Wilson Nesbitt’s Wills service makes it easy to plan for their future and ensure that they are provided for when you’re gone.

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Benefits

  • Our Wills service offers a simple, efficient, stress-free and flexible approach for planning ahead.
  • You’ll have the peace of mind knowing that your Will is being drafted by expert solicitors at a leading law firm.
  • You also have the benefit of the team’s expert knowledge if you have any questions during the process.
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FAQ

The charities supporting Free Wills Month work for a variety of causes. Their vital services protect and enrich the lives of millions of people every day. Most UK charities depend on legacies for up to half their income – by taking part in a Free Wills Month campaign you will help one or more of these worthy causes by pledging a legacy in your will. You can view the charities supporting Free Wills Month here.

  • We all die
  • Your death impacts on your family emotionally & financially
  • Disputes can arise in relation to your financial assets or death benefit entitlements
  • If you have children under 18 trust & guardianship conflict issues can arise
  • You can make a decision about how want your assets, money & effects distributed
  • You owe it to your family & those you cherish to make a Will
  • Making a Will is one of the best gifts you can make
  • It’s particularly important to make a Will if you:-
  • Your assets will be distributed under the laws of survivorship or intestacy
  • What you have may not go to those you would want to benefit
  • Not making a Will could mean:-
    • Certain loved ones, such as unmarried partners or stepchildren are not provided for;
    • Your partner has to move out of your shared home;
    • No one looks after your property or financial affairs while the Court appoints an administrator – this could lead to mounting debts and unnecessary stress for your loved ones
  • A specific bequest is a gift of a chattel (eg a car, painting or jewellery) to an individual or couple;
  • A residual chattels bequest is a gift of whatever chattels have not been given to others;
  • A pecuniary bequest is a gift of a sum of money (eg £1,000);
  • A charitable pecuniary bequest is a gift of money to a church or charity;
  • A residual bequest is a gift of a share of what’s left after all other gifts;
  • The percentages of all the residual bequests should add up to 100%;
  • The recipients of bequests (gifts) in your Will are called beneficiaries.
  • Beneficiaries are persons, churches or charities that receive bequests in your Will;
  • Residual beneficiaries are persons, churches or charities who receive a share of what’s left after all other bequests.

The key things to consider are:-

  • What property and assets do you own?
  • Who are your beneficiaries and what inheritance do you want to leave them?
  • Who will be the executor(s) of your estate?

Follow our information links in these FAQs and as you complete the questionnaire. See Reciprocal/ Mirror Wills for couples, Ways of giving in your Will, Assets Jointly Owned, Real Property and Joint TenantsTenants in Common

Trusts have a variety of purposes in Wills; some common examples of which are:-

  • Wills which incorporate a trust leaving a tenant in common half share of a house to a spouse, civil partner or partner for their lifetime or until they go into care & then to children can preserve half the value of the property for the children and ensure that the entire value of the property is not used up in nursing home fees – see Trust Wills and Tenants in Common; 
  • A house, or a tenant in common half share of a house, can be left in trust for the lifetime of a spouse, civil partner or partner & then to children of an earlier relationship on the death of the spouse, civil partner or partner; 
  • Couples with children under 18 often leave everything to each other but also provide that if both die before the children reach 18, or another specified age, trusts are created to provide for the children until they reach the specified age;
  • Trusts can also be created for adults or children with disabilities, business management during beneficiaries minority and many other purposes;

Trusts can also be used for tax planning.  See Ending of Trusts.

Executors are responsible persons who carry out the wishes expressed in your Will and wind up your affairs normally within a year of death. Trustees are responsible for the investment of money or management of assets until children attain an age between 18 and 25. There must be at least two trustees. Executors and trustees are almost always the same persons.   

An executor or trustee who is indolent, imprudent, lacking in diligence, negligent or wilful can negatively affect the assets your family will inherit. You should thus chose your executors and trustees wisely. They can be a member of your family, a relative or a friend. If your estate is relatively modest and the wishes in your Will relatively simple your spouse or civil partner, a member of your family, a relative or a family friend would ordinarily be the correct appointment. Only one executor is necessary although more than one is fine. If trusts for minor children or others are being created you need a minimum two trustees. Solicitors are often asked to be additional independent executors and trustees.

For more information see the powers of executors and trustees, executors and trustees for children’s trusts, solicitor executors and trustees and Guardians 

You can use your Will to record any special wishes you’d like for your funeral, including what you want to happen to your body. See Burial or Cremation Requests

You can exclude people from your Will. However if you exclude a dependant the dependant may be able to claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) (NI) Order 1979.  See Disabled Dependant.

Inheritance Tax is a tax on gifting within seven years of death or on death or on gifting into some trusts. In brief and subject to the details below and many legislative detailed tax provisions:-

  • Assets passing on death or by gift between spouses or civil partners are exempt to Inheritance Tax;
  • Nil Rate Band (Personal Allowance) - Each person has a personal allowance of £325,000;
  • Residential Nil Rate Band - If your estate is below £2m an additional allowance of up to £175,000 is available if you own your home which you are leaving to descendants;
  • Each spouse or civil partner is entitled to the same allowances;
  • Unused spouse or civil partners allowances pass on death to the surviving spouse or civil partner;
  • Thus a couple with a home worth more than £350,000 can, on the second death, leave assets to their children worth £1m without Inheritance Tax liability;
  • There are also annual gifting allowances of £3,000 per annum which can be utilised and a de minimis gifts allowance of £250 or below;

If you’re concerned that your estate might exceed the inheritance tax threshold you can opt for our Gold Service as it’s important to take specialist advice. See also Gifts out of Income, Charitable Giving, Lifetime Gifts, Gifts with Reservation & Deeds of Variation.

