Welcome to our frequently asked questions page, find answers to some of our most common questions
- Common FAQs
Q:Can anyone take out an Estate Planning Service?
Yes, as long as you are over the age of 18 at the Start Date.
Q:When will I receive my documents?
You will receive your documents within approx. 28 days of purchasing your Estate Planning Service.
Q:If I would like to cancel my Estate Planning Services, how long do I have before I incur a cancellation fee?
We offer a 14 day cooling off period, however in certain cases people opt to waiver this to speed through there documentations.
Q:What is the cancellation fee if I decide to cancel outside the 14-day cooling off period?
If you decide to cancel the Estate Planning Services more than 14 days after the Start Date a cancellation fee of £595 will apply.
Q:What is a Will?
A Will is probably the most important legal document you will sign in your life. It allows you to declare what happens to your estate and assets when you die. It also lets you appoint an executor who will ensure your Will is carried out correctly in accordance with your wishes.
Q:What are Mirror Wills?
Mirror Wills are two separate Wills, that are the same, or have the same executors/beneficiaries. Mirror Wills are usually made by Couples. For example, a Husband and Wife leave all assets to each other and when they both die, they leave everything to their children.
Q:Can I make changes to my Will in the future?
Of course, we would recommend you revisit your Will every few years, especially when large life events take place such as Marriage, Births and Deaths or if your financial situation changes.
Q:Can my family witness my Will?
No, family members should not witness your Will, nor should anyone that is benefitting from your Will. If they do sign as a witness, they will lose their entitlement under the Will. Witnesses should also be over 18 years old.
Q:What if I die without having a Will in place?
Not having a Will in place at the time of your death means you will die Intestate. Dying intestate means the law decides what happens to your estate and assets. This could mean that people you would not want to inherit your assets, do. Also, if you are not married your partner would not receive anything without a Will in place.
Q:What is an Executor and what is their role?
Executors are the people who will be responsible for carrying out your wishes and for sorting your estate when you die.
They will need to collect all assets of the estate, deal with all the paperwork and pay any debts, taxes, funeral expenses and administration costs out of the money in the estate. They will then be responsible for transferring any legacies to the beneficiaries named in your will.
It is important to choose the people that you appoint as executors with care since the job requires a great deal of responsibility. You should always ensure that the person you are looking to appoint is willing to take on the responsibility.
Q:What is a Guardian and what is their role?
The role of a guardian is a very important one if you have children under the age of 18. Should you die without making a will or if you do not appoint guardians in you will, your children could be placed in care until the court appoints an official guardian.
This would obviously result in distress for your children and other family members. Appointing guardians safeguards against this happening.
Q:What is Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)?
A LPA is the legal document which allows you to appoint someone to look after your affairs when you no longer have the capacity or wish to do so.
Q:What is the difference between Property and Financial Affairs LPA and a Health and Welfare LPA?
A Property and Finance LPA is whereby you appoint someone to make decisions regarding your financial affairs, such as looking after your bank accounts, paying bills and investing in savings etc.
A Health and Welfare LPA is whereby you appoint someone to look after your health and wellbeing, for example deciding where you may live such as a care home or medical treatment should you need it. They can look after everything in relation to your health and wellbeing apart from your funeral arrangements.
Q:How do I know if I need an LPA?
We would advise that everyone should have an LPA in place as many people lose capacity quickly through accidents or strokes and an LPA can’t be set up retrospectively.
Approximately 30% of people lose capacity before death and with the population living longer, this is expected to rise. It is best to plan ahead just in case, as this could cause problems in the future.
Q:What is the role of the Attorney in my Lasting Power of Attorney?
Your attorney must act in your best interests in making decisions for you when you are unable to make the decision yourself. They must consider all the relevant circumstances. This includes, if appropriate, consulting you and others who are interested in your welfare.
Your attorney must be over 18 years of age, be able to make their own decisions and not be subject to a debt relief order or be bankrupt.
Q:Can I appoint a relative to be my Attorney?
Yes, as long as they are over 18 years old and have full mental capacity.
Q:Can I have a LPA who lives abroad?
