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WELCOME TO B.T. WILLS & TRUSTS

Experienced. Ethical. Competent.

B.T. WILLS & TRUSTS are experienced professionals within Will Writing and Estate Planning. Whatever your legal needs or questions are, B.T. WILLS & TRUSTS has got you covered. We are a full member of the Society of Will Writers and are committed to excellence.

 
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Peace of Mind Guaranteed

At B.T. WILLS & TRUSTS, We are consistent, patient and professional, giving each new case the attention it deserves. An integral part of our services is to work closely with our clients so that they can make the right decisions with respect to their legal needs.

 

Our Services

 

LAST WILL & TESTAMENT

Your Will is one of the most important legal documents you will make in your life. Using B.T. WILLS & TRUSTS is an easy way of ensuring your wishes are carried out and that your possessions are passed on as you wish, whether your affairs are simple or complicated.

What is a Will?


  • A will is a statement of how a person intends to dispose of his/her estate after death.


  • A Will is the most important document you could ever make.


  • It’s a fluid document because it has no effect until you die— you can change it whenever you want. To be valid, however, the document must comply with section 9 of the Wills act 1837.


  • A Will is something that most people don’t get round to making before the inevitable occurs, leaving loved ones with needless panic and the associated problems at a most tragic time.


Single Wills and Mirror Wills


When you think about the word ‘mirror’, naturally the thoughts of reflection come to mind. A Mirror Will, will reflect the wishes of a particular Will.


What is the difference?


  • A single Will is a Will for an individual. Single Wills are not designed to be used for couples who want to have similar clauses in their Wills.


  • Mirror Wills are designed for couples to make life easier. These are two separate Wills which would set out the same wishes for couples in their Wills, so a husband, wife or partner would make (almost) alike Wills, hence the term ‘mirror’ is used. One Will is to be signed by one spouse and the other Will by the other spouse. These two Wills essentially mirror what the other says.


If you die without a Will you are deemed to die ‘in testate’ and in that event your estate is distributed according to the ‘laws of intestacy’. This process is unlikely to follow your wishes and will certainly delay a very unpleasant procedure.


Your Will is the most important legal document you can ever prepare, and by giving B.T. WILLS & TRUSTS your instructions, you have taken an important step towards putting your affairs in order, thereby giving you and your family total peace of mind for the future.

LASTING POWER OF ATTORNEY

A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a legal document that lets you (the donor) appoint one or more people (known as attorneys) to help you make decisions or to make decisions on your behalf. This gives you more control over what happens to you if you have an accident or an illness and can’t make your own decisions (you lack mental capacity).

There are two types of documents Property & Financial Affairs and Health & Care decisions.


An LPA relating to Property and Financial Affairs is a legal document that allows your attorney(s) to make Property and Financial decisions on your behalf.


An LPA is a very important document which allows you to plan in advance:


• The decisions you want to be made on your behalf if/when you lose capacity to make them yourself.


• The people you want to make these decisions.


• How you want the people to make these decisions.


A registered Property & Financial Affairs LPA lets the people you choose make

decisions about, for example:


  • opening, closing and using your bank or building society accounts


  • claiming, receiving and using your benefits, pensions and allowances


  • paying household and other bills


  • buying and selling your house and other property


The people you choose to make decisions are known as 'attorneys'. You can have one to four attorneys. You don't have to own your own home or have a lot of money to make a property and financial affairs LPA. For example, if it's hard to manage your bank account or bills alone, you may want someone to help.


You can choose that your LPA will only be used if you are no longer able to make decisions, or you can choose that it can be used while you have mental capacity because you want people to help you with your finances.

An LPA relating to Health and Welfare is a legal document that allows your attorney(s) to make welfare and health care decisions on your behalf, only when you lack mental capacity to do so yourself. This can extend, if you wish, to authorising them to give or refuse consent to the continuation of life sustaining treatment.


An LPA is a very important document which allows you to plan in advance:


• The decisions you want to be made on your behalf if/when you lose capacity to make them yourself.


• The people you want to make these decisions.


• How you want the people to make these decisions.


A registered health and welfare LPA lets the people you choose make

decisions about, for example:


• Giving or refusing consent to particular types of health care, including medical treatment decisions. These decisions can range from simple matters about everyday healthcare through to significant issues.


• You staying in your own home, perhaps with help and support from social services.


• You moving into residential housing and choosing the right care home for you.


