Tel: 01384 878950 / 0121 455 9599 

WILLS 

"I know I should..." 
 
"I know I must..." 
 
"I haven't got anything to leave..." 
 
"It's too expensive..." 
 
"I will get around to it when I have the time..." 
Everyone knows what a Will is, but how many people know how it works and what it can do? Whilst definitions can be dull, the usual one for a Will does sum up the subject well. It is: 
 
‘A legal declaration of an individual’s intentions as to how he or she wishes to dispose of their property after death’ 
 
Thus, a Will only takes effect on death and can be cancelled or altered at any time before death, provided the person making the Will is of sound mind. 
 
If a valid Will is not in place when someone dies, their estate (money, property and other belongings) will pass under the Intestacy Laws which state which of the deceased’s living relatives should inherit and in what quantities. If there are no living relatives, the Government may take the estate. 
IMMEDIATELY, YOU CAN SEE ONE OF THE PRINCIPAL REASONS FOR MAKING A WILL. THE DECEASED MAY HAVE HAD LIVING RELATIVES BUT HE MAY: 
 
Not have wanted the person(s) chosen by law to inherit his estate 
Not have wanted any of his relatives to benefit 
Have wanted certain relatives to have inherited different sums of money 
 
IN MAKING A WILL YOU NEED, IN PARTICULAR, TO: 
 
Decide to whom you want to leave your Estate and in what proportion 
Consider whom you would wish to appoint as a reserve beneficiary if your first choice were to predecease you. All Wills should make provision for reserve beneficiaries 
Choose who will be the executor(s) of your Will. An executor is responsible for administering your Estate in accordance with the terms of your Will 
If you have young children, consider the provision of a guardian. 
Determine what will happen if you die first or you and your partner, spouse etc. die at the same time 
Have given thought to whether you may be liable to inheritance tax 
HERE ARE SOME ALARMING STATISTICS: 
 
More than 4 in 5 co-habiting couples have not made a Will* 
79% of households with dependant children have not made a Will* 
Over 16,000 people between the ages of 20 and 44 died in 2015, a ratio of 1 in every 1000 in that age group^ 
58% of people in the West Midlands did not know if they had a valid Will or not.~ 
 
*National Consumer Council 
^www.statistics.gov.uk 
~Law Society 
INHERITANCE MATTERS CAN SHOW YOU ILLUSTRATED EXAMPLES OF HOW THESE WILL TRUSTS CAN WORK TO YOUR ADVANTAGE. 
CALL US TODAY ON 01384 878950 TO DISCOVER HOW WE CAN HELP YOU. 
ALTERNATIVELY, CLICK HERE AND COMPLETE THE FORM TO GET IN TOUCH. 

DOCUMENT STORAGE 

I can't quite put my finger on it... 

Every year, thousands of Wills cannot be found when they are needed. Not being able to locate a Will is equivalent to dying intestate. The State then decides how your estate is handled which will, in all probability, not be as you would have wished. 
 
The original signed copy of your Will is your ONLY Will. It has to be kept safely. Do not take the risk of your Will going missing; store your Wills and other associated documents in a secure fireproof facility through InHeriTance Matters. 

We can ensure that all your papers are in order, safe and secure, ready for when they are needed. 

The importance of having your documents ready and to hand cannot be overestimated.  InHeriTance Matters can keep your vital documents stored safely and securely for when they need to come into play, avoiding additional and unnecessary stress at what may already be a difficult time for you and your family. 

The advantages of the service can be summarised as follows: 

Your Will and other documents in safe storage with National Will Safe Limited 
Your Will is kept in a waterproof wallet in a specialist document archive facility 
While stored it is fully insured 
Personal Will storage ID card supplied 
Bound set of copy documents provided for your reference 
Your executors will receive a copy ID storage card for ease of retrieval 
You can access your documents at any time – free of charge. 
The location of your documents will be registered free of charge on the National Wills Register 
Regular contact to ensure your circumstances have not changed which impact on your Will etc. 
When needed, documents can either be posted within twenty four hours by the ‘Royal Mail Signed For’ service or hand delivered by InHeriTance Matters. 
 
