Wills & Probate
Writing a will can sometimes be a complicated and daunting process. We know that there are lots of things to consider, from making sure your loved ones are looked after to organising your affairs in the most tax advantageous manner.
At KTS Legal, we like to think we take the strain out of writing your will. We are experts in the preparation of wills. Not only that, but if you choose us to write your will, we will be on hand to help guide and assist your loved ones after your death.
We can help you draft your will over the phone or by appointment. If you or your loved ones are unwell, we will happily visit you at home or in hospital.
Family Trusts are legal structures drawn up by lawyers for the purposes of protecting your property (mainly your home) during your lifetime, ensuring that it is passed down to your children and/or grandchildren.
Family Trusts are flexible, which enables trustees* to take account of changes in circumstances. They can help with matters such as going into a Care Home for example. KTS Legal can discuss with you the likely effect on your finances of your families change in circumstance, which may involve looking at the following areas:
- Your capital, including the value of your home
- Your present and anticipated future income
- The Inheritance Tax (IHT) and Capital Gains Tax (CGT) implications
- The effect of a Family Trust on any existing or proposed Will
- Your needs and expectations of your family
- The regulations regarding Care Home fees.
If you are worried about your abilities to manage your own financial affairs or your own personal welfare, or if you are worried about the abilities of a loved one to manage their own affairs, then KTS Legal specialist team can guide and support you through the options available.
The Court of Protection is a specialist court created to protect what is rightfully yours and to regulate whoever you appoint to look after your affairs.
At times like these you need a local solicitors firm with your interests at heart, who respect your dignity and behave with dignity themselves. One who is not only helpful and sympathetic, but is also prepared to fight to protect your interests and those of your loved ones if necessary.
At KTS Legal we will provide you with a friendly, practical and pro-active service covering a wide range of Court of Protection issues including:
- Lasting Powers of Attorney
- Family Trusts
PROBATE & ESTATE MANAGEMENT
If a loved one has died without a will or you have been appointed an executor in a will, you will need to apply for a Grant of Probate or a Grant of Administration to settle their affairs after their death.
At KTS Legal we understand that this is a very difficult time. We have many years of experience and know how to respect your privacy and the wishes of your loved one, whilst at the same time dealing with the legal matters as discreetly and efficiently as possible.
We have a long track record of dealing with complex, high value administrations and are experts at managing and optimising the Inheritance Tax liabilities of high value estates.
Where the situation arises where you think the will should be, or may be about to be contested, we can give you clear, simple advice on what your rights are, on what to do next, as well as representing you in court.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
A Will is a legal document that sets out a person’s wishes regarding how their estate, including movable and immovable property, money etc., should be dealt with after they die. It particularly includes who should manage the estate in the interim and who should ultimately benefit from it.
Estate is the sum of all your assets, held in your sole name and the value of your share of assets held as tenants in common). It usually includes property, money held in bank accounts, investments, art, household items etc. Your estate does not include any assets or money held in joint names with another person as these pass automatically to the survivor.
The majority of adults die without leaving a will and when this happens, they are not in a position to control how their estate will be distributed and who will manage or administer the same. Making a will ensures you do not have to take chances with the law deciding who gets what. So, having a Will is indeed helpful, more so if you are co-habiting, want to leave something particular to a friend/ relative/ grandchild, have businesses etc. If you think you do not need a Will because you are married and do not have any children outside of that marriage, you may still need one if you would like to control what happens to your money after your death. Irrespective, it would be best to take advice on whether you should make a Will or not.
If you have properties in different parts of the world, the case is slightly more complicated that having properties in the UK alone. The reason for this is there are different laws in different countries that affect the formation and validity of wills. So, in case you have assets in England and abroad, it would be best to seek specialist advice.
This is not a simple question to answer and depends completely on the countries involved, your residential and domicile status, your assets etc. You could have one will, or two different wills, one in each country. It would be best to consult experts before you decided what to do.
If you currently are a single parent with children under the age of 18 years, you can appoint a Guardian to look after your children in your Will. whilst they are under 18 years old. You can make your children the beneficiaries of your Estate and include provisions on when they can have access to their inheritance, at 18, 21, 25 or when they get married. Until that point their inheritance will be managed by Trustees, who can also be appointed by you in the Will itself. This matter is slightly complex, and it would be ion your family’s best interest if you get specialist advice to explore the option that works best for you.
Yes, anyone who is above 18 years of age and has the mental/ testamentary capacity can make a Will if they so wish. However, there are certain requirements and formalities that need to be followed. If you wish to make your own Will, we advise you to give us a call first and we will be happy to give you telephone advice.
You can store your own Will someplace place safe. Alternatively, we can store your Will with us or with the Probate Registry.
A beneficiary of your Will cannot be a witness while you sign the Will, and neither can their spouse or civil partner be a witness. If this happens, they will lose their inheritance.
Usually, estates worth over £325,000 are subject to Inheritance Tax at the rate of 40 percent. The value is reached after all debts and liabilities have been paid out. However, there are certain exceptions like the spousal nil rate, i.e., if your entire estate is transferred to your spouse there is no inheritance tax payable. Similarly, if more than 10 percent of your estate is given to charity, inheritance tax is reduced.
This is a difficult question to answer and the method usually depends on the value of your estate and what you are looking for. There are several ways to reduce inheritance tax like making gifts to friends, family or charities and using trusts. It is worth getting comprehensive advice on this to understand the pros and cons of each option.
The most common methods of doing this are through a deed of variation or by setting up and transferring assets to a trust. It would be best to speak to probate or trust solicitors for this.
This is a complicated issue, but yes you can do this. After the transfer of the house, you will need to pay a full market rent for living there. However, there could be other complications. For example, if you give your house to your child and they get divorced, it is likely that it would form a part of their assets that they might have to split with their ex-spouse. There might be other tax implications as well, so it would be best to consult experts before you take any steps regarding your home.
Yes, a will can be challenged for the following reasons:
• It was not executed as required by law
• The person making the will did not have the mental/ testamentary capacity to do so
• The person making the will did not know or approve the contents of the will
• The will was made under undue force/ influence/ coercion
These reasons are a few among many and in case you wish to challenge a will, it would be best to seek expert advice.
Here it is important to understand that even if the Grant of Probate has already been issued, certain claims can be brought against the estate within six months.
A person writing a Will, can avoid any issues that might arise after his death by talking to their family about their Will. This is important if you are excluding a family member from inheriting some/ all of your estate. Alternatively, a person can also write a letter to their Executor explaining why they have distributed assets in a certain way or providing reasons why a family member was given more, and one member given less or excluded.