• Day-to-day issues like your diet, dress, or daily routine and deciding who may have

contact with you.


By choosing who you want to make decisions for you, having an LPA puts you in control of decisions eventually being made on your behalf. Once a Health and Welfare LPA has been registered, your attorneys can only make decisions for you when you lack mental capacity to make the decisions yourself.

LIFE INTEREST TRUST WILLS

A Life Interest Trust (Will) enables you to safeguard your property. The Trust is activated when

the Will comes into force. The trust appoints a life-tenant, usually the spouse or partner, will have the right to occupy your property and potentially receive income without having the right to the capital. This means that you can allow someone to remain living in your property after your death until they die, remarry, cohabit or until the end of a designated time period chosen by yourself. At the end of the Life Interest Trust, the legal ownership of your share of the property can then be transferred to your chosen beneficiaries.


Joint Ownership & Tenants in Common


If you own your house jointly with another individual, your share of the property will automatically pass to the surviving co-owner irrespective of the terms of your Will. It is therefore vital when considering a Life Interest Trust to ensure that you own your property as tenants in common - you may also need to check your Title Deeds if the property is unregistered or the Land Registry if it is registered. If your property is owned jointly we will then need to sever your joint tenancy in order to appropriately set up a Life Interest Trust. When you own your home as tenants in common, you are able to gift your share in the property in your Will and can put this into a Life Interest Trust.


Who would benefit most from a Life Interest Trust?


This route is beneficial for those wishing to protect their share of family home for their children in the event of your spouse remarrying after your death, or if you have married your partner and have children from previous relationships. The trust will allow your spouse to remain in the property for the remainder of their life, and they will also be responsible for keeping it insured and in good repair, but the capital will ultimately go to your children on the death of the surviving spouse. It is worth noting the potential for tax implications when granting a life interest to an individual who is not your spouse. If the life interest is granted to a spouse, the initial gift will not be subject to inheritance tax due to spousal exemption; on the death of the surviving spouse, the Transferable Nil Rate Band allowance can be used up to the current inheritance tax allowance at that particular time and therefore may not be liable for inheritance tax depending on the value of the estate. However, for an unmarried partner or other individual, there will be no entitlement to any spousal exemption advantages and the value of the asset will form part of their estate for inheritance tax purposes, despite the fact that they did not own it themselves.


If the surviving owner goes into care, and the local authority is making an assessment for care fees,

they will not be able to take into account any of the property already in Trust, thus protecting it for future beneficiaries. A Life Interest Trust ensures that each child is guaranteed their planned inheritance or distribution of assets, ensuring that your part of the property goes to your children. Assets are released upon second death or upon re-marriage of the surviving partner, guaranteeing that each child or beneficiary receives the inheritance planned.

 

DISCRETIONARY TRUST WILL(S)

What is a Discretionary Trust in a Will?

 A Discretionary Trust Will can be used to leave your Estate, or part of it, to a Trust created in your Will. You can choose people to be your Trustees and name people you would like to include as potential Beneficiaries of the Trust. You then give your Trustees total discretion over which of the potential Beneficiaries actually receives anything from your Estate, when and how – hence the name Discretionary Trust.

Normally a person would also prepare a Letter of Wishes, separate from their Will, which will provide guidance as to how they would like the Trustees to exercise their discretion.

 Why Put a Discretionary Trust in My Will?


There are a number of very good reasons.


At the time of making your Will, what if you:


  • Didn’t know exactly who you wanted to benefit from your Estate and to what extent?


  • Only wanted a particular person to inherit in circumstances that can only be determined in the future?


  • Wanted to leave your Estate to a disabled person who is mentally unable to manage their finances?


  • Wanted a particular person to benefit from your Estate but a lump sum of money could jeopardise any means tested benefits they may currently receive and rely on?


These types of circumstances are actually quite common and one approach to these issues is to put a Discretionary Trust in your Will. It provides maximum flexibility when your Estate is distributed after your death, and ultimately empowers your Trustees to make the decision, rather than you.


In light of this, the person making the Will should choose a Trustee who they believe will follow any guidance that is provided via the Letter of Wishes

FLEXIBLE LIFE INTEREST TRUST WILL(S)

The majority of couples, whether married, co-habiting or in a civil partnership, have simple Wills, under which on the death of one partner the entire estate first passes to the other, and on the second death then passes to others such as children. However life can be more complicated, for example if someone remarries after a partner’s death and there is a risk that assets might not pass to intended beneficiaries such as children.


