James Pond – Licence to Will

Meet our new recruit James Pond (Licence to Will) who is supporting The Grand Norwich Duck Race 2019.

2019 sees the eighth annual Grand Norwich Duck Race #GNDR19 raising funds for Break, a local children’s charity supporting vulnerable young people & families. 

The Grand Norwich Duck Race is one that individuals, companies and community groups can get involved in – culminating in a fun filled day by the water’s edge on Bank Holiday Sunday 25th August. Ducks race from St George’s Bridge by the Norwich Playhouse to St Fye’s Bridge. The Lord Mayor or Sheriff of Norwich will open the proceedings on St George’s Bridge.

The Duck Race isn’t until Sunday 25 August, but Pond will be having plenty of missions between now and then.  Keep up to date on all his secret missions by following @TheNamesPond007 on Twitter. 

If you see James Pond and want to get any selfies with him, he will be more than happy to oblige, but just asks that you tag him on Twitter (and don’t pull on his ears as it drives him quackers).

Charity Golf day 2019 – Book your place

Join us for our third annual golf day on Tuesday 3 September 2019 at the Royal Norwich Golf Club.

The day includes drinks and bacon rolls on arrival, an 18 hole round of golf (one of the last chances to play on this historic course), Two-course dinner and a Charity auction and raffle.

We are fundraising for Nelson’s Journey, a Norfolk charity that supports children and young people who have experienced the death of a significant person.

The cost is £250 per team – make sure you don’t miss out.

To book your team, contact marketing@heritagewills.co.uk today.

Charity Golf Day

Heritage Will Writers providing peace of mind for Langley School staff

East Anglia’s leading dedicated Will writing service, Heritage Will Writers, has partnered with Langley School to provide their school staff with a bespoke Corporate Benefits package.

Stuart Burrell, Heritage Will Writers Finance Director said “We know employee wellbeing is a key focus for organisations to maintain a happy and motivated workforce. For many, the wellbeing of their family and loved ones can impact on this, which is why we have created a Corporate Benefits package which will give Langley employees and their families complete peace of mind for the future.”

As part of the Corporate Benefits Package, Heritage Will Writers is offering Langley staff free consultations at the school throughout their working day, with a discount on Wills and access to a complete Estate Planning package of products.   

The last 6 months has been a cause for double celebration with Heritage Will Writers scooping “Regional Will Writers of the Year” at the Wills and Probate Awards and “National Will Writing Organisation of the Year” at the National Paralegal Awards.  The judges for the national award said “This business is impressive. The entry contained a strong balance of evidence in relation to qualifications, experience, scale, community and customer service.  An all-round excellent business.”

Stuart commented “Working with the Langley staff has been a real pleasure and we have had lots of very positive feedback– many saying that they had been meaning to write a Will for some time.  The relationship has been greatly enhanced by the Langley HR Team who are clearly focused on giving their staff access to a range of benefits and they have been very supportive in helping facilitate our time at the school.”

Langley HR Manager, Lynn McGarry said “As a School our staff are critical to our success, we are always looking at benefits that we can offer that really offer value and are meaningful. Drafting a will is often one of things on your ‘To do’ list that gets overlooked with daily priorities, therefore being able to offer an opportunity to have a free no obligation appointment during the working day with Heritage Will Writers was fantastic and offered our staff real flexibility.

The information provided in advance and on the day meant that the appointment time could be used to really understand individual personal situations that enabled them to make informed decisions, be that instructing to draw up a will or take away responses to other questions relating to estate planning with a view to following up at a later date. It also provided an opportunity for existing Heritage Will Writers clients to make amendments to their current Will. Their consultant, Phil was informative and concise and really provided a personal approach.  We look forward to continuing the partnership in the future.”

Stuart continued “Since launching their Corporate Benefits package, Heritage Will Writers has been working with a variety of businesses throughout East Anglia and looking at ways we can support their employees and their clients. Having recently received regional and national recognition gives our clients even greater reassurance and peace of mind about how we can help them.”   

Heritage Will Writers win national award

East Anglia’s leading dedicated Will writing service, Heritage Will Writers, has scooped a major national award in the National Paralegal Awards.Based in Hellesdon, Norwich, Heritage Will Writers won the Will Writing Organisation of the Year Award, fighting off competition from two other nationally recognised Will Writing and Estate Planning firms.

Heritage Will Writers Managing Director, Kathy Long said “We are delighted and honoured to have won the Will Writing Organisation of the Year Award. Much of the business we receive comes from personal recommendations and family referrals, which is testament to the great work our whole team does.  We are so grateful to our clients, staff and our network of supporters who have helped us achieve this.”

