Wills & Probate and Trust

We offer fixed price Wills and are happy to see you at our office, or to come to your home to see you, to take your instructions for the making of a Will, or the making of amendments to an existing Will.

We can also advise on the setting up of Lasting Powers of Attorney, both Financial and Welfare, general powers of Attorney under the POA 1971, and the registration process and can give you a fixed price for this.

Kingswell Berney can also act for you in the administration of deceased estates, applying for the Grant of probate and dealing with the deceased persons affairs and the administration of their estate, and advising on the tax position if any in connection with the winding up of the estate.

We are also happy to be appointed Executors of small or large estates and will charge a fixed fee for this.

Kingswell Berney are also able to provide advice on drafting and setting up Trusts.

Further Information on Wills & Probate and Trust

Mr Whitby-Smith deals mainly with the Probate and Wills. He has extensive experience of private client work: probate, drafting wills, powers of attorney and other legal instruments, estate taxation, obtaining grants of representation and administering estates.

The day may perhaps come when, through infirmity, you find that you are no longer able to deal with your finances and other affairs yourself. This problem may be addressed by making Lasting Powers of Attorney, under the Mental Capacity Act 2005. Lasting Powers of Attorney are of two kinds: firstly, for Property and Financial Affairs and, secondly, for Health and Welfare. You do not have to make both types if you do not wish to. A Lasting Power of Attorney can help you plan how your health, wellbeing and financial affairs will be looked after. It allows you to plan in advance the decisions you want to be made on your behalf if you lose capacity to make them yourself, the people you want to make these decisions ("the attorneys") and how you want the people to make these decisions. The great advantage of Lasting Powers of Attorney is that they remain in force even if you should subsequently lose capacity. Before use, they must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian which is the statutory agency responsible for supervising the affairs of people who either have lost capacity or may at some future time lose capacity. The alternative would be for your family, in the event of your incapacity, to seek a court order for the management of your affairs, which can be both lengthy and expensive. By making Lasting Powers of Attorney you retain control of who will have the conduct of your financial and other affairs, during your lifetime.

By contrast, a will provides for the management of your estate after you have died. You may think: "Why should I make a will? I'll leave it for the family to sort out when I'm gone." Some people are reluctant to make a will. Even today, there seems to be a superstition that by making a will, one hastens the inevitable. In reality, however, by making a professionally drawn will, you can save your family a good deal of worry and expense at what is already a distressing time for them.

Perhaps most importantly, by making a will, you retain control over who will receive your property when you die. If you were to die intestate – that is to say, without leaving a valid will – then the distribution of your estate will be governed by the Intestacy Rules laid down by act of Parliament and which decide which of your blood relatives will receive your estate. Dying intestate may result in your estate being distributed in a manner contrary to what you would have wished. By making a will you may make provision for your family in accordance with your wishes. Generally, a will simplifies the administration of the estate, rather than having to rely on the Intestacy Rules.

By appointing executors and trustees – the persons responsible for ensuring that your will is implemented – you have the satisfaction of knowing that your affairs will be overseen by persons of your own choosing. It is also open to appoint testamentary guardians to look after the welfare of your infant children in the event of both you and your spouse dying together.

A further consideration is inheritance tax, which is the tax potentially chargeable on your estate upon your death. It is possible, by will, to minimise the inheritance tax burden. For example, under current law any money you leave by will to a registered charity is exempt from inheritance tax, thereby decreasing the taxable value of your estate.

Lastly, you may wish to specify your preferences as to funeral arrangements, thereby relieving your immediate family of having to make those decisions at an already emotionally fraught time.


Contact Details

Kingswell Berney Limited
9 Stoke Road
PO12 1LT

Tel: 023 9258 2211

Fax: 023 9251 0464

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