One way to protect assets is through using a Flexible Life Interest Will. Under this type of Will, when one of a couple dies, their assets pass into a Trust rather than passing to their partner.


There are trustees who manage the assets held in the Trust, and pay an income to the surviving partner for the rest of their life – this is known as ‘a life interest’, and could for example entail the right for them to continue living in the shared house.


A life interest usually lasts until the surviving partner dies, however a Flexible Life Interest means the Trustees have the power to rearrange assets during the survivor’s lifetime. To set up a Flexible Life Interest Will, B.T. WILLS & TRUSTS will set out how you want the trustees to exercise their powers by preparing a letter of your wishes. For example, this would usually state that you wish your spouse/partner to live comfortably for the rest of his/her life and then for any assets to pass to your intended beneficiaries such as your children.


What happens if my spouse/partner remarries or cohabits?


A benefit of this type of will is that whatever situations occur to your partner/spouse after your death, your assets remain safe for your intended beneficiaries. Your spouse/partner is only entitled to the income from the Trust and if they remarry, their new partner cannot claim from the trust fund.


What happens when my spouse/partner dies?


Your assets can either remain in the Trust, or can pass to your beneficiaries. The Trustees will follow your letter of wishes and would usually liaise with the beneficiaries as to their wishes, as there may be good reasons to keep the Trust going.


Inheritance Tax


Another benefit of a Flexible Life Interest Will is that they can also help to save Inheritance Tax. When the first partner dies, there is no tax to pay and their tax allowance will pass to the survivor.


If the capital is then rearranged and the survivor lives for seven years after this, this will essentially be free of Inheritance Tax and the survivor will still have a double allowance available.


Protection of assets from care fees


A Flexible Life Interest Will can also protect your assets if your surviving partner needed residential care, as the assets in the trust would not be taken into account when assessing your surviving partner’s ability to pay care fees, thereby ensuring that your intended beneficiaries receive their inheritance intact.

ASSET ALLOCATION TRUST

An Asset Allocation Trust (AAT) is a lifetime trust, this is a stand alone document and it is not written within a Will.


 There are three parties to a Trust:


The Settlor: the donor who will place their assets into the Trust


Trustees: the persons who are responsible for managing the Trust


Beneficiaries: those who will inherit from the assets once the Trust has been dissolved.


 An Asset Allocation Trust will protect your assets and estate for future generations. You can ensure that all your assets and estate pass to your chosen beneficiaries, without the costly and lengthy Probate process delaying your beneficiary’s inheritance.


An Asset Allocation Trust is designed so that you can place your residential property and/or other assets in Trust whilst you are still alive, and still retain full control. After your death, the Trust and its contents pass down to your chosen beneficiaries, enabling future generations to inherit using Trust Law. 

The assets held in Trust are specifically held for your benefit during your lifetime. This means you are free to move house at any time, retaining control over your assets exactly as you do now. 


 What are the benefits of an Asset Allocation Trust?


  • The Trust Waivers Probate for anything within it, no Probate fees or delays

  • The Trust ensures there will be no claims on your estate upon death

  • Protection from Bankruptcy

  • Financial Protection from a failed relationship

  • Protection for disabled beneficiaries/ Vulnerable Beneficiaries

  • Potential Protection from Residential Care Fees

  • Lifetime peace of mind

  • Protection from re-marriage of your spouse, avoiding sideways inheritance

  • Protection of an estate over the Nil Rate Band.

  • No Tax Downsides, still provides full access to the Residential Nil Rate Band (RNRB), and removes the need for 10 yearly IHT and exit charges. 

 

"I was so impressed with the legal Experts at B.T. Wills & Trusts. They really dove into my estate and gave me the best advice with the utmost respect while showing a huge degree of confidence. I had no doubt in allowing them to take instructions to prepare my Legal Documents."

DAVID RODGERS

 
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Get in Touch

We pride ourselves on being approachable and responsive, so if you have any questions regarding any of our services or you wish to make a free no obligation appointment in the comfort of your own home, then please contact us.

Tel: 07527087232

 

B.T. WILLS & TRUSTS
We are a full member of The Society Of Will Writers and Estate Planning Practitioners

Tel: 07527087232

Opening Hours Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm

©2018 BY B.T. WILLS & TRUSTS. REGISTERED IN ENGLAND AND WALES COMPANY NUMBER 11260950