Wills

Our will solicitors are experts within their field, providing clients with their extensive knowledge and experience to professionally draft their will. We have dealt with a range of will requirements from the individual to high profile clients. We pride ourselves on working tirelessly on behalf of clients, delivering outstanding customer service and support throughout.

How our Will solicitors could help?

Will writing can feel overwhelming, particularly if the individual’s circumstances are complex. A will needs to be concise and meticulously drafted to ensure there is no room for interpretation in the event of your death, at worst, poor phrasing can completely nullify a will. It is therefore imperative that any will written is overseen by a legal professional who can offer advice in the drafting process, or write the will on your behalf. Our will solicitors can support you in the writing process, applying legal advice and expert experience to ensure your will is legally binding. 

For more information or advice, please get in touch with our will solicitors who can guide you on the process.

What is Will and Testament?

If you pass away without a Will your assets may not be distributed as you would like.

It is approximated that 60% of the UK adult population do not have a Will. We all know we should have one but not enough people do. Moreover, many Wills are actually invalid.

A Will is essential for anyone who has children, property or financial investments.

If you want to be sure that your wishes are met in the event of your death, then you need to have a Will drafted, preferably by a professional will solicitor.  You should regularly ensure it is kept up to date to reflect current and ongoing circumstances.

A Will is a legal document that states:

  • Who benefits from and can use the assets from your estate;
  • How your property is to be dealt with
  • Which of your trusted friends or family is in charge of distributing your estate. Your Executor.

If you do not have a Will then you die ‘intestate’ and your estate will then be distributed according to the rules set by law. These rules do not cater for your specific wishes and could mean family members may benefit when you would prefer them not to. 

In some circumstances your assets may go to distant relatives you have never met, or even the Crown. The number of those dying intestate is rising rapidly.

Within your Will, you can also specify:

  • Any gifts, such as jewellery, paintings and alike
  • Who will manage, organise and distribute your estate
  • Any charity donations;
  • All non-family beneficiaries;
  • Any trust planning to ensure that your wishes are met even after you die
  • Your funeral arrangements and ensure it is paid for.

A Will solicitor can help you:

  • Avoid ‘sideways disinheritance’ if you have remarried or have children from a previous relationship
  • Potentially reduce your Inheritance Tax (IHT) liability

Why do I need a will

Writing a will enables you to dictate what happens to your money and belongings in the event of your death. If you have children, it will document whom your children should live with if you pass away, avoiding other family members and potentially the state becoming guardians of your children. 

A will can also detail who will act on your behalf if you become unable to in life events too, say if you became critically ill.  This is called a living will. To be able to respect your wishes, a living will should be written very precisely and we recommend you receive advice from a will solicitor to ensure it is drafted correctly.

There are many other reasons that creating a will is really important, if you would like some advice on what a will can include or perhaps how to draft one correctly, please contact our expert team. All initial consultations are entirely confidential and free and we will look at your circumstances to ensure your will is precisely as you want it.

Intestacy Rules

When a person dies without a will, they are described as having died intestate. This means estate will be distributed according to the rules of intestacy and not how they would’ve wanted. 

In the UK, there are statutory rules that are enforced if you die intestate. Your estate will be divided in accordance with this legislation, regardless of what your intentions may have been.

The rules for intestacy will divide your estate in a fixed order. 

  1. Marriage Couples and Civil Partners
  2. Children
  3. Great Children/ Great Grandchildren
  4. Other Relatives
  5. If you don’t have any surviving relatives, your estate will be passed to the Crown. 

There are other rules for intestacy, if you are married or in a civil partnership with children then the first £270,000 goes to your partner and the remainder is split 50:50 between them and your children in equal shares. Speak with our expert will solicitors to go through this in more detail with you. 

Creating a will enables you to have full control over what happens to your estate if you die. Speak to one of our will solicitors for more information on drafting a will. We can also advise you on your options if you are not legally separated from your spouse or civil partner.

Wills writing 

Wills writing services

Making a Will can be quick and easy when you receive the right guidance. So you need a specialist to help you. At Farani Taylor Solicitors our estate planning team will discuss your wishes, offer guidance and help you to make a Will that’s right for you and your circumstances. We offer fixed price wills for more simple requirements and can assess your needs to provide you with a free quote should your wishes be more complex. Our will solicitors have helped thousands of clients with a variety of estates and are well equipped  to simplify even the most complex of requirements. Our dedicated and specialist team can guide you through the drafting process, or write your will on your behalf if required. Contact us for more information. 

