When making your Will, What Questions Should I Ask by hajhaj

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Guide to Making your Will; What Questions should you be asking

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									When Making Your Will, What Questions Should You Be Asking?
By making a Will you can decide what happens to your property and possessions after your death. Although you don't have to make one by law, it is the best way to make sure that your estate is passed on to family, friends or charities exactly as you wish. Below is a list of Questions we are frequently asked, feel free to contact us with any additional questions (and we'll add them to the list for others to share). Telephone 0844 372 3011 or email info@cluttoncox.co.uk Why is it important to make a Will? What happens if I die and haven't made a Will? Will Inheritance Tax affect me? How do I go about making my Will? Is it best to use a Solicitor? How often should I review my Will? If I want to change something in my Will, do I have to start all over again? How much will it all cost? What do I do next? Why is it important to make a Will You can leave your property, money and other assets to people you want. You can protect your unmarried partner or unregistered civil partner who could end up with nothing if you do not make a Will.

A Will is vital if you have children or dependants who may not be able to care for themselves. Without a Will there could be uncertainty about who will look after them or provide for them if you die. You can ensure that you are tax-efficient – and that you maximize the assets that are passed to your family and friends. You can express other wishes such as organ donation or funeral and burial arrangements. What will happen if I don't make a Will? If you die without making a Will ('intestate'), there are certain rules that dictate how your assets will be allocated. This may not be the way that you would wish your money and possessions to be divided out. Unmarried partners and partners who have not registered a civil partnership do not automatically inherit from each other unless there is a Will. In these circumstances, the death of one partner may create serious financial problems for the surviving partner. It is hard to imagine the unnecessary confusion and distress caused when people die without making a Will and these circumstances are often an ideal breeding-ground for family disputes. What about Inheritance Tax? If you leave your estate to your husband, wife or civil partner an exemption means that usually there won’t be any Inheritance tax to pay when the first of you dies. However, you must bear in mind that the estate of the surviving spouse will then be worth more. Inheritance tax is levied on a person's estate and is payable on all assets over and above the Inheritance Tax threshold (currently £312,500) at 40%. However, for married couples or civil partnerships, if the first person dies without using their £312,500 allowance, the surviving partner may use both allowances on

their death, and Inheritance Tax will only be paid on assets over and above £625,000. There may other ways in which any potential Inheritance tax liability can be minimized. By providing details of your finances when you complete our Will Questionnaire, we will be able to give consideration to any necessary provisions. How do I go about making a Will? If you wish to make a Will, we will need to gather various information from you, including: Personal and Family details. Your details and details of your family including any partner and children or dependants. Who will administer your Estate? You must name people who you want to appoint as Executors of your Will (the people who will carry out the administration of your estate after your death.) They can be family members or friends or a professional, such as your Solicitor. What you own – details of your assets including property, personal possessions, stock and shares, bank accounts, insurance policies, pensions and businesses. Who gets what? Do you want to leave gifts of specific items or cash? What about the residue (everything left over)? Other Wishes. Do you wish to be buried or cremated? Do you have any other funeral wishes? Our Will Questionnaire will help you to provide us with all of the information that we require. Please contact our office and we will be happy to provide you with a form. If you are unable to complete the questionnaire, please call our office and we will make arrangements to assist you. If required, a solicitor may be able to visit you in your home, care home or hospital.

Do I have to use a Solicitor? Although there is no requirement to us a solicitor to draw up your Will, it is generally advisable to ensure your Will has the effect you want. There are various legal formalities you need to follow to make sure that your Will is valid. It is easy to make a mistake that may cause problems after your death and result in considerable legal costs. I already have a Will, but I have got married/divorced. Is it still valid? Marriage invalidates a Will that you have already made. If you wish to make a Will and you are getting married shortly, you can make a Will in anticipation of marriage that will not become invalid once you tie the knot. Otherwise, it is vital that you make a new Will once you have married. Divorce does not invalidate a Will. However, if you have appointed your former spouse as Executor this appointment will fail and if you have made any gifts to them, these will not stand. It is therefore advisable to review your Will after divorce to make sure that it is clear and that it accords with your wishes. How often do I need to review my Will? You should review your Will regularly (we suggest every few years) and after any major life change such as getting separated, married or divorced, having a child or moving house. I want to change my Will. Do I need to draw up a new one? If you need to make major changes it is best to do so by drawing up a new Will. Minor changes can be made using a Codicil to your existing Will. How much will it cost? The costs involved in making a Will depend on its complexity. All work undertaken on your behalf is covered by our fixed fee guarantee with no hidden extras for your piece of mind.

What do I do next? If you would like us to prepare a Will for you, please complete and return our Will Questionnaire. Once we have considered your circumstances and requirements, we will be able to provide you with exact details of the costs and timescale involved in the preparation of your Will. If you are happy, we can proceed with the drafting of your Will. I still have more questions, who can I ask? If you have any further questions, or you are unclear about any issue regarding making a Will, please contact us on 0844 372 3011 or by email: info@cluttoncox.co.uk or call into see us in Chipping Sodbury in the heart of South Gloucestershire © Paul Hajek,Clutton Cox, Solicitors, 15 High Street, Chipping Sodbury, South Gloucestershire. All rights reserved | Tel: 0844 372 3011 | Fax: 01454 324682 | Email: info@cluttoncox.co.uk | Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority

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