Wills and Estate Planning
It is never a comfortable experience planning what will happen when you pass but at MKB Law we have a dedicated team whose aim is to guide you through the process and to make it as effortless as possible. We can help you with all aspects of the Will making process and with the administration of your estate.
Our team will take a detailed account of everything you own that could be left to others and help you identify beneficiaries and the best way in which you can provide for them when you have gone. We can also help you decide what to do with any surplus capital whether it be used as a gift or donated to a charity of your choice to ensure your legacy lives.
Why make a will?
There are a number reasons for you to make a Will and we would advise that you make one as soon as you can. If you die without a Will the rules of intestacy will be applied to your estate and your assets will be divided for you. Some benefits include…
Your estate can be left to whom you wish.
You can decide who carry’s out your wishes.
If you have any children decisions can be made about who will look after.
You can outline your wishes regarding funeral arrangements (whether you want to be buried or cremated)
Factors to consider
When planning your estate you must consider what will happen during your lifetime and also what will happen when you pass. Certain decisions can be made before your death such as what is left to your beneficiaries and charitable donations. Despite the stigma around making Wills this can an gratifying experience in which you decide your legacy and think about how you can provide for your family.
It is always advisable that you nominate a enduring power of attorney. This person will be selected to look after your affairs and make decisions on your estate after you have passed on. There are certain provisions that our solicitors can help you with such as inheritance tax, protecting family wealth and protecting individual assets.
Making your Will for the first time is not the be-all and end-all, and your Will can be reviewed with your solicitor at any time. Changes to legislation can also have an effect on your Will. We advise our clients to review their Will with our solicitors every 3 to 5 years or whenever there is a change in their circumstances, such as:
If you get married or enter into a civil partnership
If you have children or other relations to which you would like to see benefits (grandchildren etc.)
If you get divorced
If you purchase an expensive asset (property, car etc.)
Making a will after divorce
As solicitors, we always recommend that clients make wills, but making a will after divorce or separation is especially important. No matter how long you have been apart, your spouse remains your next-of-kin until the Decree Absolute is issued, and, in the event of your death, they will be entitled to the majority, if not all, of your estate.
Even after the marriage has officially ended, a will is important to ensure your children are adequately provided for after your death. Most importantly of all, a will allows you to name guardians for your children if they are under 18.
At MKB Law, our Wills Department has a wealth of experience in all aspects of will drafting, particularly following marriage breakdown. We can also advise you on the complex areas of Inheritance Tax and planning for future care.
Although trusts are seen as a wide and complicated subject, at their basic level they are very simple. If you’ve ever said to someone “Here’s £5, give it to so-and-so”, you’ve created a trust! A trust is simply a situation where the holder of something is not entitled to the benefit of it.
Trusts are useful tools, both in terms of tax-planning and allowing you, as the person establishing the trust, to retain control over an asset while removing it from your estate.
There are many different types of trusts, and they have their own tax regime. It is important to understand not only why a trust is being established but also the ramifications of doing so. Our specialised team at MKB Law can advise you on all kinds of trusts, from trusts for minor children to disabled persons’ trusts.
Why use a professional?
In recent times people have taken to using cheaper services when having their Will made which carries a certain degree of risk. By choosing the cheapest option you will end up with a cheap Will. This is an important document and should be treated as so by your provider. By making a Will yourself you further increase the risk of error and omission and your Will will also be exempt from the complaints handling body should a problem arise.
Our Wills and Estate Planning team have many years of experience assisting clients in the planning of their estate. When you make your Will with MKB Law, you can be sure that it will be stored safely and securely at our premises.