Wills, Probate and Administration of Estates
At Cunningtons we work hard to make sure your wishes are followed which, coupled with our knowledge of your business and personal affairs, should ensure the whole process of both making a Will or dealing with an Estate runs in as smooth and painless a way as possible.
We are authorised to act in Probate and Estate matters operating under the strict codes of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants
Why Make a Will?
If you don’t make a will you will be leaving things to chance and relying on others to deal with your assets at a time when they are most vulnerable.
Making a will gives you the opportunity to plan for inheritance tax liabilities making sure that your loved ones are provided for in the best possible way.
You can also appoint executors who are responsible for following your instructions.
Perhaps, most importantly, your will provides an opportunity to make provision for both the financial and emotional welfare of any children, through the appointment of guardians.
Making a will can bring you peace of mind. You can choose who will benefit from your estate and how it should be distributed.
A worrying number of people don’t have a will and operate under the mistaken belief that their estate will simply go to their next of kin on their death. This isn’t necessarily so. The rules of intestacy make some provisions for family but are unlikely to reflect your true wishes.
Reducing tax liabilities
Often people don’t realise that their estates could be subject to Inheritance Tax.
Estate planning is about organising your assets so that in the event of your death your estate is dealt with both according to your wishes and in a tax efficient way.
Increasing property values mean many people are unwittingly sitting on a tax liability, especially as the Inheritance Tax threshold has been frozen at £325,000 for some years. The introduction of the Residential Property Nil rate band gives some measure of relief but many individuals will still find the impact of Inheritance Tax on property is very significant.
If you have a business you need to ensure that it is wound up as efficiently as possible or that it continues to be managed by the people you choose. We can offer advice on the succession and Inheritance Tax implications of passing on a business. There are a number of business-related Inheritance Tax allowances but these are complex and can easily be lost through a lack of planning.
Reviewing your Will
You may already have a will, but it is important to ensure that it is up to date and reflects any changes in your family’s circumstances or changes to tax planning legislation. Our Will health check service can give you peace of mind that your wishes are being met.
What is Probate
Probate is the process of administering a person’s estate after their death, including distributing all money, assets and possessions.
Applying for Probate
Applying for the legal right to deal with someone’s estate when they die is called applying for Probate
Dealing with an estate
People often appoint family members and their solicitors as executors of an estate with no real understanding of what this involves. Dealing with someone’s estate is a time-consuming process which can be very upsetting and confusing for a surviving family or partner as they need to adhere to the strict legal guidelines surrounding the administration.
Ways we can assist
Our Probate service can ease the burden of dealing with the Administration of Estates, we can carry out all tasks required in applying for Grant of Probate and deal with the Tax and Property Estate Administration affairs on your behalf. We can also offer advice about Inheritance Tax.