If you have property in more than one country it’s important to plan appropriately. You should make sure that your Northern Ireland Will deals effectively with your UK assets while ensuring your assets outside the UK are structured to work together with your Northern Ireland Will to minimise your estate’s exposure to tax. See Foreign Assets

If you are a business owner or shareholder in a private company, it’s important to consider how you want to pass your interests on. When you draft your Will, you should also address issues such as:

  • Shareholder or partnership options
  • Changing the articles of association for the company to enable the terms of your Will to be implemented
  • Introducing new partners or shareholders from within your family (possibly with different share classes or using a trust to hold their shares or interest).

See Business Property Relief and Agricultural Property Relief. We can arrange a consultation with Wilson Nesbitt senior partner Gilbert Nesbitt who specialises in Inheritance Tax planning.

When you make a Will you should also consider making an Enduring Power of Attorney in case you lose mental capacity either through accident or illness in later life. You can appoint an attorney to make decisions on your behalf about your finances. You have to make an Enduring Power of Attorney when you have mental capacity (you can’t make it after you lose mental capacity) so making an Enduring Power of Attorney when you are making your Will makes sense.

We offer a range of related services helping to protect you and your family including private wealth protection

What's Included?

  • After you have completed the online Wills questionnaire we will provide telephone support help with a specialist throughout the process totalling up to 30 minutes;
  • The 30 minutes of telephone support with a specialist to cover clarification of your instructions and the advices contained in the online FAQs including the appointment of executors and trustees, the distribution of your estate by specificpecuniarycharitable and residual bequeststrusts for minor childrenguardians and the inheritance tax thresholds;
  • In the event the telephone support with a specialist exceeds 30 minutes additional charges will be invoiced;
  • All telephone calls are recorded for training and business purposes
  • Review of your completed questionnaire and a review of your existing Will (if any);
  • Drafting your Will with clauses including the appointment of executorstrustees & guardians, the distribution of your estate by specificpecuniarycharitable and residual bequests including trusts for minor children – 90% of the Wills we make are covered by this Standard legal process;
  • Providing you with a first draft Will within 5 working days of your completion and return of your questionnaire or if you have raised further queries within 5 working days of such queries;
  • Making changes to your draft Will(s) including minor clause alterations and typographic, name or address changes on your instructions on one further occasion and providing you with a second revised draft;
  • In the event you require a third or subsequent additional revised drafts of your Will an additional charge will be raised for each such further revision;
  • All first draft Wills, second revisions and subsequent revisions checked by a solicitor;
  • Preparation of a final version of your Will ready for your signature
  • We will post your Wills to you for signature & return in a prepaid envelope with detailed instructions on signing your Will in the presence of two independent witnesses in accordance with the law on the signature of Wills;
  • If you prefer we can arrange for a meeting in either our Belfast or Bangor offices of up to 15 minutes to attend to your signature of the Will(s) in the presence of two witnesses that we will provide;
  • We will post you a copy of your signed Will and can provide you with an electronic copy of your signed Will(s) at any time;
  • Your original Wills will be stored in our purpose built safe storage facility
  • Copies of your original Wills can be provided to you at any time in the future on production of satisfactory identification documentation
  • The making of an Enduring Power of Attorney;
  • Work on the severance of the ownership of property held under a joint tenancy to change the ownership to tenants in common;
  • Advice on lifetime gifting of assets to family members or friends;
  • Calculation of your current approximate Inheritance Tax liability;
  • The use of regular gifting out of income Inheritance Tax or annual allowances;
  • Inheritance Tax planning advice relevant to your assets;
  • The use of trusts for Inheritance Tax planning;
  • The application of reservation of benefit anti avoidance Inheritance Tax rules;
  • Issues relating to property situated abroad;
  • Domicile issues;
  • The application of the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) (Northern Ireland) Order 1979 claims;
  • The use of life interest trusts for asset protection and the severing of joint tenancy property ownership to facilitate same;
  • original Wills will be stored in our purpose built safe storage facility;
  • consideration of potential constructive trust claims;
  • consideration of potential proprietary estoppel claims;
  • the use of asset protection trusts;
  • the taxation of trusts;
  • the review of shareholding structures of family/ farming businesses;
  • the review of existing Inheritance Tax planning and trust arrangements;
  • Provision of a report reviewing Inheritance Tax planning options;
  • Work arising from concerns about your capacity to prepare a Will;
  • Meeting with and advice from a solicitor

Possible additional charges:

  • An Enduring Power of Attorney for a single person signed at the same time the Will is signed is charged at £120 (£100 + VAT)
  • Enduring Powers of Attorney for a married or civil partnership couple signed at the same time Wills are signed are charged at £180 (£150 + VAT)
  • Our solicitor’s time will be charged at a 20% discount to the solicitors normal hourly rate for an initial consultation of up to one hour in addition to the Will charges.  Subsequent time worked on the matter by the relevant solicitor or other Wilson Nesbitt solicitors will be charged at their normal hourly rate.
  • The solicitors hourly rates will be confirmed when consultations are requested.
  • You complete our online questionnaire and electronic identification verification process then make your payment to us;
  • You need to respond to the draft Will we provide you with & other communications promptly
90% of the Wills Wilson Nesbitt make are covered by this simple basic Will process. If you require a Will to cover unusual family circumstances, have concerns in relation to nursing home costs/ asset protection or inheritance tax planning in relation to substantial asset values or business interests we will clarify and agree the cost of any such services you require in advance.

Ready for a simple, efficient and stress-free experience? Wilson Nesbitt Solicitors would love to help.

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