Reasons to Avail of Professional Will Writing Services

Reasons to Avail of Professional Will Writing Services

Life is unpredictable but one thing you can be sure of is the inevitability of death. The first step to being prepared is to make sure that you have your will drafted meticulously. Having your will in place is the easiest way to direct where your wealth goes when you are no longer around.  

Why are Wills so important?

Wills are crucial in deciding what happens to your money, possessions and property. There are a number of technicalities that you might miss on your own and thus you should not attempt writing your will but rather, hire professionals to do the job for you. A minor error or an ambiguity in the will can worsen a potentially volatile situation after your death and what makes it worse is that you won’t be around to make amends. That’s why hiring professional help to draft your will can prevent any mistakes, and the stress associated with coming up with the “perfect” will, while also ensuring that it can be executed as per your wishes. These are not the only benefits of hiring professional help, other advantages include:

  • Minimal costs: The cost of availing a professional will writing service beats the cost of the lengthy court processes, taxes and the agony of the dependants. Properly drafted wills also ensure that Inheritance tax is minimised as well as dictate charity bequests.
  • Executing your wishes: Making a will means getting to choose someone you trust as an executor to carry out your wishes. The executor will then carry out duties that range from money and property distribution to funeral arrangements.
  • Legal technicalities: It is important to write a clear, legally compliant will that sets out all of your wishes in detail. A professional will writer is always more legally adept and attentive than someone who has no experience of these things. Professionals pay attention to detail and the nuances of drafting a will. Utilising a professional service helps reduce your burden and also removes any ambiguity in the will with the use of specific language.
  • Caring for your dependents: Upon death, we leave behind our dependents. By getting your will in place, you will be doing all you can to safeguard your family and children by considering their future and appointing guardians if they are under 18.  A clearly drafted will does away with the complexity of laws and legal processes and ensures that they are taken care of. A will makes sure that your wishes are fulfilled, be it inheritance or a trust. Otherwise,

Why choose Heritage Will Writers?

We are a professional company that can carry out your wishes to the letter. Our will writing service takes care of many of your worries with fast, accurate services at affordable prices. Other than the will writing service, we also provide services such as:

  • Power Of Attorney (LPA)
  • Trusts
  • Property protection trusts
  • Property title changes
  • Probate services
  • Document storage
  • Funeral plans

Whether you visit our offices or we come to your home, we guarantee you will receive a highly professional and courteous service. It is in your best interests to have your will in order, so call Heritage Will Writers on 01603894500 for assistance today. 

Dying Without a Will: What Happens to Your Assets?

Dying Without a Will: What Happens to Your Assets?

When you die without a will this is known as intestacy, and if you live in England there are certain rules that the court will follow to divide up your assets. These rules can be very strict, with the line of inheritance following a pattern, which means lots of legal cases are heard each year due to people dying intestate. If you don’t have a will, it’s important to know what will happen to your assets, and for most people this is a great motivator to have a will written.

Married and unmarried couples

If you have a long-term partner and you die, your partner isn’t legally entitled to anything, and it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been together or whether you’ve co-habited. Those who choose not to marry should look at getting wills made, as there have been cases where all the deceased’s assets have automatically gone to the children, leaving the partner with a legal fight on their hands.

Married couples will usually inherit their deceased spouse’s assets automatically, and under English law your children might not be entitled to anything. If you want your children or grandchildren to inherit anything, this has to be set out in a will to ensure your wishes are followed.

Inheritance tax

With property prices on the rise, more and more people are becoming aware of inheritance tax and how much it could cost their dependents. If you die without a will, more inheritance may become due, whereas if you organise things in advance there are certain trusts which aren’t liable for the tax. Get tax advice before drawing up a will.

Unclaimed estates

For those who die without any obvious descendants, there’s a process to go through where the government will try to track down any surviving relatives. This could include:

  • Grandparents
  • Siblings and half-siblings
  • Aunts and uncles
  • Half-aunts and half-uncles
  • Adopted relatives

If none of these can be found, then the estate goes to the crown, and in 2017 about £8 million worth of assets were given this way. This probate process can be long and complicated, with distant relatives having to stake a claim. If you don’t have any obvious heirs, then it’s important to make a will. You may wish to leave the money to a friend, or even give it to a charity, and with a legal will in place you can be sure your wishes are kept.

Saving your family hassle

Even if your estate is simply going to be divided between children, if you die without a will then the process can be much more complex. It can take longer to get a grant of administration, which allows for distribution of assets, and can mean there’s even more paperwork and hassle to deal with. Therefore, it makes sense to create a will, even a simple one, to save a lot of stress.

