Experienced Will Writing Lawyers

Creating a will is one of the most important things that you can do before you die, yet unbelievably it is something that many of us never get around to organising.

We understand the reason for this. After all, no one wants to think about their own mortality and the steps and difficult decisions that will need to be taken in order to deal with our affairs following our death. There is also the worry about cost, with a lot people wrongly assuming that preparing a will necessarily involves significant expense – particularly where you choose to engage the services of a solicitor to help you.

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However, the reality is that preparing a will can be a strangely comforting and reassuring experience and something that we can all afford to do if we enlist the help of a specialist provider who is able to prepare the will that we want for the budget that we have available.

 

How we can help

At Step Legal, our aim is to make creating a will a simple and stress free process and something that everyone can afford to do in order to provide their family with the peace of mind that they will want at what will undoubtedly be a deeply distressing and upsetting time.  The fees we charge vary depending on your circumstances but are designed to be competitive and will be agreed with you in advance to avoid any unexpected surprises.  We also offer existing clients of the firm a discount, which makes our will writing service even better value for money.

 

Appointments with one of our experienced lawyers can be arranged to take place at a time that suits you and via a face-to-face meeting at our offices in Crewe or at your home or another location within Cheshire or Staffordshire.  Where needed for health reasons, we can also arrange to speak to you via Zoom or Skype.

 

With the support of our team, you can:

 

  • create a will to meet your needs and which complies with all of the formalities required to ensure that your will is valid;
  • make use of any tax planning opportunities that exist and which may help to reduce or even eliminate your liability to pay inheritance tax;
  • appoint legal guardians to ensure that your children are looked after by someone that you have specifically chosen to take on this task;
  • establish a trust to protect any money or property that you wish to leave to someone under the age of 18 or who is otherwise vulnerable;
  • take steps to limit the chances of your will being challenged, which may include obtaining a letter from your GP to confirm that you have the mental capacity needed to make a will or drawing up a letter of wishes to explain the reasoning behind your decisions where it is possible that the terms of your will may come as a surprise;
  • stipulate who you would like to act as your appointed executors and who will take on responsibility for ensuring that your wishes are carried out; and
  • confirm what you would like to happen at your funeral and whether you wish to be buried or cremated.

 

Our lawyers can also help you to leave gifts to charities and to any other organisations or groups to whom you would like to provide financial support.

 

Why having a will matters

Creating a will gives you control over what happens to the money, property and possession you have accumulated during your life time and specifically over who among your close friends and family is entitled to receive what.  It also gives you the opportunity to organise your affairs in a way that limits the amount of inheritance tax that may have to be paid and to specify who you want to be in charge of ensuring that your wishes are respected and that any instructions you give are properly carried out.

 

This is in contrast to the position that will exist where no will is made and which will leave you subject to a set of statutory rules which only allow you to pass on an inheritance to members of your immediate family, which are not designed to take advantage of any available tax planning opportunities that may exist and which only permit certain relatives to apply to deal with your affairs – which may cause problems, particularly where those entitled to apply are not suitable or up to the task.

 

The rules where no will exists

The rules that apply where no will exists are known as the rules of intestacy and provide a very clear and at times arguably unfair roadmap for deciding how your assets should be divided up. How the rules work in any given case will depend on your circumstances and specifically on whether you are married or in a civil partnership, whether you have any children and the collective value of any money, property or possession that you leave behind.

 

The easiest way to see how the rules operate, and the inequity of the results that they can sometimes produce, is through two simple examples.  The first shows what would happen to the estate of a man who dies leaving property that they own in their sole name, worth £300,000, and who is married with two children. The second shows what would happen in the same scenario but where the man and mother of the children are unmarried, albeit they have lived together for many years.

 

Example 1 – Married with two children 

The wife will receive £270,000, plus all of her husband’s personal possessions and the right to use (but not dispose of) further assets worth £15,000 for the rest of her life.  The children will receive an equal share of whatever remains.

 

Example 2 – Unmarried with two children

The man’s partner will receive nothing.  Instead, everything will be split equally between the two children.

 

It may be possible for the partner to seek to circumvent the rules by making a claim for financial support under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.  However, where this is resisted by the man’s family it may be necessary for her to go to court and there is no guarantee that any payout she is awarded will reflect the provision that the man would have wished her to receive and which he could have ensured that she obtained had he taken the time to record his wishes in a formal will.

 

Why come to us?

Creating a will with the support of the Step Legal team is something that can be done in a relatively short space of time and at a cost that we are confident everyone can afford. Our service is simple to use and hassle free and designed to give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your will has been professionally drafted and in terms which accurately reflect how you would like your assets to be distributed after you have died.

 

Writing a will with us also ensures that you pay as little inheritance tax as possible, and in some cases none at all, and also that you reduce the risk of your will being subsequently challenged – which is something that is more likely to happen where you decide to try to write a will yourself, using a shop or internet bought ‘DIY kit’.

 

Our lawyers have seen first hand the pain and suffering that can be caused where a person dies without having a properly thought through and legally valid will in place and the hardship that can often result from the application of the intestacy rules, particularly for unmarried couples and those in a same sex relationship who have not registered as civil partners. We also know from experience how the absence of a will can increase the likelihood of a family dispute arising and make it more probable than not that solicitors will need to become involved to sort things out – often at a significant financial and personal cost.

 

By using our professional will writing service, you can take control of what happens in the aftermath of your death and prevent your family from having to endure the uncertainty that comes with not knowing how your estate will be dealt with and therefore what the immediate and longer term future holds for them.

 

Want to find out more?

For more information about how we can help you to prepare your will, please contact the lead solicitor in our will writing team, on 0800 195 6412 or via email at enquiries@steplegal.co.uk.

 

We are able to help where you are based locally, in Crewe, or where you live elsewhere in the Cheshire or Staffordshire area, provided arrangements can be made for us to meet with you in person.

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