A Will that has been well written and carefully thought out is more than just a legal technicality. It is an opportunity for you to recognise and provide for all those people or organisations that you care about. We write hundreds of Wills every year so the chances are that whatever you want, we'll know the best way to do it.
It is important to make sure that what you own ends up where you want. Even a Will that is very simple will make it easier to deal with your estate, saving time and money.
You can give money or possessions to friends, family or charities, and you can choose who will deal with all the paperwork to ensure that your wishes are put into effect. If you have young children you should also think carefully about who would act as guardians if the worst should happen.
In a slightly more complicated Will you can also:
- Save or substantially reduce Inheritance Tax
- If you own a business, ensure a smooth transition to preserve the value of your estate
- Put money in trust for children or grandchildren to make sure they don't get it too early
- Make sensible provision for disabled beneficiaries
- Protect the inheritance of beneficiaries in either financial or relationship difficulties
- Protect your estate if you are going through a relationship breakdown
- Make sure your pets are looked after
If it would help, we can send you a simple questionnaire which sets out much of the information you'll need to let us have and a price list giving you an idea of the likely charges.
Powers of Attorney
A Power of Attorney is a document that allows you to choose who will make decisions and if necessary sign documents for you if you are unable or unavailable to do so yourself. Often this will be because of failing health, but it could also be because of travel commitments or purely for convenience. The importance of getting good advice before signing such a powerful document hardly needs to be stated.
There are different types of Power of Attorney. The most common is a Lasting Power of Attorney, but there are also General Powers, Trustee Powers and Special Powers of Attorney. We will explain the options available, and help you to choose which is best for your particular circumstances.
Having a Power of Attorney in place can:
- Make sure decisions are made for you by the people you trust most
- Avoid potentially costly delays in dealing with your affairs
- Save the significant expense of an application to the Court of Protection in the event of sudden incapacity
- Record any specific wishes you have about the running of your affairs
We will guide you through the stages of creating a new Power of Attorney, preparing all the forms for you to sign. Where necessary we will also register your Lasting Power of Attorney or old style Enduring Power of Attorney at the Office of the Public Guardian. In cases where there is doubt about mental capacity we are experienced in liaising with Doctors and Social Services to ensure that any documents we prepare are fully effective.
If you are ill, you would usually only receive medical treatment after discussing your options with a doctor. If you have strong views or particular ethical or religious beliefs about the nature of treatment offered you can make these known, and if necessary refuse certain types of treatment.
However in some circumstances (such as after a stroke, or if you are unconscious or suffering from dementia) that discussion cannot take place and medical treatment must be given in accordance with what a doctor considers to be your best interests. This may result in unwanted medical intervention, and even a life being prolonged against a persons wishes. This unwanted treatment can be prevented if you have signed a Living Will.
A Living Will is more correctly called an Advance Decision and they have only been recognised and enforceable since October 2007. It allows you to state in advance if there is any medical treatment that you wish to refuse, and in what circumstances that refusal would apply. Provided your wishes are recorded in the correct legal format, your doctor is bound to act as you have directed.
We will steer you through the process of drawing up a Living Will. We will give you clear guidance about the sorts of decisions you can and cannot make in advance, and ensure that your wishes are clearly and accurately recorded.
There are many reasons to have your legal documents written by a professional. Wills, Living Wills and Powers of Attorney are among the most important documents that you will ever sign, and you need to get them right.
Windeatts lawyers have a wealth of knowledge and technical expertise that will ensure that your wishes are accurately recorded and legally watertight. Like all Solicitors practices, we are fully qualified and regulated so you can have peace of mind that we will provide you with both expert advice and a high standard of care.
What sets us apart from other firms is that we go out of our way to put you at ease. We believe that you will receive the best possible service only if you feel free to talk to us about what can sometimes be complex or emotional issues. We'll listen first and when we give you advice we'll do so without jargon.
And since we offer a wide range of legal advice across the firm, you can be assured that if you need further information about any other aspect of your personal or business affairs we can help with that too.
Finally, we believe that you should only pay for what you need. We won't try to sell you complicated and expensive packaged deals, and once we have understood what you want, we'll agree a price and stick to it.
"We want to make sure you receive the highest quality service from people that care"