Heritage Wills offer an easy will writing service across East Anglia and the Midlands, visiting you at home for your convenience. Simply call 01603 894500 or e-mail to book an appointment or find out more.

Why You Should Write a Will

Why You Should Write a Will

Our mortality may not be a subject we always want to engage with, but writing a will is a crucial task for everyone. Once you have given serious thought to whom you would like to leave your money, possessions and property to in the event of your death, it’s a relatively simple process to make a legally binding will that will give you the peace of mind of knowing that your final wishes will be carried out to your satisfaction.

Minimise stress

Losing a loved one is one of the hardest experiences any family member has to go through and this emotional pain is only made worse in situations where wills have not been made. Making sure your last wishes are clearly defined, legally binding and up to date is the only way to take this bureaucratic stress away from your family.

Make sure your wishes are carried out 

Whether you are dealing with sizeable trusts or small personal possessions, it’s incredibly important to make sure that your worldly goods are passed on exactly as you would wish them to be. Not only will this prevent added emotional pain to those surviving, it means that you can be sure your final wishes will be carried out. If you do not make a will, your estate will be divided according to the law, which may not be in allegiance with your wishes.

Appoint an Executor and Power of Attorney

It’s crucial to appoint someone you trust to be the executor of your will. This person will be responsible for organising your estate and following the instructions you leave with regard both to inheritance and your funeral arrangements. You can appoint a professional executor but many people choose to name a close relative like a spouse or civil partner as it is possible for your executor to be a beneficiary of your will.  That said, some people choose another trusted relative or friend to take away this administrative burden at a time of grieving. Powers of attorney is another important role you need to get covered. Giving a trusted family member power of attorney generates a legal document that allows them to make legal, business and financial decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated.

Provide for your dependents 

Making a will is an important task for everyone, but it’s a particularly crucial task to complete if you have a spouse, children or other family members who depend on you financially. Not only does failing to leave a will mean your estate may not be divided as you would wish, it can also increase any inheritance tax bill. Also, if you are in a situation where you do not wish your immediate family to benefit from your will, it is equally important to make sure your wishes are legally set down according to the legally binding rules of probate

For a friendly and professional will writing service, contact Heritage Will Writers on 01603894500 to arrange a free home visit.

What you need to know about probate

What you need to know about probate

What is probate? It is the legal process of transferring of property upon a person’s death. When creating wills, we set out our intentions as to how our property is to be distributed and perhaps how certain debts shall be paid, or if trusts need to be set up. Throughout the years, the laws have changed but the purpose of probate remains the same, and in most circumstances it is an easy process. 

The probate process 

When making a last will and testament, you appoint someone you trust as executor of that will so that they can carry out the instructions laid out therein. The executor presents the will to a local court in the country where the decedent (the person who died) lived. If you have not provided a will, then someone will need to apply to the court to be appointed as the administrator of your estate. This is usually the spouse or child of the decedent, so if neither of these are preferable, or you’d prefer not to give them the responsibility, then you can also appoint powers of attorney to other trusted individuals who can help with the administration of your estate after you’re gone. 

What is covered in probate? 

Any property owned by the person at death is subject to the probate process. If you’ve heard the term “probating a will” – this refers to the process where it is demonstrated that the decedent followed proper legal formalities when they drafted their will. This is to ensure that the decedent was in no way influenced when preparing their will, and that they had sufficient mental capacity at the time of writing it to make decisions of this stature. The basics of what happens in and outside the courtroom are as follows:

  • All probate property of the decedent must be collected
  • Any debts or taxes outstanding by the estate must be settled
  • All right’s to income, dividends, life assurance policies etc. must be collected
  • All claims or disputes must be settled
  • The remaining property is distributed to the heirs, either named in the will or by the court

Can the probate process be contested?

Often the process is left uncontested, when a will has been prepared and the details laid out simply. This also happens regularly when there isn’t a large amount of property to be distributed. However, the probate process can be contested when one heir is seeking a larger share of the decedent’s property than they have initially been instructed to receive. In these cases, the disgruntled party will often suggest that the decedent didn’t follow the necessary formalities when drafting their will, or that they may have been improperly influenced by another heir. Creditor’s can also make a claim on the estate of the deceased. 

Is it an expensive process?

A number of fees apply to the process and it can prove quite costly after solicitor’s fees, court fees and the fees of those involved. The probatesystem does exist to protect all parties but it can also be avoided. Before death, one can distribute gifts, set up trusts or set out joint ownership so that their property goes to the surviving party. 

