

In this case, it’s best to update the Will to avoid possible complications in the future.

Recent years have been challenging for businesses and many have struggled.

Business partners and directors might have changed, structures might have altered, or companies might have been downsized.

So if your business interests have changed significantly over the past few years, now is a good time to review both your Will and a succession plan for the business.

It is always advisable to review a Will and estate planning regularly in line with current tax legislation, reliefs, and opportunities to save on Inheritance Tax thresholds.

In today’s world it is no longer only the super-rich whose families face high tax bills on death. Property prices, although slowing, are high and tax reliefs do not always keep pace with inflation.

It’s therefore worth looking at ways to create a tax efficient Will and estate plan to ease any future tax burden.

Reviewing your affairs can be a great way to understand where you are financially and to make plans for the future.