The inaugural National Paralegal Awards Gala final was held on Friday 29 March at The Mayfair Hotel in London. The judging panel had this to say about Heritage Will Writers: This business is impressive and has scaled. The entry contained a strong balance of  evidence in relation to qualifications, experience, scale, community and customer service.  An all-round excellent business.”

This is not the first time that Heritage Will Writers has been recognised for their achievements in the Will writing industry. In October 2018, they were awarded the Regional Will Writing Firm of the Year at the British Wills and Probate Awards.

Major Reasons That Parents Need a Will

Major Reasons That Parents Need a Will

Everyone knows the importance of a will, although many of us put it off for years, However, having a baby can often spur people into action, as they want to ensure that their child is cared for in the event something should happen to them. Whether you’ve recently had a child, or have children who have long flown the nest, it’s important to get your will in order and here are a few reasons why.

1.       Appointing a guardian

If you die without a will, and you don’t have a partner with parental responsibility, then the court may well appoint a guardian for your child. However, this might not be the person you’d want to choose. That’s why wills for parents should always include details of who you’d like to be a guardian, and if your partner is also making a will, you should try to appoint the same guardians to avoid legal issues. Guardians can be friends or family, but you should consider:

  • Whether they are willing to look after your child – it’s important to ask potential guardians
  • Their family environment – do they already have their own children? Can they take on more?
  • Their age – while you might want to appoint someone such as the child’s grandparents, will they be able to cope with a child?
  • Their relationship to your child – would they be happy to live with them?
  • Their values and parenting style – do they match with your beliefs?

2.       Leaving money for your children

Your will should clearly state how your assets are to be divided, and this includes money such as savings or life insurance. If you were to die while your children are young, you might want to set up trusts for them, taken care of by their guardian, until they reach a certain age. Many people assume that when they die, their money will automatically go to their next of kin such as children, but this isn’t always the case. Therefore, a clear and concise will is important.

3.       Your partner might not inherit your estate

More couples than ever are unmarried and raising children, and while this dynamic can work well, it’s important to note that it can cause problems when one partner dies. Despite popular belief, there’s no such thing as a common law spouse in the UK, so your estate could end up going to your parents or other surviving relatives. It’s important to have a well-written will to make the probate stage easier for those who are left behind, and ensure that your partner isn’t left without money, or having to fight for their share. If you are married, wills are still essential, as this can make life much easier for your surviving spouse when you pass, ensuring your wishes are followed.

If you’re a parent who needs a will, and you live in the East Anglia or Midlands area, then Heritage Wills offer a simple, face to face service in the comfort of your own home. Simply call 01603 894500, or e-mail admin@heritagewills.co.uk to book your appointment today or find out more.

5 Important Points You Need to Cover in Your Will

5 Important Points You Need to Cover in Your Will

Depending on your personal circumstances, the process of drafting a Will can be relatively straightforward. On the other hand, the process can become much more involved, especially if there are several people you would like to name as beneficiaries to your estate or if the assets you possess are substantial. 
Whichever category you fall into, there are still several important points that need to be covered to ensure that your Will is as accurate and as comprehensive in its detail as it needs to be. 

1. Guardianship and Custody of Minors

If your children are still young, it is imperative that their welfare is accounted for in the drafting of your Will. You will need to ensure that you have nominated the parties who you deem as suitable for looking after your children in the case you’re no longer able to. 
This isn’t so much of an issue if you’re married but is still an important point for consideration and needs to be discussed with your family. In addition, it might be worth looking into whether setting up a series of trusts is the best way to ensure that your children are taken care of financially. 

2. Distributing Liquid Assets

You have the ability to include everything in your Will that you own – and you should do so. This includes money, heirlooms, personal possessions as well as any other items you would wish to be passed onto specific members of your family. 
Each asset should be named in your Will specifically; making them much easier to be distributed during the process of probate. 

3. Distributing Property Assets

The property we own are usually some of the most valuable assets we possess. If you’re in possession of any property at all – even if it’s just your primary residence – this should be included in your Will to ensure that there are no issues with your Will being contested in the event of your death. 

4. Funeral Arrangements

Some of us will have a very specific set of wishes for the way in which are funerals should be organised. This may be for religious reasons or simply personal preference, but your Will is the best place to let your wishes be known. 
To ensure that you receive the burial service, cremation or funeral procession that you desire, be sure to detail your requirements explicitly within your Will. 

5. Appoint an Executor

It is always a good idea to appoint an executor who will oversee the process of probate on your behalf. Your nominated executor could be your solicitor or even a member of your family or a close friend, but do ensure that the person you nominate is happy to complete this task.

Heritage Wills: Providing a Range of Will Writing Services

For more information on the services we provide in relation to the drafting of Wills and nominating Powers of Attorney, get in touch with a member of our team on 01603 894500. If you would prefer a face to face appointment, we can also schedule a home visit by one of our trained consultants at a time to suit you. 