In order to avoid a lengthy probate process, it’s best to have your will in order, so call Heritage Will Writers on 01603894500 for assistance today.

3 Things All Pet Owners Should Consider When Making a Will

3 Things All Pet Owners Should Consider When Making a Will

For many, pets are an integral part of family life. In fact, around 44 percent of all households have a pet of some description, according to figures collated by the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association

No matter the type of pet you have, you’ve probably developed a strong emotional bond with it over the years and have come to see it as part of the family. With this in mind, it’s important to consider what would happen to your animal companion if you were to pass away and factor in your pet’s care plans when creating a will. 

Here at Heritage Wills, we’re proud to offer an industry leading will writing service catering to people across the south and southeast of England. If you want to ensure your pet is financially provided for and left in caring hands after you’re gone, here are a few things to consider: 

1. Decide Who to Leave Your Pet to 

One of the most critical things to take into consideration is who you would ideally like to leave your pet to. For most people, this might be a relative or a close friend, but keep in mind that a passion for animals doesn’t automatically make someone the right choice. Housing can have a big impact on suitability, as can the amount of free time the prospective carer can dedicate to your pet. Similarly, allergies, lack of mobility and financial stability should also be taken into consideration. Be sure to have an open and honest discussion with the prospective carer before writing them into your will. 

2. Creating a Trust for Your Pet 

As a pet owner, you’re probably well aware that keeping your animal companion happy and healthy can be expensive. Indeed, the lifetime cost of a medium sized dog breed is estimated to be around £10,000! 

To avoid putting a financial burden on the person you choose to leave your pet to, some people decide to set up a trust that covers the future expenses of caring for your pet. To calculate an appropriate amount to put into the trust, think about your pet’s typical annual food and medical expenses. Top it up with some extra funds to cover the additional medical fees that most pet owners face as their pet ages. 

3. Ensure Provisions are Set Out in Your Will 

As with all other aspects of your will, it’s critical that your intentions are clearly set out in writing to eliminate any ambiguities. Set provisions in your will that state who you wish to take care of your pet and the details of your pet’s trust fund (if you have one). This is a relatively simple matter, but it does provide you with greater peace of mind knowing that your beloved pet will be looked after by someone you trust. 

Heritage Wills is the will writing service you can trust. Give us a call today for a no-obligation chat to discuss your options.

3 Reasons You Need a Will – Even if You Have No Assets

3 Reasons You Need a Will – Even if You Have No Assets 

One of the most common myths in the will writing industry is that a will is only necessary if you have a lot of valuable assets to your name. On one level, this concept is somewhat logical – after all, if you don’t own property or have thousands of pounds in your bank account, what is there to bequeath in the event of your passing? 

However, the reality is that just about every person in the UK will have something of value to leave behind and a will is vital for ensuring these assets are passed down legally and in line with your wishes. In addition, there’s a very good chance that you have some things that may hold a lot of sentimental meaning, even if they’re not particularly valuable. A will ensures these treasured keepsakes are well cared for in the years ahead. 

Here are three reasons why everyone needs a will, even if you have no assets: 

1. Appoint Someone to Handle Your Funeral 

It is a bit morbid to think of your own mortality, but the fact remains that you need to be mindful of practical matters when writing your will. This includes – among other things – naming an executor, who is typically tasked with arranging your funeral and sorting other pragmatic issues such as closing banks accounts, dealing with your taxes and so on. Remember that an executor doesn’t necessarily have to be your closest loved one; instead, choose someone who will be able to stay level headed and practical even while in mourning.

2. Bequeath Sentimental Possessions

Not every person will have a portfolio of properties or millions of pounds to leave behind, but just about everybody will have accumulated some beloved sentimental possessions over the course of their life. Whether it’s a special watch, heirloom jewellery, or an old family photograph, a will allows you to set out in writing what happens to your treasured belongings after your passing. This is a vital step if you have specific items that you wish to leave to a person outside your immediate family because, if you die without a will, your estate is shared out under the rules of intestacy.

3. Children and Pets

If you have a family, the most important reason to write a will is to set out what will happen to your children. In the tragic scenario that both parents pass away and leave young children behind, your choice of guardian will influence heavily in the judge’s decision when it comes times to appoint a guardian for your kids. If you’re a pet owner, a will is also critical for naming who you wish to take care of your pet. In both cases, it’s important to talk things over with your prospective guardian before naming them in your will to ensure everyone is on the same page. 

