Making a will is a task that everyone is advised to undertake, but it can be a sensitive topic for some. No one wants to think about dividing their assets following their death, but it is important to ensure that the right people take care of your estate once you pass away. Without a will, you leave your loved ones at risk of becoming subject to probate disputes. If this should happen, our inheritance solicitors in London are here to help.
Here at Van Eaton solicitors in Streatham Hill, we can assist all family members and relevant claimants in their pursuit of the deceased’s estate, handling all matters with empathy and care. From obtaining a grant of probate to making claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, we can help you throughout your case, collecting the necessary evidence needed to secure a win.
Decide Upon the Executors and Beneficiaries
Your will needs to outline all assets of your estate that you wish to leave behind after your death, and to whom you would like these items to go. You should make a note of your assets, including property, savings, and investments before meeting with a solicitor. You then need to choose the named executor in your will (the person who divides out the estate as per the deceased’s wishes) and the beneficiaries (those who will benefit from your will). An executor can also be a beneficiary. How you distribute your assets is up to you. Some like to give specific people certain items; others like to split it evenly.
If circumstances change, you should adapt your will accordingly. Our probate solicitors in London can help your family members defend your will after your death should any disputes arise. If any individual is not included in the will, but feels they should be, they could put a claim in against your estate, but there are certain criteria that they must follow.
When a loved one dies, you need the distribution of the estate to run as smoothly and efficiently as possible to allow you to make peace and move on. Sometimes, disputes can arise, and they can prove difficult for many people. Sometimes, people not included in the will can make claims against the validity of the will, stating that the deceased lacked the appropriate mental capacity, they were under undue influence or that the document was forged.
Individuals who believe they should receive financial provisions from the will can make a claim under the Inheritance Act 1975. Claimants must be able to prove that they were financially dependent on the deceased before their death; claimants are usually spouses or children. Our inheritance solicitors in London can help you navigate your claim, and gather the relevant evidence needed to present a successful case.
If the value of your estate is estimated to be less than £325,000, then you won’t need to worry about inheritance tax. It is advised that you seek legal advice if you believe, or you aren’t sure, that your estate will be valued over £325,000 you should prepare and plan accordingly. Inheritance tax is currently set at 40% of the estate; for instance, if your estate is worth 400,000, you’ll have to pay £30,000 in tax.
There are ways to avoid paying inheritance tax, for example, if you leave your estate to your spouse or civil partner. This is termed spousal exemption. Here at Van Eaton solicitors in Streatham, we work closely with our clients to achieve the best result possible, considering the emotional toll the case may be taking on them at every step. If you would like a free consultation, please fill out our online form, or give us a call on 0208 769 6739.