We can also provide your executor(s) with guidance should it be required. 

TRUSTS 

WHEN YOU NEED SOMEONE YOU CAN TRUST... INHERITANCE MATTERS. 
 
Setting up a trust is a process that requires careful thought and attention. At InHeriTance Matters we have experience and know-how from which you can benefit, if you are considering setting up a trust. We will ensure that you are fully informed and help you to make the right decision so that you can rest easy and assured that your future and those around you is secured exactly as you would wish. 
 
There are occasions where it might be advisable to include a trust either within or outside a Will but, in essence, trusts are usually introduced to protect or preserve assets so that: 
 
Beneficiaries are appropriately provided for 
Inheritance tax may be mitigated 
Assets are protected for family members 
 
There are a wide variety of trusts. We will advise you as to which best suits your personal circumstances. As an example, here are some of the trusts available. 
CHILDREN'S TRUST - This type of trust is set up to provide funds for children who have lost one or both parents. 
LIFE INTEREST TRUST - This type of trust gives a beneficiary a right over an asset (usually property), or an enjoyment of that asset or property during their lifetime. 
DISCRETIONARY TRUST - This type of trust is most commonly used in inheritance tax planning. A discretionary trust gives flexibility to the chosen trustees who are, in addition, responsible for the investment of the capital. An advantage of this type of trust is that it does not form part of the estate of the beneficiary. 
DISABLED TRUST - This trust enables trustees to look after the needs of a disabled beneficiary. This type of trust does not affect disability benefits. 
 
A trust is a legal agreement in which property is transferred from one party to be held by another for the benefit of a third party. At InHeriTance Matters we advise that you think carefully before you set up a trust - and we have the experience and the know-how to ensure that you make all the right choices for yourself and those who matter to you. 
 
Call us on 01384 878950 and find out for yourself how you can trust us to take things forward. 

PROTECTIVE PROPERTY TRUST WILLS 

PROTECT YOUR PROPERTY AND THOSE WHO MATTER TO YOU. 
 
Most couples own their home jointly, known as a joint tenancy. This means that they both own the whole property. On the death of a joint tenant, the home AUTOMATICALLY becomes the sole property of the survivor - who is then free to do what they wish with it. However this may not be in the best interests of the deceased's family: 
 
If the survivor then remarries, it is possible that the whole of the house will then pass to their new spouse on their death, thus disinheriting the children of the first marriage. 
 
or 
 
If the survivor has to go into a Nursing or Residential Home, as the sole owner of the property, the Local Authority has powers to charge the cost of care against the value of the whole house, again disinheriting the children. 
 
or 
 
If the couple have children from a previous relationship and have made Wills leaving everything to each other on first death and then to the children they have between them on second death, there is nothing to prevent the survivor redrafting their Will and disinheriting the children from their deceased partner's first relationship. 
 
A solution can be to change the way the home is owned from Joint Tenants to Tenants in Common - a straightforward process that doesn't involve the mortgage company even if the property is mortgaged. 
WHAT DOES 'TENANTS IN COMMON' MEAN? 
 
With Tenants in Common, each owner owns a share of the property. 
 
Each owner can decide to leave their share to named beneficiaries in the event of death. This has a number of benefits. For example, by being able to protect your bloodline, you are ensuring that, if your spouse were to remarry, your wealth does not pass down another line of family. 
 
For more information about Tenants in Common and Protective Property Trust Wills, call us on 01384 878950. 
 

FUNERAL PLANS 

Plan ahead with a funeral plan. Suiting you and those around you. 

A Funeral Plan allows for a cremation funeral (either your own or that of a friend or relative for whom you will have responsibility) to be prepaid in full at today’s prices, thus avoiding rising funeral costs over the years ahead. 
 
