Wills & Probate Solicitors in Birmingham

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Why is it important to make a will?

If you die without making a will, the law decides how your estate is distributed between your remaining family – this may mean that your hard earned cash and assets may end up in the Government’s coffers.
The people you love the most, such as a partner you have been living with but are not married to, may end up with nothing if they are not named as a beneficiary in your will.
Loved ones may have to take legal action to receive the inheritance they believe they are entitled to – this could be quite expensive!
Liability for Inheritance Tax may also be an important consideration and can be reduced or eliminated by making a will.
All your assets can be split up in the way that you want – this means no arguments between friends and relatives, you will have laid down your requirements.

Making a will is one of the best things you can do to protect the interests of both you and the people you care about.

Many people do not like the thought of making a will and the associations that go with it, but it is the only way of ensuring that your estate is passed on according to your wishes.

At Eddowes Perry and Osbourne Solicitors, we can offer you sensitive expert advice and guidance on all of these matters to ensure that your wishes are met. We are also happy to do home or hospital visits if the client is unable to visit our offices. If your spouse or partner instructs us at the same time and the will instructions are similar, the second will is half price.

Other issues you might consider when making a will:

Cohabiting couples might consider legal agreements – many cohabiting couple believe there is such a thing as common law marriage, giving them the same legal protection as married couples. This is simply not true. Cohabiting couples have very few automatic rights, so it might be wise to draw up living together agreements which state in advance how their assets should be divided if the relationship breaks down. This can prevent disputes if the couple separates. Many couples actually find that the process of drawing up an agreement actually strengthens their relationship because both sides feel more secure and settled.

Changes to your circumstances – If your circumstances change, for example, you re-marry or have a child, you may wish to review your will. We may be able to make the amendments by writing a codicil, which usually quicker and cheaper than drafting an entirely new will.

Consider creating a Lasting Power of Attorney – creating a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) can protect your interests in case your health or mental capacity should start to deteriorate. LPAs enable you to nominate someone such as a family member to make decisions on your behalf if you ever lose the ability to do so in the future. The property and finance LPA allows you to appoint someone to look after your financial affairs and the personal welfare LPA lets you grant an attorney authority over such matters as health care. There are safeguards to prevent the system being abused, so you can prepare for the possibility of ill health secure in the knowledge that you can leave important decisions in the hands of someone you trust. If you don’t have such arrangements in place then your family may have to go through complicated and time-consuming legal processes just to get the authority to help run your affairs for you. LPAs can ensure that your interests are protected should your health deteriorate.

Probate

If you are the executor of the will of someone who has died, or the next-of-kin of someone who has died without a will, you are likely to need to apply to the Probate Court for a grant of probate or letters of administration, which also entails completing an HM Revenue & Customs Return or Account for inheritance tax purposes. We can assist you in these matters at a reasonable cost and relieve you of the worry of dealing directly with the Probate Court. We can also assist in cashing-in or transferring bank accounts, stocks and shares, life policies and other assets, and generally dealing with whatever needs to be done when someone dies.

If you would like to make arrangements to create a will, or would just like some advice on the information above or other topics relating to your assets, please do not hesitate to contact Kerry Osbourne or Leigh Mounce. Or call us on 0121 686 9444 and ask to speak to a member of our Wills and Probate department.

Testimonials

Cost effective with quality, what’s not to like – Probate and Wills Solicitors

Great service, personal attention and value for money. My family have instructed EPO for managing my late parents’ Estates, drawing wills and managing Trust related issues. They deliver a quality service which is reliable and on which one can depend totally. True professionals. They are just like part of the family!
Author wishes to remain , They gave a 5 Stars ★★★★★ rating

View of an executor – Probate and Wills Solicitors

I was recently landed with being executor for a relative`s estate in Sutton Coldfield, which was made difficult by living some distance away, and engaged EPO to act for me. I took their advice on many tricky problems and entrusted them alone with complex matters like taxation and dealings with banks, etcetera, over investments. It was never necessary for me to visit Sutton and the low cost to the benefactors gained me some praise. Very highly recommended.
Author wishes to remain , They gave a 5 Stars ★★★★★ rating