Welcome to our Frequently Asked Questions.
Below you’ll find answers to the questions we get asked the most about…
Why should I make a Will?
We spend our lives working to provide for ourselves and our loved ones. You may have a house or flat (in the UK or overseas), shares, savings, investments as well as your personal possessions. All of these assets are your ‘estate’. Making a Will ensures that when you die your estate is shared according to your wishes.
Everyone should have a Will, but it is even more important if you have children, you own property or have savings, investments, insurance policies or you own a business.
Briefly, here are 6 reasons why it’s important to make a will.
A Will is the only way to make sure your savings and possessions (your estate) go to the people and causes that you care about.
2. Avoiding disputes between relatives
Disputes over Wills can cause arguments among family members and may even need a solicitor to resolve them. Leaving a Will can go should remove any doubt about who you want to leave your estate to. Close relatives and dependents may still be able to make a claim on your estate, but a solicitor can advise you on how likely this is and the best way to prevent it.
3. Looking after your loved ones
Although it’s hard for loved ones to talk about death, talking about your Will can save everyone a lot of worry. Deciding who you want to leave your possessions to (your beneficiaries) can help you make sure they go to the people you intended.
4. Protecting your assets for future generations
A Will can ensure that assets are kept within the family and are passed on down the generations.
5. Saving on Inheritance Tax
With a carefully-planned Will, you can also cut the Inheritance Tax bill on your estate after your death. For example, Inheritance Tax isn’t normally paid on anything you leave to a spouse or civil partner who has their permanent home in the UK. Inheritance Tax is only payable if your estate is worth more than a certain amount. Contact our Private client team to find out more about Inheritance Tax.
6. Your funeral
Your will can be a way to let people know whether you would prefer to be buried or cremated, and the type of funeral service and music you would like.
What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a legal document that lets you (the ‘donor’) appoint one or more people (known as ‘attorneys’) to help you make decisions or to make deci-sions on your behalf.
This gives you more control over what happens to you if, for example, you have an ac-cident or an illness and can’t make decisions at the time they need to be made (you ‘lack mental capacity’).
There are two types of LPA:
1. Property & Finance – An LPA that grants authority in relation to the donor’s property and financial affairs.
This type of LPA can allow, for example, the attorney to pay the donor’s bills, sell their property or investments and operate their bank accounts. The attorney can use the LPA while the donor still has capacity, unless the donor specifies otherwise in the LPA.
2. Health &Welfare – An LPA that grants authority in relation to the donor’s health and welfare.
This type of LPA can only be used when the donor loses capacity The attorney can make decisions about the donor’s medical treatment, but the attorney cannot make decisions about life-sustaining treatment unless the donor specifically permits this in the LPA. The attorney can also make decisions about the donor’s diet, where they live and how they spend their time.
The donor of an LPA must be over 18 and have capacity to execute the LPA at the time it is created.
Do you offer home or hospital visits for the elderly and infirm?
Kirkwoods Solicitors are able to provide specialist legal advice in all Private Client matters for older and vulnerable clients, their families and their carers.
We understand that it is not always east to come to us. This sometimes due to a disability or poor health. Our friendly solicitors are more than happy to visit you in your home or at a hospital, hospice, care home or nursing home, to assist you.
We are able to provide independent and confidential advice, which is in the older or vulnerable client’s best interests, and will apply a holistic approach to problem solving.
Please contact our offices to arrange a visit.
How much Stamp Duty do I need to pay?
Please refer to this link for more information: Calculate Stamp Duty