None of us know how long we have left to live. No matter how much money you set aside for your funeral, it may not cover the cost and your family may have to make up the shortfall to give you a dignified send-off. 

In 2015 (the latest period for which there are statistics available), the average cost of a funeral was £3,875. 

There are many benefits to setting up a Funeral Plan: 

Straightforward to understand and simple to buy 
Choice of Plan to suit your own circumstances and wishes 
Family is free from the financial obligation of paying for your funeral 
Payment can be made in full immediately or by instalments over a maximum of five years 
Funeral Service planning is organised in advance because your wishes are detailed in the Plan, thus saving your next of kin having to decide how you might have set the arrangements 
Your payment(s) is securely held in an independent trust fund and thus safeguarded until the Plan is needed. 

InHeriTance Matters - Making sure you can take the next step with grace and dignity. Call us on 01384 878950 today. 

PROBATE 

On death all your assets are frozen. Whether or not you have a valid Will your executors, if you have one (or the next of kin or principal beneficiary should you die intestate) have to apply to the Probate Registry – for 'Probate of the Will'. 
 
This document authorises the personal representative(s) of the deceased to administer the estate in accordance with the wishes as expressed in the Will or, if a valid Will cannot be found, through the Rules of Intestacy (as an administrator). 
 
This document has to be obtained within six months of the date of death and is usually only granted when any inheritance tax due on the estate has been paid. 
 
However, if a deceased's estate consists of assets, typically bank / building society / national savings accounts which total less than £5,000 then applying for probate can be avoided. However an account is still required by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs if the value of all property including jointly held assets exceeds the prevailing inheritance tax allowance (currently £325,000). 
 
The role and responsibilities of an executor to a Will should not be underestimated by a lay person. When the time comes, it can be complicated, time consuming and carries considerable obligations, not the least being a legal liability. Executors can, of course, instruct a professional adviser such as InHeriTance Matters to undertake specific duties, even if they do not use that advisor to make the probate application. 
 
It can happen that a Will has been made but the executors are not able or are unwilling to act. What can the next of kin / close family do, at what is probably a highly emotional and stressful time, to sort out the affairs of the person who has just died? Sometimes the principal beneficiary will step into the breach but, more likely than not, will require professional guidance which is where InHeriTance Matters can help. 
 
Similarly, if a person has died without a valid Will, InHeriTance Matters is well placed to help the family sort out whatever needs to be done in order to comply with the Intestacy Rules. 

What are the principal roles of an executor/administrator? 

Locate the Will (executor) 
Register the death 
Gather the assets, keep them safe and insure as appropriate 
Value the estate 
Pay any inheritance tax due 
Apply for and obtain probate 
Pay any creditors 
Distribute the estate in accordance with the Will (or Intestacy Rules) 
Prepare an income tax return to the date of death 
Complete a final statement of account obtaining receipts as appropriate 
Deal with any issues / problems / disputes that can arise 
Pass the burden to InHeriTance Matters. 

InHeriTance Matters can help you with all of your probate issues and guide you through these tricky and emotional times. 

LASTING POWER OF ATTORNEY 

Most people acknowledge that it is important to organise their affairs in the event of their death which is the purpose of a Will. However, many fail to make similar provisions to deal with their affairs, should they become unable to look after themselves during their lifetime, through physical and/or mental incapacity, an increasing possibility given the continuing advances in medical care. 
 
It is a mistake to think that next of kin is able to assume immediate responsibility for one’s affairs. The Data Protection Act forbids, for example, a utility provider speaking with any person other than the account holder. In fact an application through the Office of the Public Guardian to the Court of Protection has to be made; this typically takes several months to be approved and costs well in excess of the fee for an LPA. 
 
This lengthy procedure can be readily avoided by creating a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). This is a legally binding document that enables you to appoint a trusted person or persons to look after your affairs should incapacity occur perhaps due to illness, accident or infirmity in old age. 
 
