The expert Wills and Estate planning team at Stuart & Stuart provide a comprehensive service for clients on all matters concerning Wills and estate planning. Established as a trusted firm of solicitors for over 200 years, our lawyers are highly skilled and boast decades of experience when it comes to advising on planning effectively for the future. We provide a service that is of the highest quality and our approach to feeing means that you will be provided with a fixed fee quote in advance of us carrying out any work for you.
Our Wills solicitors can provide guidance on the crucial issues that should be addressed when it comes to drafting your Will. We take a client-focused approach, getting to know you and the issues that matter to you most. We are here to guide you through the estate planning process, including providing advice about how to:
- protect assets for your loved ones
- ensure that your children will be looked after
- minimise Inheritance Tax
- help you to deal with assets situated around the world
- make the most suitable Will to suit your family circumstances, whatever they may be
There are also special legal requirements about how a Will should be drafted – if these are not adhered to, your Will may be held to be invalid. A defective Will means that your wishes will not be followed, and the rules of intestacy will instead be used to decide how your estate should be shared. By instructing a solicitor from our Estate Planning team, you can be confident that your Will is carefully drafted and satisfies all the prescribed rules to ensure that your instructions will be followed when it comes to distributing your estate.
Updating your Will
If you have a Will in place, you may think that there is little reason to revisit it. However, there are many reasons why having an up-to-date Will is hugely important. Significant changes in your personal circumstances, such as a marriage or divorce, may mean that your desired beneficiaries have changed. Similarly, if your family has grown in recent years to include children or grandchildren, you may wish to update your Will to reflect this. If your personal wealth has increased, you may also now be liable for Inheritance tax and even if it hasn’t. tax legislation changes so frequently that it is important to continually review whether your Will is still as tax efficient as possible.
People who own property in France, Spain or other Member States of the European Union (EU) should also review their Wills following the implementation of the EU Succession Regulation in August 2015. The rules which came into force under that Regulation have changed the way in which property situated in the EU is dealt with when person dies. Our team of experts at Stuart & Stuart can advise you on the changes and guide you as to what steps you need to take to ensure that your wishes will be followed.
It is advisable that your Will be updated at least every five years and certainly following any major life event. Our Wills solicitors can advise you on what changes may be appropriate for you.
Planning for Inheritance Tax
Inheritance Tax (IHT) is paid on the property, money and belongings that make up your estate when you die. If you are domiciled in the UK, that will mean that IHT is paid on your worldwide assets, not just those situated in the UK.
In many cases, this can substantially reduce the sums that will be passed on in your Will. Our Wills lawyers can help by putting plans in place that reduce your liability for IHT. We can advise on:
- making gifts – there are important rules that must be followed to ensure that these gifts will not be taxable
- structuring you Will to avoid IHT
- using trusts
- maximising the avaliable IHT reliefs
Contact our Wills Solicitors in Edinburgh, Bonnyrigg and Penicuik
Our Wills lawyers appreciate that everybody's needs are different. Whatever your circumstances, our friendly and approachable lawyers can provide clear, straightforward advice to suit your requirements without resorting to legal jargon.