Executing a will 

If you are named as an executor or administrator of a will, we understand how overwhelming this can seem, particularly if you are dealing with the grief of losing a loved one as well. Our specialist will solicitors can support you with this process, alleviating some of the pressure and upset involved to help you and your family during this difficult time. 

Wills Trusts and Lifetime trusts

A will trust is used to protect any property you own which you want to pass on to your family. Unlike a lifetime trust, a will trust is generated  in the event of your death. You can stipulate the conditions of this type of trust, which will come into effect when you pass. 

Lifetime trusts:

This type of trust is often referred to as an asset or property protection trust. This type of trust is in place immediately. You can gift your home to the ‘trust’ but can continue living there, unlike the will trust which only comes into effect in the event of your death.

If your property is higher than the nil-rate inheritance tax band ( £325,000) then this type of trust may still be impacted by inheritance tax. If you move your property over to a lifetime trust, you may incur a 20% charge on any balance over the nil-rate band. Speak to one of our wills and trust solicitors who can advise you based on your circumstances. 

Property Protection Trust:

The property protection trust is a Life Interest Will Trust designed to protect the family home after first death. This type of trust favours the surviving spouse. The survivor is able to benefit from the second share of the property during their lifetime but it is held in trust for the benefit of the beneficiaries, usually your children. The surviving spouse has a revocable life interest in the property. This means that although they do not own the property they have a right to reside in it  for life.

Flexible Life Interest Trust: 

The flexible life interest trust is a Will Trust designed to protect the family wealth after first death. It is a life interest trust in favour of the surviving spouse. The survivor is able to benefit from the second share of the assets during their lifetime but it is held on trust for the benefit of the beneficiaries, usually the children. It is discretionary and therefore should be used in conjunction with a gift of the residential nil rate band or with the property protection trust.

A Discretionary Will Trust: 

The Discretionary will trust is a will trust designed to protect the family assets after death. Discretionary Will Trusts are ‘discretionary’ because there is no beneficiary with a fixed entitlement. The trustees are given powers of appointment which enable them to pay capital and income to beneficiaries. This type of trust should be used in conjunction with a gift of the residential nil rate band if you have a house and children, to ensure all your allowances can be used.

Children’s Will Trust: 

Children’s will trusts for bereaved minors can be created by Will. As a result of public criticism, the Finance Bill 2006 introduced 18-25 Trusts, which allow for concessionary treatment for bereaved up to 25 years old. 

However, 18-25 Trusts can only be made for immediate children, step children and children that the adult has parental responsibility for and are not relevant to grandchildren. Trustees manage the income until they can accept both.

For instance, ensuring inheritance is used for education or a deposit for a house.

Disabled Discretionary Trust:

A Disabled Discretionary Trust should be set up for the benefit of a disabled person. This trust also covers those who are mentally incapable of managing their own affairs.

The trust is set up aiming to protect a disabled child should parents/legal guardians pass away. The trusts qualify for special tax treatment if both the beneficiary and trust meet the set criteria. Property held on trust for a disabled beneficiary qualifies for

special treatment if, while the beneficiary is alive or until earlier termination of the trust:

  • Any trust property that is applied for the benefit of any beneficiary is applied for the benefit of the disabled person; and

  • The disabled person is entitled to all the income from the trust.

If you would like further advice on which type of will trust is best suited to your circumstances, contact our wills and trust solicitors who can provide you with free, confidential advice for your circumstances.

Will Dispute

Contesting a Will

If you believe a will is invalid or should be contesting, we strongly suggest seeking legal advice as soon as possible. 

You can contest a will based upon the below: 

  • Lack of due execution: If the will doesn’t meet formal requirements it can be deemed as not valid. For example if it has not been signed by the deceased and two witnesses.
  • Lack of testamentary capacity: The person making a will must be of sound mind and understanding that they are doing so.
  • Revocation: If the will has been revoked by the testator.
  • Undue influence: If you can evidence that the person writing the will was forced or coerced into writing, amending or signing the will, in a way in which they wouldn’t have written the will if they had been free of undue influence, the will can be contested.

Who can contest a will?: 

Anyone who can evidence they have an interest in or could benefit from a will can contest it with good grounds to do so. If you would like more information and advice on how to contest a will, our will solicitors offer a free, no obligation consultation facility, get in touch with us here.

Key Contacts

If you are looking for help and guidance or have a question relating to Wills, please contact us today on +44 (0)20 7242 1666.