For most of us, our lifetime will be spent working to provide for ourselves and our families. Perhaps you’ve invested in property, perhaps you run or own shares in a business or maybe you have simply accrued a generous amount in savings. Unfortunately, if measures aren’t taken to protect these financial assets, they will be divided according to the laws of intestacy when you die.
Having a valid Will in place ensures that your estate is distributed according to your wishes and yet, a vast majority of the British public do not have one in place. At Devonalds, our team of specialist Wills and probate solicitors believe that a little planning makes a big difference.
Our extensive experience in estate administration has only helped to reaffirm this, a qualified team of experts helping the people of the community everyday to deal with the affairs of a loved one after they have passed away.
Probate can be a complex area of law, especially when matters become complicated and disputes arise. That’s why our team of Wills and probate solicitors are here to guide you trough the process, reducing tension and resolving conflicts before they become costly.
Why choose Devonalds’ Wills and probate solicitors?
No matter how much you earn or how much your estate is worth, a valid Will is one of the most important documents you will create. If you are uncertain of how to write your Will, what to include or how your estate should be divided, our Wills and Inheritance Quality Scheme accredited solicitors can provide tailored advice and explain your options with clarity.
With vast experience helping clients from all walks of life through the often-challenging process of estate planning, you can rest assured that your interests will be protected when you work with us. At Devonalds, we never dish out pre-packaged advice. We recognise that with each new case comes new circumstances, requirements, priorities and objectives.
In order to offer bespoke solutions and tailored advice, we will always work to gain a full understanding of your individual situation. That way, you can guarantee that the decisions you make are backed up by specialist knowledge. If your circumstances change, our team will be at hand to help you to update your Will to reflect your current situation.
As well as our outstanding level of client care, our Wills and probate solicitors have earned a reputation for our collective technical expertise within this area of law. When it comes to financial matters, our experience handling complex high net worth estates as well as those with little to be shared should reassure you that your case will be in safe hands.
Whether you need assistance with the administration of an estate or you would like us to lift the weight completely from your shoulders, Devonalds are here to help.
Common questions about Wills and probate
Why do you need a Will?
There are many reasons to make a Will, even if you think your estate or who you want to inherit is straightforward.
Avoid intestacy rules – If you die without leaving a valid Will, your estate will be divided according to the rules of intestacy. This means who inherits and how much will depend on the size of your estate and what family members you have.
In many cases, this could result in outcomes you didn’t intend e.g. everything going to your spouse and your children getting nothing, or your unmarried partner getting nothing because they have no automatic legal right to your estate.
Make sure your estate is divided the way you want – A Will allows you to specify exactly what happens to everything you own, including leaving specific assets to specific people and ensuring everyone you need to provide for is considered. It also allows you to ensure anyone you do not want to inherit will not benefit from your estate when you are gone.
Provide for your dependants – If you have children under 18 or any other dependants, your Will allows you to make sure they are taken care of if anything were to happen to you. This might involve measures such as making provision for a trust to be set up on your death to hold your home and other assets in your dependant’s name and ensure their needs are met.
Make probate easier on your loved ones – Dealing with the estate of someone who has passed away can be confusing and intimidating, but a well-written Will can make things much more straightforward. By setting out exactly what you want to happen with your estate, you give your loved one’s absolute certainty over what they need to do to respect your wishes.
Decide who you want to deal with your estate – You can specify one or more Executors to administer your estate, meaning that you can be confident that your estate will be handled by people you trust to deal with all of the processes involved responsibly and effectively.
Avoid family conflict after you are gone – If you leave any ambiguity over what you want to happen to your estate, it can hugely increase the risk of inheritance disputes between your loved ones after you are gone. People who expected to inherit may find they are cut out or receive less than they believe you would have intended, so making a Will can be vital to help avoid these kinds of conflicts.
Minimise Inheritance Tax – Creating a Will can give you the opportunity to legally minimise your estate’s liability for Inheritance Tax (IHT) e.g. by making gifts, setting up trusts etc. This can often significantly increase the value of the inheritance you leave to your loved ones.
Give yourself peace of mind – Writing a Will provides assurance that your estate and your loved ones are taken care of and that you’ve done everything you can to plan for the future.
What needs to be included in a Will?
Estate planning may feel like a daunting task. After all, the decisions you make in your Will will determine how your estate will be distributed when you die and which friends, relatives or business partners will inherit. Making provisions in advance is essential, but may not be the most enjoyable. That’s why at Devonalds, our Wills and probate solicitors are dedicated in keeping the process straightforward.
Upon your first appointment, your solicitor will discuss the ins and outs of your legal position and estate in order to provide comprehensive advice that works to protect your interests. Once you have reached a decision regarding how your assets should be divided, who should receive what and who should be responsible for carrying out your wishes, your dedicated solicitor will draw up a draft of your Will.
If you’re happy to proceed, you must sign a copy of the Will in the presence of two witnesses. These witnesses must not be beneficiaries named in your Will and must be aged 18 or over. Once this is complete, our Wills and probate solicitors will store your Will securely and provide you with a copy. If you need to make amends to your Will in the future, the process will be the same.
What is probate?
Probate is the term used to describe the legal and financial process involved with estate administration after a loved one passes away. This includes the distribution of financial assets to the beneficiaries named in the Will and ensuring the wishes of the deceased are carried out accordingly. Before the executor can begin the process, they must apply for a Grant of Probate. See our Probate FAQs page for further in-depth information that helps explain the entire process.
If you have been tasked with the distribution of a loved one’s estate, you may find that seeking the support of a qualified solicitor will help to greatly facilitate the process. At Devonalds, we offer pragmatic advice and assistance throughout the process, allowing you the time to grieve and get your life back on track.
For specialist advice and comprehensive support through estate planning and administration, get in touch with our team of Wills and probate solicitors today.
Get in touch with our probate solicitors in Bridgend, Rhondda Cynon Taff and the surrounding area
If you need any help with any part of the probate process, contact your local Devonalds office at Bridgend, Tylorstown, Tonypandy, Talbot Green, Treorchy or Pontypridd to talk to one of our expert South Wales probate solicitors today.
You can call us on 01443 755189 or use our simple contact form to ask a question.