beacon

/'bi:k(ə)n/

a light or other visible object serving as a signal, warning or a guide at sea or on land.
OR - a source of light and inspiration

Wills & Trusts

What is a Will?

A Will (often referred to as a Last Will & Testament) is a legal document that helps ensure that your assets on death (referred to as your ESTATE) pass smoothly to those you want them to.

There are various types of Wills, starting from the very basic, right up to some that can handle complex estates and scenarios.

Often combined with a TRUST, they can offer a very effective way of protecting your worth for the people you care for.

This is why you can see enormous variances in the price of Wills advertised.

 

How much does a Will tend to cost?

Through Beacon Advice a Standard Single Will (with personal consultations and advice and preparation) can be between £150 & £200 inclusive. The actual cost will depend on factors like the quantity of information needing to be added, whether the consultation was face to face or remote etc. This will be confirmed to you after your meeting.

Wills for couples where their circumstances are similar are often referred to as MIRROR WILLS. These can be between £250 - £350  again depending on the above factors.

Then there are Wills with Trusts inside which will be detailed out separately in the Trusts section.

(See below for more Q&A on Wills)

TRUSTS

A trust is a legal arrangement for managing assets. There are different types of trusts depending on what you need to achieve.

At Beacon Advice we deal mainly with Will Trusts.

Yes!

We can help ensure that your partner is safe in your home for either a set period of time or the remainder of their life - whilst still protecting the asset for your children.

TRUSTS can be set up to manage your assets for the benefit of all you care for.

A Single Will with an appropriate Trust in it to cater for this costs between £250 & £350 inclusive. 

Yes!

With the use of things like a DISCRETIONARY TRUST we can build in a high degree of protection.

This trust can receive unlimited assets. You appoint who you want to manage it for your beneficiaries and can write some rules and guidance to help them make decisions in the future. Great if you have any concerns about how wisely your dependant may use the money, or be influenced by others etc. Great for keeping money in the family line.

A Single DWT costs between £350 & £400 inclusive.

Mirror DWT’s cost between £550 & £650 inclusive (for the two).

There are specialist trusts to ensure that any assets that pass to them are managed in their best interests. They are also designed to help to ensure that any allowances and benefits that they receive are not affected.

A Single Will with a vulnerable persons trust costs between £350 & £400 inclusive.

Mirror Wills with a vulnerable persons trust costs between £550 & £650 inclusive.

For a couple who own property together yes. It’s possible to protect 50% of the value of the home from being lost via a PROTECTIVE PROPERTY TRUST. Prices range from £700 - £800 inclusive depending on the work that needs to be done to achieve this.

Yes.

BUT this is a specialist area. You may need to get a valuation of your home for tax purposes and should take tax advice first.

Subject to certain criteria it is possible to place a main home in a trust for reasons such as not wanting it to be held up by probate or saving on probate costs, wanting to protect vulnerable beneficiaries, keeping it in the family line and more.

It CANNOT be set up to look to reduce or avoid care fees - this would be a deliberate deprivation of assets.

It also DOES NOT mitigate Inheritance Tax as you are benefiting from the property as your main home.

Enquire for more details on this specialist area.

WILLS

This is someone you legally appoint to gather your worth up and distribute it as your Will says. They will settle from your worth any final bills, Funeral payments etc. and then move on to giving out any SPECIFIC GIFTS you have made and then divide the rest up according to your wishes.

Executors can be lay people like your spouse or partner, sons or daughters, family / friends etc - anyone you feel is sensible and organised can be one subject to a few qualifying criteria.

It’s unusual for lay Executors to charge the estate a fee - but they are allowed to if it’s a reasonable compensation for their time. They may repay themselves any fees or disbursements that they may have incurred upfront.

Alternatively, you can choose PROFESSIONAL EXECUTORS.

These can be Solicitors or Probate Companies who specialise in handling estates and dealing with what can be complicated and time consuming work.

An EXECUTOR can be personally responsible for an estate for many years and it’s important that they know that if they make mistake, they may need to pay out of their own pocket to put it right.

Professional Executors vary how they charge. They may charge a fee to be the Executor of the estate which is often a % of its value. Then there is the work itself which is normally charged at an hourly rate. Then there are any fees or disbursements incurred which could be things like valuation fees or other professionals fees and then lastly there is, of course, VAT.

This is a good question - as the work still needs to be done!

A close relative or family member has to apply for LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION. This is their legal authority to gather your assets and distribute them according to the RULES OF INTESTACY. This flowchart dictates who should have what and may not exactly be in line with your wishes. You may have had a long term partner, even regard yourself as ‘Common Law Husband / Wife’ but legally there is no such thing.

Also step children & foster children would not automatically inherit.

Absolutely yes!

As a parent you may feel it’s not something worth thinking about but wouldn’t you want to be sure that, if you had died, your kids would be well cared for and loved by someone you trust?

Get Guardians in your Will to ensure that your wishes are known in a legal documents so your kids can be looked after by the right people, in line with your values and beliefs.

A cheap DIY Will tends to be template driven, with little or no ability for customisation. It often doesn’t go deep enough into things like ‘if that gift couldn’t happen as that person has died - what then?’ Or include clauses that make the Will much more robust and ‘water tight’.

As with all DIY we are only as good as our own workmanship. How can you be sure you haven’t missed anything important that you should have considered? So we would advise using a professional.

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