At our Wickford office, you can access a highly experienced Wills and Probate team that is knowledgable in all elements of private client and probate work.
We understand that it is essential to plan your life and your estate, and we provide our clients with thorough guidance regarding your alternatives and potential consequences.
Our goal is always to work with clients in a personable, stress-free manner, and we make it a point to explain your choices and outcomes in plain English.
Private client experience and expertise
Our Wills & Probate solicitors are Dementia Friends, and have established connections within the immediate area. They have years’ of expertise assisting vulnerable clients and their families, so you can rest assured that they are able to handle your situation with compassion and care.
Our Wickford Wills & Probate team has you covered
Our Wills and Probate department can help you and your family with:
- Lasting Powers of Attorney,
- Deeds of Variation,
- Court of Protection,
- Trust Deeds, and
- Trust Administration
The services offered by our Wills and Probate team
Dealing with the estate of someone you care for when they have died can be complicated as well as traumatic, particularly as it is at a time of such raw emotions.
As executor, you will have to deal with time limits, claiming inheritance tax allowances so they are not lost out on, tax to be reclaimed, protecting assets, as well as the legal responsibilities to HMRC, the Probate Court and estate matters in general.
We can use our knowledge and experience to help guide you through this legal maze.
As professional Wills and Probate solicitors, we’ve seen it all before, and we’re here to help you navigate the legal jungle.
By completing an up-to-date Will, you are taking the first step in putting your affairs in order and avoiding further stress for your loved ones when you are gone. A Will is an excellent way to reduce the strain on your loved ones during what is already a tough time.
Having a well-written Will can accomplish many things, including:
- avoiding having tax allowances reduced or lost;
- making use of any charitable exemptions, whilst at the same time potentially reducing the inheritance tax paid by your beneficiaries;
- setting assets aside for any children; and
- being set up to protect any more vulnerable friends or family.
Lasting Powers of Attorney
Setting up Lasting Powers of Attorney allows you to choose who you trust to manage your financial affairs and your personal welfare if you are unable to look after yourself.
Deeds of Variation
Using a Deed of Variation to redirect assets received from an estate can provide you with a powerful tool to help you with planning for Inheritance Tax, Capital Gains Tax, Stamp Duty Land Tax and family intergeneration Tax.
Your Deed of Variation is designed to cater for your circumstances and there are rules you need to follow for it to work correctly. It is important to seek expert advice.
Court of Protection
If somebody loses their mental capacity and no-one has been given Power of Attorney, all sorts of issues can arise.
A number of potential problems arise, such as:
- Who will administer their finances?
- How does a loved one obtain legal authority to act for them?
- What can and cannot be done when it comes to making gifts or managing their investments?
There are of course more aspects of day-to-day administration that tend to arise.
Our Private Client solicitors have many years’ experience in helping you with your legal and administrative duties and have been Court-appointed Deputies.
With many years’ experience, our Wills and Probate solicitors are more than capable of helping you with your legal and administrative duties. In fact, some of them have been Court-appointed Deputies.
A well-drafted Trust Deed can serve as a partnership agreement regarding who will get what if your house is sold because of divorce or separation.
Trusts are beneficial in other ways, and might be useful to protect your family from from third parties and reducing tax burden.
Trustees have a wide range of responsibilities, duties and accountabilities. We can assist with the proper administration of your Trust.
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Partner and Solicitor
The Wills & Probate team is headed by partner Bryony Wilmshurst, who is amongst her other roles a Solicitor for the Elderly and a Dementia Friend Champion. You can read more about Bryony here.
Cunningtons Solicitors in Wickford
Tel: 01268 732268
Fax: 01268 732274
A Will is a legal document which sets out what you would like to happen to your assets in the event of your death, who you would like to administer your estate, who you would like to look after your children and your funeral wishes.
If you are over the age of 18, have assets or children a Will is the only way to ensure that your wishes will be carried out in the event of your death.
Joint Wills are very rare and problematic these days. It is more usual to have Mirror Wills which is where you each have a Will but on similar terms. It is important to bear in mind that with Mirror Wills once you have left your estate to your partner, your partner is then free to do whatever he or she wishes with your assets, they could leave what they have inherited from you to a new partner.
For more information please see our Asset Protection Trust pamphlet.
An Executor is a person who will administer your estate in accordance with the terms of your Will, they will complete relevant tax returns and apply for the Grant of Probate before collecting in the assets and distributing them to your beneficiaries. An Executor can be anyone over the age of 18, it is important that you appoint not only someone that you trust but someone who is capable of handling the administration of your estate in what is likely to be an emotional and stressful time.
Before appointing an Executor you may wish to discuss the matter with the person or persons involved to ensure they are willing to be named as Executor in your Will, although this is not essential and as the Will is personal to you, you might not wish to disclose details to an Executor.
If you appoint someone other than your Solicitor and they refuse to carry out the duties after your death then problems could arise.
Yes, we can act as Executors for you. Professional Executors will charge for acting.
A Guardian is a person or people who will look after your children in the event of your death, they will be responsible for bringing up your children.
A Will should be reviewed whenever your personal or financial circumstances change significantly or if your beneficiaries’ circumstances change significantly. We recommend that you review your Will at least every five years to ensure it still accords with your wishes and is still appropriate for your circumstances.
Upon receipt of your instructions, we aim to send you a draft of your Will for your approval within 7 days. If there are no unforeseen circumstances it is likely that your Will will be signed within a month of us receiving instructions from you.
We would strongly advise against drafting your own Will or downloading a pro-forma on line. There is an increasing amount of litigation that arises from incorrectly drafted Wills, often Wills drafted by people who are not legally qualified do not do what the person drafting them thinks they do which can cause significant problems and delays in the event of your death.
Often, it ends up costing far more to rectify any errors than the cost of a Will professionally drafted.
We can store your original Will free of charge in our Strong Room. We will only release it to you during your lifetime upon receipt of your identification, to your Attorney in the event of loss of mental capacity if you have authorised your Attorney to have access to your Will under your Lasting Power of Attorney or to your Executors on your death upon receipt of your original Death Certificate and the identification and authority of all your Executors.