FAQ's - Wills, Trusts & LPA's
Here you can find out the answers to questions you may have about Wills, Trusts & LPA's from . If you cant see an answer to query you have you can email us at email@example.com or call us free on 0800 009 6769, where one of representatives are more than willing to help.
What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
Why is an LPA so important?
A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows you to appoint an attorney (someone you trust to act on your behalf) should you be unfortunate enough to lose mental capacity. This could be from a Stroke, Accident, or Dementia, or a disease that renders you incapable of dealing with your financial / health wellbeing.
Who are The Court of Protection?
If you have no LPA in place, and you are diagnosed as being mentally incapacitated, your Doctor will inform the Court of Protection, who will lock down your bank accounts and appoint a Deputy to act on your behalf.
This is a long drawn out process and has caused no end of hardship for people caught out by this government department. Although it is designed to protect the vulnerability of people, it imposes so many restrictions that it becomes intrusively inconvenient and extremly expensive. By having an LPA registered, you can by-pass the Court of Protection and your appointed attorney can operate your finances with impunity. This can be set up for a fraction of the cost.
Why is necessary to have a Will?
The Court of Protection in English law is a superior court of record created under the Mental Capacity Act 2005. It has jurisdiction over the property, financial affairs and personal welfare of people who it claims lack mental capacity to make decisions for themselves.
Who are The Office of the Public Guardian?
Your Will tells everyone what should happen to your money, possessions and property after you die (all these things together are called your ‘estate’). If you don’t leave a will, the law decides how your estate is passed on – and this may not be in line with your wishes.
What is a trust?
The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) in England and Wales is a government body that, within the framework of the Mental Capacity Act 2005, protects the private assets and supervises the financial affairs of people who lack mental capacity for making decisions. It is an executive agency of the Ministry of Justice.
Can I put my house into a trust if I have a mortgage?
A Trust Agreement is a document that spells out the rules that you want followed for property held in trust for your beneficiaries. Common objectives for trusts are to reduce the estate tax liability, to protect property in your estate, and to avoid probate.
What is an Execator?
If you have a substantial mortgage on your property, you can set up a Property Will Protection Trust. This is essentially a two part process which incorporates a Will with a Severance of the Tenancy, normally divided into a 50/50 ownership between the Husband & Wife. The benefits are many fold, in particular it ensures your estate carries on following the bloodline.
For more information on this, you can speak to one of our legal consultants who would be happy to assist.
What is a Trustee?
An Executor is someone named in a Will, or appointed by the court, who is given the legal responsibility to take care of a deceased person's remaining financial obligations. This means taking care of everything from disposing of property to paying bills and taxes.
Can I alter my will?
As a trustee, you’re responsible for using the money or assets in a trust to benefit someone else. You won’t be able to benefit from the trust yourself (unless the trust agreement says you can).
What you can and can’t do may be set out in detail in the trust document. For example, it may say the trust is to pay for a child’s education. If that’s the case, you can’t use the money for anything else.
If the trust is a ‘discretionary trust’ the trustee will have more freedom to make decisions. For example, if the trust is set up to benefit a number of young children, then you and any other trustees can use it for anything you agree is good for any one of the children, like paying for a school trip.
What fees are charged to my estate when I die?
You can't amend your will after it's been signed and witnessed. The only way you can change a will is by making an official alteration called a codicil. You must sign a codicil and get it witnessed in the same way as witnessing a will. The cost for a codicil can be as much as making a new Will.
What is Inheritance Tax, and how does it apply to me?
Some probate specialists charge an hourly rate while others charge a fee that is a percentage of the value of the estate.
This fee is usually calculated as between 2% to 5% of the value of the estate, plus VAT.
The table below is an example of how much you could end up paying for their service. This total doesn’t include court or application fees, so the final bill is probably higher.
Value of estate fees payable:
£100,000 would be £2,000 (2% of estate value) plus £ 400 VAT
£100,000 would be £5,000 (5% of estate value) plus £1,000 VAT
Some probate specialists charge both an hourly rate and a percentage fee. But this doesn’t always mean they’re more expensive.
We charge a flat rate of 1.75% plus disbursements, and no hourly rate.
Are there any cancellation fees?
Inheritance Tax is a tax on the estate (the property, money and possessions) of someone who’s died.
There’s normally no Inheritance Tax to pay if:
• The value of your estate is below the £325,000 threshold
• You leave everything to your spouse or civil partner, a charity or a community amateur sports club.
• If you’re married or in a civil partnership and your estate is worth less than £325,000, you can transfer any unused threshold to your partner when you die. This means their threshold can be as much as £650,000.
Inheritance Tax is charged on your estate at 40%.
Can put more than one property into a Trust?
There are no cancellation fees if you cancel with the 14 day cooling off period. You can waiver your rights to the cancellation period if you want work to commence immediately, however you still retain the right to cancel within 14 days. If this should be the case we will charge for any work carried out within this period.
What is a Memorandum of Wishes?
Yes. We have specialists who can deal with multiple properties and give best advice on how this can be achieved. Our legal consultants can explain the options available to you.
How often should I renew my Will?
Commonly a Memorandum of Wishes is a document that is used in conjunction with a Trust. However it can also be used as a letter of wishes with a Standard Will to direct your Executors on how you would like your low value personal chattels distributed.
You should review your will every 5 years and after any major change in your life, eg:
• getting separated or divorced
• getting married (this cancels any will you made before)
• having a child
• moving house
• if the executor named in the will dies