Yes, as long as you are confident, they will be able to manage your affairs by not living in the UK
Q:What is Probate?
Probate is a legal process that allow an individual the ability to deal with your estate at the time of your death. The Executor of the Will must apply for a Grant of Probate first, which is a legal document that gives authority to deal with the estate. The whole process usually takes about 12 months to complete, however sometimes disputes between beneficiaries could delay the process.
Q:What is Pre-Paid Probate?
Pre-Paid Probate is fixing the cost in advance to cover probate and the administration of your estate making the process much easier at the time of your death for your loved ones.
Q:Why is Pre-Paid Probate more beneficial than waiting till the time of need?
You fix the cost in advance, which will save your beneficiaries a significant amount of money at the time of your death. It will also take away the stress and burden of your loved ones having to apply for probate themselves at a difficult time.
Q:Do I have to pay Inheritance Tax (IHT)?
IHT is a one-off tax paid on the value of your estate above a set threshold. Currently the set threshold is £325,000. If your estate is valued at more than £325,000 then you will have to pay 40% of the value of the Estate that exceeds this amount.
Q:Does having a Pre-Paid Probate plan in place save on IHT?
Yes, as probate costs are not deductible from IHT.
Q:What is a Trust?
A trust is a way of choosing who will receive the benefit of certain assets, without giving your beneficiaries full immediate control over them. A trust is usually created by a document – the trust deed – which names the people involved and sets out the terms of the trust.
Q:Who is involved in setting up a trust?
You, as the person creating the trust, are known as the settlor or donor. The people who manage the trust are known as trustees. These people may need to deal with the trust after your death so you need to choose them carefully.
Q:Who do I appoint as additional trustee(s)?
As the word suggests, a trustee should be someone you trust. For example, your partner, spouse, another family member, a close friend, or your family solicitor. Trustees must be over 18, mentally able and must not be bankrupt.
Trustees should sign the trust form to acknowledge their appointment. In accepting the appointment, trustees must carry out certain obligations and duties. The position shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Q:What is a Property Protection Trust (PPT)?
PPT is an affordable way to protect your share of your homes value. It also allows you to specify who will inherit your share of your home.
Q:Do I need a PPT?
Having a PPT set up would benefit your family if your surviving partner ended up having financial difficulty or ended up going into a care home.
Q:Can I sell my house if I have a PPT in place?
Yes, you can sell your house, however your half of the profit would remain in Trust.
Q:What is a Family Asset Protection Trust?
A Family Asset Protection Trust provides complete protection of your assets meaning you can leave more inheritance to your loved ones.
Q:Can I add additional assets at a later date?
Yes you can add new assets to the Trust at any time
Someone appointed by law to deal with your affairs. Usually when the deceased has not got a Will, or they did not nominate an Executor.
All valuable possessions you own at the time of your death e.g. Home, Cash and Cars
A legal term for one person who has been appointed to act on behalf of another one person
A person named to benefit from your Will or Trust
The person leaving an asset to a beneficiary
All of the assets you have at the time of your death
Person appointed to administer your wishes as stated in your Will
Grant of Probate
A legal document that gives authority to deal with the deceased’s Estate
Inheritance Tax is a one-off tax paid on the value of your estate above a set threshold. There is an additional £175k allowance available for homeowners provided the value of the property and the circumstances meet the criteria. If these are met an estate’s threshold may increase to £500k before inheritance tax is payable.
When a person dies without leaving a valid will, their property (the estate) must be shared out according to certain rules. These are called the rules of intestacy.
If someone makes a will but it is not legally valid, the rules of intestacy decide how the estate will be shared out, not the wishes expressed in the will.
The term given to someone who has died without a legal Will in place.
The process of proving a Will of the estate is valued higher than £5,000.
The formal transfer of assets to a person or to a trust company with instructions that they hold the assets for the benefit of others.
A person or company that manages assets for the benefit of a third party.
A legal document that states the wishes of how a person wants their assets distributing at the time of their death
A person, or people, present at the time the Will is signed. They must not be a beneficiary of the Will.