Wills and Trusts

At Routh Clarke we believe everyone should write a Will. 70% of the UK adult population die without one, causing unnecessary stress for loved ones at a time when they are least able to deal with it.

We want to make Will writing a less onerous task and that’s why we’ve created our Seven Step Guide to writing a Will, together with our Simple Will Planner. We hope more people will use these to either produce their own DIY Will or use the services of Solicitors like Routh Clarke to draft one for them. The most important thing is for people to write them, so please find on the pages of this website, all the information you need to understand why you need a Will and what information you require to create one. If you have a question that hasn’t been answered, please call us and we will try to answer it for you.

Call us for advice about Wills and Trusts 01935 823883

More about Wills

Why Do You Need A Will?

Without adequate preparation and tax planning you may find your assets do not pass as you intended on death, but as the law and intestacy rules dictate, plus the tax man may take an unnecessary share. With a Will, you keep the power to distribute what is yours. You can provide for your family and loved ones, ensuring they have adequate security on your death and you can make sure any Gifts are adhered to. A Will can protect a surviving spouse or civil partner from long-term care fees and can also protect your assets from the financial vulnerability of beneficiaries (e.g. if your children are facing divorce). It also allows you to choose people you trust, the Executors, to deal with your estate, rather than having relatives coming round and things "disappearing" out of your home.

Can I Produce A Will Myself?

In this online age, it is now even easier to produce a will yourself. It is therefore even more surprising that only 30% of the UK’s population has one. That’s why we have tried to make it easier for people to create one, using our Simple Will Planner, once filled in you will have all the information at your fingertips, whether you produce a will yourself, via an online Will Writer or by a solicitor such as Routh Clarke . We have also joined forces with Will Aid, to draft Wills in November each year with the proceeds going to nine deserving charities. Contact us for more information.

How Often Should I Review My Will?

Once you have made a Will you need to review this annually to make sure it still accords with your wishes and makes best use of tax reliefs. Where your circumstances have changed, such as getting married, or splitting up with your spouse or partner, you may need to change it, to ensure the right people will receive your estate. If you wish to change it completely it’s best to write a new Will and destroy the old one. If there are only relatively small changes, you can create a codicil to your existing Will. This will need to be signed and witnessed just like your Will.

What Happens If I Die Without A Will?

So what are the consequences of dying without a will (known as dying intestate)? In these cases, the law and the tax man decide what happens to your assets according to the Intestacy Rules. In brief they are as follows:

  • If you are married or in a civil partnership then assets are automatically inherited by your spouse/civil partner in accordance with the intestacy rules, although other relatives are also entitled to a share. If you do not plan this properly, they could also receive a large bill from the taxman
  • If you are not married or in a civil partnership, your estate is dealt with under the intestacy rules. The rules set out the order in which your relatives inherit your estate, starting with your children and working out from there
  • If you have no qualifying relatives the Crown gets it all
  • If you are cohabiting, your partner will get nothing. If they are joint owners and tenants of your home, it will pass to them along with a tax bill

What Other Questions Do You Have?

If we haven’t answered everything you need to know above, here are links to the other most frequently asked questions:

What Should Your Next Steps Be?

Our specialist team can provide you with tax planning advice and guide you through the process of making a Will, making it a relatively pain free experience and one which could save a lot of heartache in the future. Please see our simple guide – Seven Step Guide To Writing A Will to see how easy it can be. We will provide you with a Will tailored to your individual needs so you can be confident your estate will pass in accordance with your wishes and in the most tax efficient manner.

When a death occurs, we can assist you with the Administration of the Estate, obtaining a Grant of Probate to deal with the estate, calling in the assets, identifying all beneficiaries and distributing the estate properly. We can also advise on any steps which can be taken to reduce any tax liability to the estate, even after the death has occurred.

None of us can plan when or how we die, but we can plan how our estate is dealt with, so write a Will now to ensure your loved ones don't have one more thing to worry about in the future.