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Wills, Probate & Tax

We can offer you help and advice on drawing up a will.

We can also offer you advice on minimising your tax burden.

Drawing up a will

We can help you to draw up a will so that you can make sure your assets are distributed the way you intend in the event of your death.

Before you start

Get a few facts and figures ready. We have prepared a useful questionnaire for this if you want one. It is available to you in three formats – an online form which can be sent through to us, a word document for you to download and fill in and a pdf document for you to download and fill in. The links to these are below.

Jointly Owned Assets

Note that jointly owned, such as the matrimonial home, items will usually automatically go to the survivor(s). If you require advice regarding how to stop this, please call us on 07000-269 252. Personal possessions for other people can be dealt with by describing them in a letter of instruction to be placed with the Will.

Appoint an Executor

See below for details of the Certainty registration offer.

Every Will needs an executor to carry out your wishes. Appoint two executors (necessary where property is concerned) just in case one of them is unable to act for you.

It is usually best to ask the Solicitor to be your executor. A fee will be charged but often not as much as you would think considering the hassle it may save in the long run. Berkeley Solicitors are prepared to be your executors.

It is best not to choose someone older than you. You could appoint your spouse or partner to be your executor. Grown up sons or daughters are other obvious choices. It does not matter if they are also to benefit in the will. You may be appoint them together with a Solicitor.

Appoint a Guardian

Appoint a guardian for any minor children you have or may have in the future.

Have your will witnessed

A draft Will is drawn up first. Once agreed the final Will needs to be properly signed and witnessed. EXECUTING A WILL VALIDLY, IS ESSENTIAL see the notes in the article ‘guide to signing a will’ below.

When you should change your will

You may become wealthier or poorer; you may marry, separate, divorce, remarry; there may be births or deaths in the family.

You may decide to include certain interests, charities or causes in your Will.

Marriage, Seperation, Divorce and Remarriage

Marriage, seperation, divorce and remarriage affect a will. It may be important to make a new will because;

1. Marriage usually automatically revokes a Will. Any Will you have made before marrying will become null and void.

2. Your spouse may not necessarily stand to benefit as you would wish.

3. If you are living with a partner, they could be entitled to nothing unless named in a Will.

4. Unless you make a Will, separation could leave an estranged spouse entitled to benefit from your estate.

5. If you want to provide for a former partner or spouse following a divorce you may need to make a new Will.

Other Changes

Minor changes can be easily done by making a Codicil. This also needs to be properly drawn up and validly witnessed. It is usually simpler and cheaper than making an entirely new Will.

KEEP THE WILL IN A SAFE PLACE We can do this for you FREE of charge. If you do not wish to do this, keep it in a safe place and tell someone trustworthy where to find it. It is possible to deposit it at Somerset House in London.

You must make separate wills for assets abroad.

REMEMBER: A Will that is out of date may have unintended and unfortunate results or may be unenforceable.

We can assist you in making a will. Please speak to Adrian Berkeley on 07000-269 252 for further information.

As part of our continuing efforts to provide exceptional levels of Legal Services to our clients, we are now working with Certainty, the National Will Register service. The Certainty service consists of three core areas; Will Registration, Will Search and the TOUCH Will management system – all have been purposefully designed to assist law firms and to reduce complexity and errors in Estate Administration/Probate.

There is a one off life time charge to register your will with the Certainty service costing just £10.00 incl vat. However, for the remainder of 2012 we will register your will free of charge where we are the executors of the will.

We shall also be following the Law Society’s Probate Best Practice Rules and carrying out searches with Certainty in all our Probate instructions.

If you fill in our questionnaire in either the word or pdf format, please fax it to us at: 0161-371-0022 or post it to us:

Berkeley Solicitors

100-102 Market Street



M43 6DE

Additional Information on Wills, Probate & Tax



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