Heritage Will Writers Golf Day raises over £5,000 for local charity Nelson’s Journey

East Anglia’s leading dedicated Will writing service, Heritage Will Writers, hosted their 2018 Charity Golf Challenge last week, raising £5,434.72 for a leading Norfolk child bereavement charity.

The Golf Challenge was held at the Royal Norwich Golf Club, Hellesdon with proceeds being donated to Norwich based charity, Nelsons Journey. The 18 teams who entered enjoyed an 18-hole round of golf, two course dinner, charity auction, raffle and prize giving ceremony. 

Heritage Will Writers Managing Director, Kathy Long said “We are delighted that our supporters and everyone who joined us on the day have raised such a fantastic amount for this amazing charity. Several members of our staff have visited Nelson’s Journey’s Smiles House and got a real understanding of the fantastic work that they do to support bereaved children, so it really is a charity that is close to our hearts.” 

At the start of the year, Heritage Will Writers joined the NJ Twenty20 scheme – A commitment taken by 20 Norfolk businesses to raise a minimum of £1,000 each to help celebrate the 20th year of Nelson’s Journey.  Earlier this year, several members of the Heritage Will Writers Team took part in a tandem skydive raising over £1,000 for the charity.

Kathy continued “We are so pleased with the support that we have had from local businesses in hosting this event.  We are especially indebted to Philip Miller and the team at The Holden Group for their sponsorship and supplying some amazing prizes including a new Honda Type R car as the prize for a hole in one.”

Gena Moore, Corporate Fundraiser for Nelson’s Journey said “We have been overwhelmed with the different and innovative ways that the 20 businesses who are supporting us have decided to fundraise for us, and the Heritage Will Writers golf day is no exception. The money raised by all the businesses will pay for a Child Bereavement Support Worker for a year, helping to support hundreds of children following the death of an important person in their lives.

“The Heritage Will Writers Golf Day was a great way to raise awareness of our work with bereaved children in the local area, amongst local golfers and business-people who came along to enjoy the event. We were also delighted to have the opportunity for one of our volunteers to tell everyone how Nelson’s Journey helped his family following his bereavement.”

Royal Norwich Golf Club Office Manager, Shelley Coventry said “Royal Norwich was delighted that Heritage Will Writers chose to hold their golf challenge day with us, especially as it is our last full season at Hellesdon.  We are moving in September 2019, so this was one of the last opportunities to play at our historic site in our 125th anniversary year”

Established in 2002, Heritage Will Writers are East Anglia and the South East’s leading dedicated Will writing service, serving tens of thousands of clients. In addition to writing Wills, the team offer a full probate service, secure document storage and can help with trust enquiries, powers of attorney and property ownership changes.

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.

Donating to Charity Through the Use of Wills

Donating to Charity Through the Use of Wills

Many of us hold the work of charities and charitable organisations close to our hearts. It might be the case that we have directly benefited from the services they provide or simply acknowledge and admire the work they perform.

Leaving or donating money and other gifts to a charity in the event of death is a very popular option which many people choose to take advantage of. There are also several financial benefits to doing so which may make the decision easier.

The Process of Donating to Charity

If you don’t already have a will, this is great opportunity to communicate your wishes and to nominate the charity that you wish to benefit on your death. In the event that you already have a will, you will need to request an amendment with the entity who helped you to write it originally.

Depending on your charity of choice, they will usually recommend that you use a specific statement to express your desires to donate any assets to them in your will. This information is usually readily available on their website but if it isn’t, we would suggest contacting them personally or requesting your will writer to do so on your behalf.

It will also help to include the following information;

  • The full name of the charity to benefit from your donation.
  • The charity registration number of the charity in question as well as their registered address.
  • A merger clause in the event the charity you wish to donate to ceases to exist or has merged with another charity. In these instances, you can elect that a charity with similar values benefits instead.

Setting up Charitable Trusts

Another option is to establish a Trust in your name which is dedicated to carrying out charitable work on your behalf. As part of this process, you can directly gift assets to a charity of your choice or use the Trust as a vehicle for donations to a series of good causes.

Another option could involve appointing powers of attorney who can preside over your financial affairs and donate to charitable causes on your behalf.

The Tax Benefits of Donating to Charity

Donating money to a charity has the ability to reduce the overall inheritance tax liability of your estate, sometimes even eliminating it entirely. This works by;

  • Reducing the total taxable amount of your estate by ringfencing some of it as a donation. This donation will be tax free and will ensure that whatever is left over will incur less inheritance tax.
  • In addition, the rate of overall taxation can be reduced from 40% to 36% if you were to donate 10% of your net estate.

Once probate has begun and provided there are sufficient assets after debts and liabilities are paid, your donation will be made before the rest of the estate is divided up.