It is vital that you do this before mental or physical incapacity strikes. 
There are two forms of a LPA. One covers the management of financial affairs, the other deals with personal welfare such as medical care. 
 
Whilst the LPA is a powerful document, there are numerous safeguards to prevent its abuse. For example, you can include restrictions on what the attorneys you appoint can and cannot do under the authority of the documents. You can also include advice or guidance on how you would like them to act. 
 
An LPA can be updated or cancelled at any time, whilst you have mental capacity, should your circumstances change. 
 
It is essential that LPA arrangements are made whilst you are fit and healthy. Otherwise you could leave your family with a multitude of practical problems. 

ADVANCE DIRECTIVES (LIVING WILLS) 

Today there are many treatments given to patients who are terminally ill. Treatments may include being kept alive on a life support machine. Whilst such actions may prolong life, they may also offer little or no chance of recovery. 
 
Would you want your life support machine switched off in such circumstances? 
 
Would you want your grieving relatives to have to make that decision? 
 
An Advance Directive enables you to state which treatments you would or would not want if you became seriously ill and were unable to participate in decisions about your medical care. An Advance Directive is recognised by the British Medical Association and is legally enforceable provided that two doctors have certified that they are of the opinion that you are unlikely to recover from your condition. 
An Advance Directive enables you to: 
make choices about the level of medical treatment that you would want should you be suffering from a life threatening illness 
make statements to be considered by those dispensing treatment about the treatment you want, or do not want, to be given 
 
AND 
 
gives peace of mind. Your family is not left to make difficult and emotional decisions. 
 
Be aware. Know the facts. 
 
Advance Directives or Living Wills are not the same as assisted suicide. That remains unlawful. Nor can an Advance Directive be used to refuse basic nursing care or ask that staff do not offer you food and drink by mouth. 

INHERITANCE TAX (IHT) PLANNING WILLS 

"IT IS, BROADLY SPEAKING, A VOLUNTARY LEVY PAID BY THOSE WHO DISTRUST THEIR HEIRS MORE THAN THEY DISLIKE THE INLAND REVENUE" 
ROY JENKINS (FORMER CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER) 
 
It is an inescapable fact that more and more people have become liable to this ‘death' tax than ever before. It may be a shock to know that your children could receive an inheritance far smaller than you intend because of this tax becoming due on part of your estate when you die. 
 
Every adult has an IHT allowance (also known as the Nil Rate Band) which is reviewed annually. For the tax years up to 2015, it has been set at £325,000. This may seem, on the face of it, a rather generous figure. However when all your assets are taken into account including, for example, the value of the family home and perhaps life policies / death in service benefits from a recently deceased spouse, it is surprising how many people find themselves in a situation where IHT could potentially be payable. 
 
The difficulty is that, traditionally, the Government fails to increase the IHT allowance in line with the monetary appreciation of people's assets, in particular property values. As the surviving spouse / civil partner generally inherits the deceased's estate which is likely to grow more rapidly in value than the IHT allowance, then on second death there could be a higher tax bill to pay than needs be. 
SOMETHING CAN BE DONE ABOUT THIS... 
 
InHeriTance Matters can draw up Wills for couples which allow for the creation of an IHT trust on first death. Once the assets have been placed in the trust, they can continue to grow in value free of IHT thus potentially reducing the surviving spouse / civil partner's IHT liability on second death. 
 
Unmarried couples can also prepare their Wills to mitigate IHT. Do not think that you are excluded. Call InHeriTance Matters today on 01384 878950 to find out how we can help to ensure that your future needs and the needs of those important to you can be considered. 
 
INHERITANCE TAX - THE FACTS 
In the current tax year, it is estimated that inheritance tax will yield some £3 billion and that up to several million people could be affected by this tax when they die. 
 
So what can be done? Briefly, you can... 
 