The Benefits of Appointing a Power of Attorney

The Benefits of Appointing a Power of Attorney

There might come a time when you are unable to make important decisions concerning your finances and wellbeing. The trouble is, not all of us know when this time will come as it can be difficult to pre-empt, with such a time potentially never coming to fruition.
If you are progressing in life, appointing a Power of Attorney can be the most straightforward way to ensure that your best interests are looked after, ensuing that you receive the peace of mind of knowing your financial interests as well as your healthcare choices are taken care of. 

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

A Lasting Power of Attorney or LPA is a nominated person who becomes responsible for looking after you if you suffer from reduced mental capacity. It is this person who becomes responsible for your financial affairs such as making sure that your bills are paid and that you can meet your financial obligations. They will also become responsible for ensuring that your wishes for healthcare are carried out to your exact instructions if you are no longer able to make your desires known.
It is important to understand that if you don’t appoint an LPA and subsequently become ill or otherwise incapacitated, your family will have to undergo a comprehensive court process to become your deputy and act on your behalf. 

LPAs are Legally Binding

If you have an LPA in place, it cannot be ignored and overridden as it as seen as a legally binding agreement. This in itself provides a great deal of peace of mind that your wishes will be adhered to. 

Preventing Family Feuds

Times of illness can be very stressful for families as they struggle to come to terms with potentially loosing someone close to them. This stress can add a number of complications to dealing with the care process for a member of family, especially if it can’t be agreed who should be taking responsibility. 
Appointing an LPA removes this element of conflict by allowing you to detail who should represent you, as well as what you want to happen in the event of you no longer being capable of making decisions or communicating effectively. 

In the Event of Your Death

In addition to your LPA, it is very important that you also communicate your wishes in the event of your death. One of the mechanisms for doing so is with the writing of Wills which allows you to decide what will happen to your estate and your possessions once you pass away. You are also able to appoint an executor on your behalf who will oversee your Will being progressed through probate. 
The other mechanism for communicating your wishes and protecting your assets is via the formation of what are known as trusts. It is these trusts which will allow you a greater element of control over the future of your assets via a strict set of terms. 

Heritage Wills: Providing Guidance in Appointing Powers of Attorney

To discuss your requirements for the formation of a Lasting Power of Attorney, call us today on 01603 894500 to speak to a member of our team who will guide you through the process and answer any questions or concerns you may have. 

A Guide to Setting up a Trust

A Guide to Setting up a Trust 

Trusts are becoming increasingly popular in the UK as an efficient way to pass on assets to the people they’re intended for. Similar to Wills, but with some key differences, a trust can minimise the tax liability of your estate and ensure that as much of your assets as possible go to those you wish them to.
Setting up a trust isn’t difficult but will require specialist input, meaning that you’re rarely able to DIY the process as some people might with a Will. To assist you in the formation of your trust, we are able to act on your behalf to ensure that your trust is as accurate as it needs to be to achieve your aims.

What is a Trust?

There are several different types of trust that you could make use of depending on your aims, but simply put, they are a mechanism for the safe protection of assets until the time comes that they can be inherited by their intended beneficiaries. 
It is this element of protection, preventing them from being included as part of your estate and passing through probate which is so desirable. 

A trust could be used to;

  • Provide for your children or grandchildren if they are still very young and aren’t capable of managing money.
  • Provide for an adult who is unable to manage their money for a variety of reasons. 
  • To ensure that you are taken care of when you’re older and receive the care that you need, with or without appointing Powers of Attorney. 

It is even possible to form a trust with the sole intention of providing financial support for a child or grandchild’s education, with the assets in the trust only able to be used for this purpose. 

Appointing Trustees

In the process of forming a trust, you will be required to nominate what are known as trustees. It is these trustees who will be responsible for administering the trust and to disseminate assets and funds as required. 
You should always make sure that the people you nominate are aware of their responsibility and what the position entails. 

The Cost of Forming a Trust

The cost will depend on the scope of the trust and how involved the formation procedure is. The most important factor to focus on is ensuring that the details of the trust are as accurate as possible to avoid legal issues down the line due to ambiguous wording or unclear detail. 

Absolute Entitlement and Discretionary Trusts

Both the wording and the type of trust you form will determine just how both the capital as well as any income derived from the trust are treated for the purposes of assessing your suitability for assistance from the State. 
If a discretionary trust, only the actual income received would be considered to assess entitlement for provisions such as elderly care. 

Heritage Wills: Providing Expertise in the Formation of Trusts

Heritage Wills possess a vast amount of experience in the formation of trusts and can work with you to ensure that the trust you form is suitable for the aims you are trying to achieve. 

For more information on the services we provide, speak to a member of our team by calling us on 01603 894500 where we’ll discuss your requirements in detail. 

