Estate planning, writing a Will and Probate the Dunkley’s way

There comes a time in everyone’s life when you need to take charge of your affairs to ensure your family is provided for after you have gone.

That could arrive at any point, maybe after the birth of your first child or in your 60s, when you’ll no doubt be hoping to find yourself approaching retirement. 

Whatever stage of life you’re at, our Family Services Suite can help plan your estate to ensure it is distributed in accordance to your wishes. 

From writing a legally-binding Will and planning your estate, to minimising any inheritance tax and handling non-contentious Probate, Dunkley’s covers all bases.

Writing a Will

Many people are reluctant to write a Will, probably because they associate it with the morbid reality of death. 

Some 57% of people polled by YouGov ahead of Will-writing month in November 2019 said they do not have a Will, and many of them are parents. 

If you should pass away without a legally-valid Will then it is possible that your assets will be distributed according to the law.

Having an up-to-date Will ensures that any property, possessions, money and other assets are passed on to the people or causes closest to your heart.

Director Mike Dunkley said: “We know that creating a Will can be a daunting prospect, and this is where we can help. 

“Through experience, we know that once a Will has been created, you will gain comfort from knowing that all the proper provisions are in place for those you wish to benefit.”

Our comprehensive Will-writing services range from £200 for a standard Will to £750 for placing assets into trust, which includes either a standard or mirror Will. 

Planning your estate

Estate planning goes beyond writing a legally-binding Will as it should minimise what your estate pays in inheritance tax. 

This aims to ensure that as much of your wealth passes on from generation to generation without the taxman getting more than his fair share. 

If your estate is worth more than £325,000, it could be liable to inheritance tax at 40% on any amount exceeding this threshold. 

Another exemption involving the family home is available to boost this tax-free threshold, although conditions apply. 

Putting assets into trust is also worth considering as an estate planning strategy, not least because you essentially give up ownership of those assets.

Not only will that decrease the value of your estate, which may bring its overall value under the threshold, but it ring-fences it for any beneficiaries.  

Processing Probate

Earlier this year, we launched a Probate campaign with an eye on scheduled changes to the system. These will no longer be coming into effect. 

Our approach to non-contentious Probate remains unchanged, however, and we have two packages to choose from. 

For around £1,950 excluding VAT, our experts will apply for the grant of probate needed to begin processing an estate and liaise with HMRC until probate is closed.

Our premium service (£3,000 plus VAT) includes registering the death with the relevant bodies, appointing executors of the will, informing any beneficiaries or causes, clearing any debts, and distributing what’s left of the estate.

Probate can take up to two years and letting us handle the process on your behalf, from start to finish, could be a breath of fresh air at a sensitive time. 

For more information on what you can expect from our Probate service, get in touch on 01454 619900 to review your situation and see how we can assist. 

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