People often put off planning for their future and the future of their estate because it is something they don't want to think about or they believe they can worry about it later. It's important to look after your loved ones by making sure that all the pieces are in place.
Our goal is to give you peace of mind, that whatever the future brings, your needs and those of your family will be taken care of. We provide expert advice to guide you through the wills, trusts and probate process. We offer a friendly empathetic and professional service and the support you need to deal with all the practical and legal issues.
Howsons provide a will writing service and can assist you in deciding what to include in your will to minimise your exposure to Inheritance Tax and to ensure that your wishes are carried out after you have gone.
Why make a will?
There are many reasons why you might consider making a will:
- To ensure your assets are disposed of in accordance with your wishes
- To Control who benefits from your estate after your death
- To choose who will administer your estate, i.e, your executors
- To choose who will be guardians for your infant children
- As a tax planning exercise to minimise inheritance tax
- But most importantly of all, for peace of mind
Our team can offer the clear practical advice and empathetic support that you need to deal with all of the practical and legal issues involved in the handling of the estate of a loved one who has passed away. We:
- Guide you through the probate process and assist with everything from having the estate valued to completion of the inheritance tax forms and calculation of any inheritance tax payable.
- Help you to claim the appropriate tax reliefs to minimise any inheritance tax liability.
- Help you with obtaining of a grant of probate in a timely manner.
- Assist you with the administration of the estate or undertake this on your behalf
Our aim is to make the entire process as simple and stress-free as possible.
A typical timeline is as follows:
1-3 months - Register the death, inform the relevant authorities using ''tell us once'', make payment of funeral and testamentary expenses, obtain valuations of estate assets at the date of death
Delays may occur depending on the circumstances of death
3-6 months - Completing the Inheritance Tax (IHT) forms and calculating the IHT due. Submission of the forms, probate application and making payment of the IHT.
Depending on the extent of any tax planning required, this stage may take longer to complete.
6-9 months - Obtaining a grant of probate
Delays may occur where there is no valid Will and letters of administration are required. In the event of a contentious probate a solicitor will need to be appointed in respect of any contentious matter arising. This may also delay probate being granted.
9-18 months - Collecting assets, paying liabilities, distributing the estate, completion of the estate accounts and Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax returns as appropriate.
Depending on the complexity of the estate, its administration period may be protracted. For instance, it may take time to trace beneficiaries, assets may need to be sold to pay liabilities/ distribute the estate in accordance with the terms of the Will, the estate may be administered under the Intestacy rules (where no valid Will exists) and may also involve ongoing trusts and/ or minor children.
Lasting Powers of Attorney
A lasting power of attorney (LPA) allows someone to make decisions on your behalf, should there be a time in your life when you lack mental capacity and are unable to make the decisions yourself. There are also other circumstances where a lasting power of attorney for property and/ or financial affairs may be used, even if you do not lack mental capacity.
There are two types of LPA:
- Property and financial affairs power of attorney which enables your attorney to look after your cash, investment shares and property.
- Health and welfare power of attorney which enables your attorney to make decisions regarding your care and living arrangements if you do lose mental capacity.
A lasting power of attorney enables you to make decisions about your future while you are still able to. You can choose up to four attorneys to make decisions on your behalf and can stipulate whether decisions are to be made independently or collectively.
To discuss matters relating to lasting powers of attorney, wills, probate or estate administration, please get in touch with our Tax Director (Vicky Hulse) on 01782 848838 or email us using the link below.
We are licenced by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales to carry out the reserved legal activity of non-contentious probate in England and Wales. Full details of our licence can be found in Regulatory Information.
In the unlikely event that we cease to be licenced for the reserved legal activity of non-contentious probate, we will notify you within 10 business days of the arrangements we have made to deal with any unfinished estate administration or probate matter.
Details of our internal complaints procedures and how and when a complaint can be made to the ICEAW and / or the legal ombudsman are detailed in our general terms and conditions which will be provided to you as part of our terms of engagement, the details of which can be found in Policies.
Details of our professional indemnity insurance and compensation arrangements can also be found in Regulatory Information.
- If you have any queries or would like to discuss your business needs with one of our team, please get in touch via telephone on 01782 848838 or email us by clicking the link below