A Will helps to simplify the administration of your estate. It will ensure that your assets will pass to the individuals you wish to benefit. It will remove some of the stress and worry your family may experience at a time of bereavement. We will take you through the relatively straightforward process either in a meeting in our offices in Salisbury or Southampton or at a convenient location. If it is difficult to meet due to overseas postings then we can take instructions over the internet or by telephone. We can also review any existing Will.
Powers of attorney
If you are going to be overseas for a period of time it may be prudent to appoint a family member, friend or professional advisor to be your attorney so that they can deal with your financial affairs whilst you are away. This can include buying or selling a house on your behalf. We can advise on this and prepare the relevant documents. These documents are also useful if there is a possibility that you could lose your mental capacity in the future. It is also possible to appoint such a person to be able to make personal welfare and care decisions should you become mentally incapable of doing so.
If an individual becomes mentally incapable of managing their own affairs and they do not have a Power of Attorney we can advise and assist with the application to the Office of the Public Guardian (‘OPG’) for a representative known as a Deputy to be appointed who, under the authority of the OPG will look after the finances of the mentally incapable individual.
Administration of estates
When a person dies somebody has to deal with their estate – money, property and possessions owned by them – by collecting and realising assets, paying any debts and tax due and dividing the estate amongst the people named in a Will or according to the intestacy rules if there is no Will. We can provide practical advice to help you or a family member deal with the administration of a deceased person’s estate. If you are based overseas we can advise the most efficient method of dealing with the administration of the estate.
Inheritance Tax is a tax which is mainly payable on death. It is calculated according to the value of your estate at the date of your death. Currently the value at which inheritance tax becomes payable is £325,000. Although Inheritance Tax may not be relevant now it could become so with changes in your personal circumstances for example on payment of your lump sum on retirement from the Armed Forces. We can advise you on mitigating the effect of Inheritance Tax.
Personal injury trusts
In the unfortunate event that you should receive a personal injury and you are paid damages this sum of money could effect any means tested benefits you are entitled to or may become entitled to including future care fees. If the damages are placed in a Personal Injury Trust within 52 weeks of a first payment then this sum may not be taken into account when assessing your means. We can advise on this and set up the appropriate trust.