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Wills Solicitors

Making a Will ensures that your final wishes are followed and your loved ones are provided for after you pass away. We offer a simple and straightforward Will writing service to help you put your affairs in order, minimising hassle and maximising your tax efficiency at every opportunity.

At Whiskers Solicitors, we provide detailed Wills, tax and probate advice to individuals across Harlow and Epping in Essex and Bishop’s Stortford in Hertfordshire.

Many people put off estate planning, particularly if they are young. However, making a Will is the best way to stay in control of your wealth and ensure your money is inherited by the people you want to benefit.

If you do not make a Will, your estate will be dealt with under the rigid Rules of Intestacy and not according to your wishes or with tax-efficiency in mind. Therefore, everyone should consider making a Will, if only to give themselves peace of mind.

We have designed our Will writing service to be quick and easy to use. All you have to do to get started is give us a call and we will handle the rest.

To speak with one of our expert Wills solicitors, contact:

How our Will solicitors can help you

Our Will writing solicitors are friendly and approachable and we pride ourselves on delivering a personal service to each and every one of our clients. We will tailor our advice carefully to help you find a practical method of structuring your estate and ensuring your loved ones will be properly provided for.

We will then draft you a watertight, legally binding Will document which fully reflects your wishes and reduces your liability for Inheritance Tax wherever possible. Our advice will cover everything you need to secure the safety of your future, including:

  • Ensuring your money and property is left to the people you want to receive it
  • Making your estate as tax efficient as possible
  • Appointing people you trust to be your executors and deal with your estate. We are also happy to act as a professional executor for you if you would prefer
  • Appointing guardians for your children
  • Leaving money for charity
  • Setting up trusts to preserve your money and control what happens to it after you die
  • Ensuring family heirlooms go to the right people

What happens if I die without a Will?

If you die without making a Will, your estate will be dealt with under the Rules of Intestacy. This means only certain people can inherit from your estate. Most people assume their partner will just get everything, but this might not be the case:

  • Unmarried partners cannot inherit under the Rules of Intestacy. If you and your partner are not married or in a civil partnership, they will get nothing. If you have children, they will inherit everything.
  • If you are married or in a civil partnership but you also have children and the estate is worth more than £250,000, your children will automatically inherit a proportion of your estate (this sum is rising to £270,000 from 6th February 2020).

If you do not have a spouse, civil partner or any children, your estate will be inherited by other relatives.

Going through the probate process usually takes much longer where there is no Will. You will have no control over who applies to the Probate Registry to deal with your estate and it might end up being a family member you do not want anywhere near your money.

Why make a Will?

At the very least, making a Will can give you peace of mind that you know exactly where your money and property is going after you die. In addition to the potential negative impact of the Rules of Intestacy, here are some of the reasons to consider making a Will:

  • Avoid conflict between your loved ones –inheritance disputes have a reputation for tearing families apart. The easiest way to avoid such issues is to make a Will which clearly sets out your wishes and is updated every five years or so to reflect life changes.
  • Appoint people you trust as executors – somebody will need to deal with your estate after you die, including valuing the estate, paying Inheritance Tax and distributing inheritance to the beneficiaries. You can choose who takes on this vital responsibility, but only if you appoint them by writing a Will.
  • Appoint guardians for your children – you should make a Will to appoint a trusted loved one to look after your children in case you and their other parent were to pass away while they are young.
  • Minimise Inheritance Tax – after your tax-free threshold (currently £325,000), Inheritance Tax will take up to 40% of your estate if you do not plan carefully. For more information, visit our Tax Planning
  • Create trusts – trusts can be used to preserve your wealth, provide for family members (particularly children and vulnerable adults), control how your money is used, and minimise your liability for Inheritance Tax. For further information about setting up trusts, please visit our Trust Solicitors
  • Leave money to charity – the Rules of Intestacy do not allow for any charitable donations from your estate, even if you were heavily involved in charity work during your lifetime. The only way you can leave money to charity after you die is to make a Will. Legacy donations can also reduce the Inheritance Tax liability on your entire estate. 

Other ways we help you plan for the future

Making a Will is one of the most important ways you can secure the future for you and your family. Here are some of the other ways our Wills, trusts and probate team can support you:

  • Lasting Power of Attorneys give someone you love and trust legal permission to make decisions about your financial affairs and/or health and care in the event you lose your mental capacity to do so yourself in the future.
  • Tax planning – taxes such as Inheritance Tax and Capital Gains Tax affect more and more of us every year. We can help you review and structure your estate to be as tax efficient as possible
  • Trusts – speak to one of our skilled solicitors about how you can use trusts to achieve your lifetime planning goals.

Why choose our Will writing solicitors?

We are a firm of experienced Wills solicitors based in Harlow and Epping in Essex and Bishop’s Stortford in Hertfordshire. Below are just some of the reasons our clients choose to instruct us to help write their Wills:

  • Client-focused, personalised service – every person leads their own individual life and their Wills should reflect that. Our Will services are not just a “paper exercise”. We will get to know you and know all the right questions to ask to produce a bespoke Will document which truly reflects your wishes.
  • Fast, responsive service – your case will be managed solely by one qualified lawyer who will oversee all work on it and ensure it progresses as swiftly as possible. You will also be provided a direct phone number and email address for your lawyer, so if you have questions all you need to do is get in touch and we will respond promptly.
  • Professionally accredited expertise – we dedicate ourselves to continuing our professional development in our specialist areas to ensure we are offering the highest quality of legal services to our clients. Amongst our Wills and probate team, Gerry Smith is a member of STEP (the Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners).
  • Inclusive, supportive environment – we take all possible steps to make our legal services accessible to everyone, especially for disabled, elderly and vulnerable clients. So, if you have any individual accessibility needs, please get in touch for a confidential discussion about how we can adapt our services and welcome you to the Whiskers family.

Get in touch with our Will solicitors in Harlow, Epping and Bishop’s Stortford, Essex

To speak with one of our expert Will solicitors, contact: