We recognise the importance of “getting your affairs in order” and ensuring that your loved ones are provided for in the future, whether this be by making a will or by appointing an attorney to manage your affairs if you are no longer capable of doing so. McNeil & Co. can provide comprehensive, professional advice tailored to your individual circumstances and will be happy to advise and prepare these documents for you.
Please see the Our prices page for details of our fees.
When someone dies without making a properly drawn up and executed Will they are said to die intestate and the law sets out who will manage and inherit that estate. These rules are very strict, for example there would be no provision for partners or step children. McNeil & Co can advise you how these rules would apply in your personal circumstances. You may consider these rules are perfectly acceptable to you and you decide that you do not wish to make a Will.
However should you wish to do so making a Will it is neither complicated nor expensive. We offer a fixed fee Will drafting service. Wills can also be prepared on an urgent basis should the need arise and home visits can also be undertaken.
Although making a Will is seen as something to do when you are getting on in years this is not the case. As well as setting out who will benefit from your estate there are many advantages to making a Will. You may wish to:-
• appoint a friend or professional rather than your family to administer your estate.
• leave a money bequest to a family member, friend or charity.
• leave specific items to family members or friends.
• ensure someone does not benefit from your Will
• appoint a guardian for your children
• state your funeral preferences
• take steps to reduce your Inheritance Tax liability
Making a Will provides peace of mind. Not only for you when making the Will but also for those who will have to deal with your estate. At a time of great upset and stress they will have confidence that they are dealing with your estate exactly as you would wish.
It is always advisable to seek legal advice when you are considering making a Will to ensure that it reflects your wishes and also to ensure that it is executed correctly. Sorting out any mistakes or misunderstandings made in your Will after your death can be costly and time consuming and may significantly reduce the value of your Estate.
You should review your Will every few years or when there is a significant change in your circumstances e.g marriage, separation, birth of a child or a change in your assets. For instance you may think you have a valid will but it is automatically revoked on marriage!
Common legal terms can be found on our Common Probate Terms page.
Lasting Powers of Attorney
A Lasting Power of Attorney will allow a relative or friend to assist you with your affairs should you wish them to or should you become incapable of doing so. There are two types of Lasting Powers of Attorney, Property and Financial Affairs and Health and Welfare. The main benefits of making an LPA are that:-
• You decide who will be your attorney(s) and how many attorneys you will appoint. You are best placed to know who is suitable to look after your affairs.
• Once registered the LPA can be used just as soon as you want/need to use it.
• You decide what restrictions (if any) to put on your attorney(s).
In many cases making an LPA is a precautionary measure, it’s in place in case you ever need it. Whilst you retain mental capacity it can only be used to assist you to carry out your wishes. Should you lose capacity your attorney can then make decisions on your behalf but must always act in your best interests. If you lose mental capacity and do not have an LPA in place someone must apply to the Court of Protection to deal with your finances and this is a lengthy and costly process. Further this may not be a person you would trust to handle your affairs.
We can store your Will, Lasting Power of Attorney and Deeds securely in our safe store facility.