Protecting Your Property Through Wills and Tenancy in Common

Protecting Your Property Through Wills and Tenancy in Common

When we pass away, we usually want our children to inherit the properties we have worked to pay for during our adult lives. Many people are under the impression that this will automatically happen in the event of their death as long as they have a will which expressly wishes this to be the case, but unfortunately, there are several reasons why this won’t always happen.

For that reason, one of the most important things that you can do to ensure that your children or loved ones stand to inherit is to set up an agreement which names you as a Tenant in Common if you own a property with another person.

Why Would My Children Not Automatically Inherit My House?

When two people buy a house together, they usually immediately become Joint Tenants of that property, entitling them each to 100% ownership. If one partner happens to pass away, the other will automatically inherit the entirety of the house.

The issue arises when the surviving partner decides to remarry, as their new partner will then automatically obtain rights to that property which could see the children of the surviving partner or the intended beneficiaries of the house lose out.

What Are Tenants in Common?

Becoming Tenants in Common and changing the title on your property deeds will allow you to assign a percentage ownership between yourself and the person you own the property with. Each party is then able to protect this percentage and leave it in their will to the people they choose to as desired, as soon as the probate process is complete.

In the event of either partner dying, the surviving partner would only be entitled to the agreed percentage of the property with the remainder being protected for the intended beneficiaries.

Other Points for Consideration

There are several other reasons why specifying a Tenancy in Common is desirable which include;

* Protecting the asset against being used for care fees due to illness. The value of any property owned is considered before a Local Authority will provide help if either partner needs an element of care in old age.

* If the couple who own the property are unmarried, being Tenants in Common can reduce the amount of inheritance tax which will become due in the event of death.

A Tenancy in Common agreement has the ability to prevent your property being used to pay for care fees and is also an attractive way to limit the amount of inheritance tax your named beneficiaries will be liable to pay. Appointing powers of attorney could also provide a way for you to ensure that your assets are handled in accordance with your wishes should both you and your partner be approaching old age.

Discretionary Trusts

In addition, the formation of a Trust is another way to ensure that your assets are protected and ringfenced for those who you wish to benefit. A Discretionary Trust can be combined with both a will and with a Tenancy in Common agreement.

Review Your Tenancy Agreement

If you currently own a home with a partner you are married to or otherwise, we would suggest getting in touch with our team of professional consultants so that we can provide advice on your situation. To make use of our services, call Heritage Wills on 01603 894500 for more information or personalised advice.

A Guide to Setting Up Trusts to Protect Your Assets

A Guide to Setting Up Trusts to Protect Your Assets

Whilst most people are familiar with the process of writing wills so that their wishes can be expressed in the event of death, Trusts remain relatively uncommon even though they present many benefits and can be a great way to protect your assets and estate.

There are many reasons why it might be a good idea to consider the formation of a Trust, even if you feel as if the assets you are in possession of are minimal or if you believe that your will already fully represents your wishes.

What is A Trust?

A Trust is considered to be a way of actively managing a range of assets including money, property, land or other valuable assets. It is important to remember that there are several different types of Trust, all of which are taxed differently, making some more suitable than others depending on your requirements. Unlike a will which must proceed through probate after death, a Trust can be called into action immediately.

The two most common types of Trust include;

  • The Discretionary Trust – A common way to minimise inheritance tax by maximising the inheritance tax allowances of unmarried couples for the benefit of their intended beneficiaries.
  • The Lifetime Trust – A common way to transfer the ownership of assets to other entities whilst still maintaining control over them as well as the benefits they provide.

The Parties Involved

Trusts usually involve three parties who hold a specific title under the Trust. It is also possible for one individual to be named under several of these titles if required.

  • The settler is the individual who places assets into a Trust for the purpose of protection.
  • The trustee is the individual who manages the trust and the assets contained within it.
  • The beneficiary is the individual who stands to benefit from any assets contained within the Trust.

A Lifetime Trust for example would usually see one individual named as all three parties if they were attempting to minimise their tax liability whilst receiving an income or dividend payments.

Common Reasons for Setting Up a Trust

As mentioned, there are several other reasons why someone might wish to establish a Trust which include:

  • The control and protection of important family assets which need to remain within the family.
  • When a young member of the family has inherited a large sum of money but is incapable of handling their affairs.
  • When someone has been incapacitated and can no longer handle their affairs.
  • The passing on off assets to another party whilst still alive.
  • When someone is considered to be vulnerable due to disability or when someone under the age of 18 has experienced the death of a parent.

Establish Your Trust

Heritage Wills are well versed is establishing both Discretionary and Lifetime Trusts. We have the knowledge and expertise to advise further on these matters as well as to assist you in establishing powers of attorney if required. For further information, speak to a member of our team on 01603 894500 who will be to advise further on the different options available.