A will is vital no matter the size of your estate. Give the friendly Heritage Wills team a call today to learn more about our industry leading will writing services.

Who Should You Give Power of Attorney to?

With an ageing population and a rise in the number of cases of dementia and other long-term conditions, many people worry about what’ll happen to them as they get older. One area of concern is looking after their finances when they may not be able to do so, and that’s why many people choose to nominate a power of attorney. A lasting power of attorney, or LPA, is a document that allows you to nominate other people to make decisions on your behalf, but is it right for you?

When can I nominate a power of attorney?

Anyone over the age of 18, who currently has the mental capacity to make their own decisions, can get an LPA. An LPA can relate to your health and welfare, can give power over your financial affairs and property, or can be granted for both. Many people get them drawn up when revising their wills, or when they’ve been diagnosed with a condition that could cause them to deteriorate in future, but any adult can get one done now in case they need it in future.

Who should I appoint?

When choosing someone to be your attorney, it’s important that they’re also an adult and have the mental capacity to take on your decisions. They could be a relative, friend, solicitor, or spouse, but should be:

  • Someone you know well
  • Someone you trust to have your best interests at heart
  • Someone who is willing to take on the extra responsibilities that come with being an attorney
  • Someone who takes good care of their own finances etc.

Setting up an LPA is a fairly simple process, you simply need to fill in the forms that are then registered with the Office of the Public Guardian, but it’s choosing the right attorney that can often be the trickiest part.

What can an attorney do?

Once you no longer have mental capacity to take care of your decisions, your LPA is put in place. If your LPA relates to property and financial affairs, your attorney will be able to take care of your money, bills, bank accounts, property, investments, trusts, pensions and more. Attorneys who have been nominated for health and welfare can help make decisions with regards to your medical care, day to day routine, and consenting to or refusing treatment. That’s why it’s so important that you trust them.

Can my attorneys change?

Yes, attorneys can be changed if you change your mind, as long as you still have the mental capacity to make decisions. They can also be removed from the LPA if they lack their own mental capacity, become bankrupt, or die. Otherwise, an LPA is in force until the donor dies.

Plan for your future by getting in touch with Heritage Will Writers on 01603 894500. Whether you’re looking to update your will or get an LPA, Heritage Will Writers work with clients across the South East of England to offer a friendly and professional service.

Setting up Power of Attorney – The Facts.

When considering your legal requirements for later in life, or even unexpected incidents, most people think about their wills and sometimes creating trusts for family members or organisations that they may be responsible for. One thing people tend to overlook is powers of attorneywhen really it should be one of the first things to consider.

What is power of attorney?

It is a legal document that gives someone else, of your choosing, the authority to act for you in case you are in some way absent or incapacitated and unable to act. A legal relationship is created, designating you the principal and your appointed person the agent. The Power of Attorney can be for something specific or can cover a multitude of things.  You decide whether the powers are broad or limited. For example, if you needed to sell your business but cannot attend the closing in person, you can assign someone else to sign in your absence.

When do the powers of attorney come into effect?

If you have signed the legal document in front of two witnesses and have had it notarised by a professionally trained lawyer, then the Power of Attorney can come into immediate effect. You can provide your agent with the document and request that it not be used unless you are in some way unable to act for yourself, but unless you have specified the exact usage of it, they can use the Power of Attorney from the moment they receive it.

In this instance, sometimes it’s important to set up a Power of Attorney that does not come into effect until an event triggers it, such as an accident that leaves you unable to communicate or unconscious. This can be problematic, as the agent will need to present an affidavit to prove that this event has occurred in order to use the Powers of Attorney. Banks and other institutions may be reluctant to recognise the agent in this instance.

Will I lose control over my money if I provide someone else with Power of Attorney?

No, this isn’t the case. You still have your normal rights over your money and any assets but you are giving the agent the ability to access your money. It is assumed that the person you choose is trustworthy and won’t steal from you, so choose carefully.

If the relationship breaks down between you and the agent, or you have any reason to suspect that they are using their powers to steal from you, revoke the powers of attorney immediately. Notify all banks and institutions that you have done this. You can also take them to probatecourt to discover how and where your money is being spent. You may be able to sue the agent or press criminal charges if it can be proven that they have used the money without your consent.

If you would like to know more about setting up a Power of Attorney call Heritage Will Writers on 01603 894 500.

When Should Your Will Be Updated?