Do nothing 
Spend (to reduce the value of your estate) 
Insure (to cover the tax likely to be payable) 
Make lifetime gifts 
Trust Planning 
NHERITANCE MATTERS CAN SHOW YOU ILLUSTRATED EXAMPLES OF HOW THESE WILL TRUSTS CAN WORK TO YOUR ADVANTAGE. 
CALL US TODAY ON 01384 878950 AND SEE FOR YOURSELF HOW WE CAN HELP YOU. 
ALTERNATIVELY, CLICK HERE AND COMPLETE THE FORM TO GET IN TOUCH. 

PROTECTIVE PROPERTY TRUST WILLS 

PROTECT YOUR PROPERTY AND THOSE WHO MATTER TO YOU. 
 
Most couples own their home jointly, known as a joint tenancy. This means that they both own the whole property. On the death of a joint tenant, the home AUTOMATICALLY becomes the sole property of the survivor - who is then free to do what they wish with it. However this may not be in the best interests of the deceased's family: 
 
If the survivor then remarries, it is possible that the whole of the house will then pass to their new spouse on their death, thus disinheriting the children of the first marriage. 
 
or 
 
If the survivor has to go into a Nursing or Residential Home, as the sole owner of the property, the Local Authority has powers to charge the cost of care against the value of the whole house, again disinheriting the children. 
 
or 
 
If the couple have children from a previous relationship and have made Wills leaving everything to each other on first death and then to the children they have between them on second death, there is nothing to prevent the survivor redrafting their Will and disinheriting the children from their deceased partner's first relationship. 
 
A solution can be to change the way the home is owned from Joint Tenants to Tenants in Common - a straightforward process that doesn't involve the mortgage company even if the property is mortgaged. 
WHAT DOES 'TENANTS IN COMMON' MEAN? 
 
With Tenants in Common, each owner owns a share of the property. 
 
Each owner can decide to leave their share to named beneficiaries in the event of death. This has a number of benefits. For example, by being able to protect your bloodline, you are ensuring that, if your spouse were to remarry, your wealth does not pass down another line of family. 
 
For more information about Tenants in Common and Protective Property Trust Wills, call us on 01384 878950. 
 

ADVANCE DIRECTIVES (LIVING WILLS) 

Today there are many treatments given to patients who are terminally ill. Treatments may include being kept alive on a life support machine. Whilst such actions may prolong life, they may also offer little or no chance of recovery. 
 
Would you want your life support machine switched off in such circumstances? 
 
Would you want your grieving relatives to have to make that decision? 
 
An Advance Directive enables you to state which treatments you would or would not want if you became seriously ill and were unable to participate in decisions about your medical care. An Advance Directive is recognised by the British Medical Association and is legally enforceable provided that two doctors have certified that they are of the opinion that you are unlikely to recover from your condition. 
An Advance Directive enables you to: 
make choices about the level of medical treatment that you would want should you be suffering from a life threatening illness 
make statements to be considered by those dispensing treatment about the treatment you want, or do not want, to be given 
 
AND 
 
gives peace of mind. Your family is not left to make difficult and emotional decisions. 
 
Be aware. Know the facts. 
 
Advance Directives or Living Wills are not the same as assisted suicide. That remains unlawful. Nor can an Advance Directive be used to refuse basic nursing care or ask that staff do not offer you food and drink by mouth. 

Services 

Our services have been tailored to ensure that you will be safe in the knowledge that all eventualities have been covered, the relevant boxes have been ticked and that nothing is left to chance. 
We also ensure that you know and understand every detail, and that the process is a smooth and painless one. 
Look at the services that we offer, and speak to us if you are unsure about anything or would simply like to know more. 
From advice and support when writing a will, through to trusts, funeral plans and probate - we have everything you need. 
 
We are helpful, we are professional, we are thorough. And most importantly of all - we understand. 

Call InHeriTance Matters Today on 01384 878950 

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