Further Advice on Nominating a Charity in Your Will

Tax law can be complicated so we would suggest seeking further advice on donating to charities through your will. To discuss this matter further, speak to Heritage Wills by calling us on 01603 894500 so that we can offer more personalised advice.

The Benefits of Using a Will Writing Service

The Benefits of Using a Will Writing Service 

Ensuring that your wishes have been documented and will be carried out in the event of your death is vital for everyone of adult age, regardless of your personal wealth or whether you consider yourself to be young or old. But what is also important is making sure that your will has been drafted in accordance with best practice guidelines, ensuring that there are no issues down the line when your estate enters into probate.

Rather than attempt to write your own will via a DIY service, making use of professional will writing services are always the better option, in turn providing you with the peace of mind that your will is both accurate and legally enforceable.

How a Will Writing Service Works

There are several options available to you when seeking the assistance in the drafting of a will. The most common include:

  • Attending a scheduled appointment at the offices of the company performing your will writing services.
  • Scheduling a home visit where a qualified professional consultant will visit you at your home address at a time to suit you.
  • Online via the use of a portal where you will be requested to input vital information regarding your personal circumstances which will then be interpreted and formed into a will.
  • Via the use of postal forms which will be sent to you for completion. Once returned, the information included on these forms will form the basis of your will.

We would always suggest making use of face to face service which is the best opportunity to make sure that your wishes are accurately communicated. When a professional will writing consultant visits your home, they will ask you a number of questions including:

  • Who you would like to nominate as your executor.
  • The total of your assets to be administered under the will.
  • Who you would like to benefit under your will as well as how and to what proportions.
  • Whether you would like to appoint powers of attorney.

Once your will has been finalised and approved, you can then request to have it stored safely on your behalf.

The Advantages

The benefits of transferring the responsibility of drafting your will to a specialist has many benefits which include;

  • Companies experienced in writing wills will usually provide you with a very quick turnaround, often no more than 4 to 6 weeks from the date of your initial consultation.
  • Costs are very competitive and are usually much cheaper than a solicitor. You will also find that costs are often fixed regardless of whether you are visited at home or you attend an appointment yourself.
  • In house legal teams will ensure that your will complies with the law and has been written following the appropriate guidelines.

Have your Personal Will Written on Your Behalf

Heritage Wills are experienced in the drafting and formation of wills for customers of all backgrounds, regardless of your personal circumstances. Whether you would like more information on Trusts or would like to schedule an appointment, you can speak to a member of our team on 01603 894500.

What Age Should I Write My Will

What Age Should I Write My Will

As a young person in the U.K, the process of planning for your death probably hasn’t crossed your mind. It’s a difficult subject and even as time creeps on, most of us don’t like to consider our own mortality. As grim a topic as it may be, subjects such as wills and powers of attorney do need to be considered so that there are no tangled legal battles in the event of your death. And every now again we get an unfortunate reminder that life is short, and you never know when your time is up. There are certain times that are a good milestone when you should look into having a will written to ensure your loved ones are looked after. So, what are these?

1. Buying your first home in East Anglia

If you are in the process of buying a new home, this is likely one of the first things of significant value that you invest in and you need to specify who will inherit when the time comes. Any change in the value of your home will also affect your family members and what is being left to them, so having it laid out legally makes sense.

2. Getting married

At this happy time, you probably don’t want to think of one or other of you ever dying. But your spouse is also likely to be the chief beneficiary of your estate, so it’s important to get that down on paper and save them an awful lot of stress in the event of your demise.

Wills made before marriage are also often cancelled on marriage so it’s a good time to update your documents in any event.

If it’s a second marriage, then you need to update your will to reflect your new spouse and also plan out how property will be divided between children from your first marriage and any children from this new relationship.

3. When you have children

If you haven’t a will in place before now, this is the time. Your love for your first-born will mean that you will always want them to be provided for. If you die without a will, your children will be entitled to a portion of your estate, but it may not be divided up the way you’d like it to be. If you die before your children reach adulthood, you will have a guardian named in your will. If you haven’t made a will, then the court may decide that someone else is legally responsible for your children. You may wish to set up trusts in your children’s names or give them powers of attorney in case you become incapacitated.

Expert Will Writers

These things will vary from one person to another, but once you own anything of value and have any relationships that are significant, you should consider writing your will. Heritage Will Writers have provided this valuable service in the East and South East of England to thousands of happy customers and all our Will Drafters are STEP qualified.

Our Head office is located at 13 Hellesdon Park Road, Drayton High Road, Norwich, NR6 5DR. We also have offices in Boston, Bishop’s Stortford, Cambridge, Lincoln, Royston and Southampton. If you’d like to know more about writing your will, call Heritage Will Writers today on 01603 894 500.