Having a will is so important, as it sets out a specific set of wishes, and divides up your property when you are no longer here. However, what some people don’t realise is that there are certain life changes and events that may necessitate you changing your will. If something needs to be changed, it’s important to get professional advice, ensuring that the changes you make are legal, and that the will is valid after the changes. Here are some reasons you might need to change your will.

Marriage or divorce

If you get divorced after writing your will, then it’s important to get it updated. A divorce can cause complications if you don’t have an updated will, and if you left everything to your ex-spouse, then it means the gift can go back to the estate, so would be divided as if you’d passed away without a will. If you still want to leave money or property to your former spouse, it’s possible to state this, but your will needs to be updated.

Those who marry or remarry should also ensure their wills are updated. Many people assume that wills will still be valid, even if they marry later in life, but your marriage can then revoke your will, meaning you need to make a new one.

A new child

Any children or grandchildren born after your will is written will need to be added to your will. They won’t automatically be included, so it’s important that you find a will writing service as soon as possible to get it updated. They can also advise on the use of trusts and other options, so you can ensure your new arrival is taken care of.


Rather than writing a new will, there are some situations where an amendment known as a codicil can be used. Some reasons for this include:

  • Changing your executor or trustee – this can be because the original appointees have died
  • Changing a benefactor
  • Increasing a gift
  • Updating your funeral plans

Codicils can be an easier option for making changes, but again it’s important that they’re carried out by professionals to ensure they are legally binding. They’re usually only used for small changes, and will need to be kept with the original will to ensure your new wishes are carried out. So, if there’s more than one change to make, then it’s sometimes worth having a new will written to avoid confusion.

Removing benefactors

Some people want to change their will to remove benefactors, as they’ve fallen out, or circumstances have changed. In these cases, it’s important to get legal advice, as there have been recent cases where relatives have been cut out of wills, then managed to claim their inheritance through the court anyway. That’s why using a professional will writing service is so important, as it ensures things are clearly laid out.

If you are considering having your will updated, get in touch with Heritage Wills today on 01603 894500 for a friendly, professional service.

Avoid These Four Common Mistakes When Writing Your Will

Did you know that if you fail to create a will before passing away, your assets could be divided amongst your loved ones based on laws created in 1925? Most of us want to decide what happens to our wealth, possessions and estate when we’re no longer here, and the best way to make sure that your wishes are honoured is to create a will.

Surprisingly, according to the Law Society, more than half of UK citizens don’t currently have wills. Without a will or probate, you can’t guarantee that the people you wish to inherit your wealth will receive a penny. For example, if you never married a partner you’ve lived with for years, they may not get any of your wealth when you pass away unless you create a will.

At Heritage Will Writers, our trained and experienced powers of attorney and will writers can help you create a legally binding will so that your money goes exactly where you want it to when you die. We can ensure that your will stands up in a court of law should anybody dispute your wishes, and we can also help minimise the inheritance tax on what you leave behind.

Below, we’ve detailed four common mistakes people make when writing wills so that you can avoid doing the same. Remember, if you want to get your will right the first time and secure peace of mind, we’re only a phone call away.

Ignoring the Rules

Technically, any scrap of paper can be used to create a legally binding document, but you need to follow the rules surrounding the creation of wills to ensure yours is honoured after you pass away. Don’t simply type a few notes into your computer expecting them to be the final say on your wishes, and consider whether professional assistance could be a worthwhile investment, especially if you’re leaving behind a large estate.

Choosing the Wrong Executor

The executor is responsible for settling your estate, sharing your assets among beneficiaries and paying any of your remaining debts, so it’s crucial to pick a person you can trust. You don’t necessarily need to hire a legal professional to execute your will, but avoid making the mistake of choosing someone who may make a huge mess or attempt to misappropriate some of your assets for their financial gain.

Forgetting to Name a Guardian

If you’re responsible for children under 18 years old, you need to remember to name a legal guardian on your will. This ensures somebody you trust becomes legally and financially responsible for your kids should something happen to you before they reach adulthood.

Forgetting to Update Your Will

You’ll probably need to make changes to your will as time progresses and your situation changes, such as if you get married, divorced or have children. While it’s wise to draft your first will before reaching old age, it’s important to make sure it remains up to date.

Let Heritage Will Writers Help You

We understand that nobody wants to pay too much thought to passing away, but it’s essential to have your affairs in order so that you know exactly what happens to your assets when the day finally comes. We’re one of the most trusted will writing and probate companies in East Anglia and the South East, so contact us today on 01603 894500 to find out how we can help you.