1. What is a WILL & Why have it?
A Will is a document that you (Testator) draft with the help of experts to ensure that when you have passed away, your estate, chattels and other assets are distributed to your loved ones (beneficiaries of Will) that you choose. It prevents your residual estate on death and at Probate to pass into the wrong hands.
Executors and trustees
You have an opportunity to appoint your Executors and Trustees of your Will. An executor is a person who deals with your estate at death, they take the legal possession of the estate by getting a Grant of Probate and then pass the estate to your loved ones/Beneficiaries in proportion as per your Will.
The Executors usually are individuals or Expert & Independent professionals who act neutrally when passing the estate to the beneficiaries of the Will. It is very important to appoint someone who is an expert and is not personally affected by the death. A grieved relative might find this overwhelming and may not have the expertise to step up to the task as executor and may step down. So a, consideration should be given to appointing a professional firm that can act as your executors to carry your wishes seamlessly.
Letter of wishes
You may leave a letter of wishes along with your Will for your loved ones. However, it is not binding on your loved ones/beneficiaries but may convey to them your wishes when you are not among them to tell them of your personal wishes after you are gone.
Estate and Chattels
You may have a portfolio of properties, a number of vehicles, gold, antiques, shares and securities, bonds, or life insurance etc. It's best to have your possessions known and written with the executors or writers of WILL. This will ensure that your executors and trustees are well aware of the assets you hold and where are they kept. So, when the time comes, they know the details of each asset and account for it so no one can misappropriate them.
You may leave specific instructions for your funeral, its cost and other expenses. You may want your body buried, cremated or in the event of an accident, your organs donated. These can be written in your Will.
Potential dangers of WILL being Void:
As calm as you might be with having a Will, you should ask yourself a question whether the Will you have, is still valid? Many things can make your Will invalid or change the intended purpose of the WILL such as Life-changing events like getting married Will invalidate your Will.
The clauses in your Will may not work because they were poorly constructed or were written out of context.
2. Who can write a Will:
Generally Chartered Accountants and solicitors are preferred to write a WILL. This is because they have the expertise and understanding in this area and they can advise you on matters that you cannot foresee or have experience in.
A mistake in a Will can prove very costly for your loved ones/beneficiaries and might strip them of their well-deserving inheritance.
Careful consideration needs to be given when writing your Will.
So Why Chartered Accountants?
We as a firm of Chartered Accountants authorised to write a Will, do probate work and act as executors of the estate. As Chartered Accountants, we are already providing services to businesses, property portfolios, charities, trusts etc. We are experts in advising on tax and accountancy matters in preparing the accounts and tax returns for various business structures.
You/Testator wants to ensure that they are advised on tax consequences of making gifts, disposals, and transfers during their lifetime. A testator needs an advice on inheritance tax IHT and capital gains tax CGT consequences of their choices after death. so they can ensure that their loved ones/beneficiaries don’t pay excessive tax or a tax that could have been mitigated through proper planning.
So Why us?
We as a Chartered Accountant’s firm based in Leytonstone East London have diverse experience and close working relationship with our client. We act as their accountants in lifetime for their business, portfolio, self-assessment, or other forms of legal entity; and act as Will writers, Executors and Probate administrators after they pass away.
The services such as Wills, Executors and Probate which includes preparation of estate accounts inheritance tax IHT forms complement our core service and provide relief to clients of our speciality in this area.
This means they do not need to hire solicitors or other professionals who might in background still need a chartered Accountant to advise them on inheritance tax IHT and capital Gains tax CGT Matters; and it results in additional charges.
Contact us to get an all-in expert service for WILL writing, Probate and Estate Accounts/Inheritance tax IHT.