At Nicholson Clark, we advise you on all aspects of  Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorneys.

Will Writing

If you need a simple Will or a more complex Will, we work with you to assess what is best for you.

What we will discuss with you

  • Assessment of Assets (your estate)
    • Normally a combination of financial and property assets plus personal effects. You may also have other assets such as a business.
  • Inheritance Tax
    • The current tax regime and whether your estate is likely to have to pay inheritance tax, together with advice on ways to mitigate it. 
  • Appropriate Beneficiaries
    • Often but not always a spouse/partner, family member, loved-one or charity
  • Appointment of Guardians
    • For children under the age of 18. Parents with parental responsibility should appoint guardians who will step in when there is no surviving parent with parental responsibility. 
    • When choosing someone suitable to act as a guardian, a number of factors should be considered, including but not limited too:
      • Do their ‘morals and values’ align with yours? 
      • Do they have children of their own, and will this impact on their ability to act as guardian? 
      • Do they already have an established relationship with your child? 
      • Where do they live? Will your child be uprooted to a new location away from other family members, friends and their school? 
      • Ask them if they are willing to act as a guardian, as they can decline to act, even after you have died. 
    • You can leave a letter of wishes for the guardians, setting out how you would like them to make decisions. However, as the name suggests, these are merely wishes and the guardians are not legally obliged to follow them. 
  • Appointment of Executors/Trustees
    • Executors are those individuals who will administer your estate. Often, the principal beneficiary of your estate is the right choice, but in some cases a professional or independent executor may be appropriate. If a trust arises under the terms of your Will, your executors will become your trustees unless you choose separate executors and trustees.
  • Individual or Mirror Wills
    • A Will for a single person or a pair of Wills for a couple, also known as mirror Wills when they are both the same. 
  • Will Trusts
    • A Trust is a way of managing assets (money, investments, land or buildings) for someone. A person setting up a Trust puts assets (the Trust Fund) into the Trust  and appoints Trustees to manage the Trust Fund for the people who are to benefit from it (the Beneficiaries). 
    • A Will Trust is any trust that’s included in your Will and which is only set up after you die.  
    • Do you need one? Not necessarily but we look at the options which make most sense for your unique situation. 
  • Letter of Wishes
    • A letter which gives guidance to your executors, trustees or guardians.

What we will then do for you 

  • Drafting
    • We prepare your new Will or update an existing Will and any Letters of Wishes. 
    • We prepare drafts for you to review and print final copies for you to sign.
  • Signing
    • We advise you on signing requirements including suitable witnesses. Where possible, we supervise the signing of your Will and act as one of your witnesses. If that is not possible, we send you the Will to sign, together with detailed signing instructions. 
  • Will Storage
    • We can provide secure storage of your Will so that your executors will be able to access it following your death. They will need the original to be able to administer your estate and apply for a grant of representation (probate). 

Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs)

We will talk to you about, and advise you on and draft, both types of LPAs

Property & Financial Affairs

These are used in the event that you do not have the mental capacity to make your own financial decisions.  This will include managing all aspects of your personal financial affairs. For example:

  • Current, savings and ISA accounts with banks and building societies. 
  • Any financial investments you may own such as shares, investment trusts and pensions.
  • All properties that you own or rent. As well as your own home, that might include a second/holiday home and/or investment property.
  • Utility bills and phone contracts. 
  • Debts and loans. 
  • Any businesses you own or part-own. You may wish to set up a separate ‘Business LPA’ with separate attorneys. 

Health & Welfare

These are used in the event that you do not have the mental capacity to make decisions about your own health.  This covers decisions about all aspects of current and future needs. For example:

  • Giving or refusing consent to particular types of health care, including decisions about medical treatment. This may even include decisions about life-sustaining treatment and resuscitation.
  • Deciding whether you stay in your own home, perhaps with help and support from social services. If you need to move into residential housing, choosing the right care home for you.
  • Day-to-day issues, like what you eat, what you wear and your daily routine. Spending your money on things that maintain or improve your quality of life such as new clothes or hairdressing, decorating your home or room and paying for extra support so you can go out more, for example to visit friends or relatives or to go on holiday.

What we will do for you

  • Attorneys
    • We help you to decide who should be appointed to act as your attorneys (i.e those who will make decisions on your behalf).
  • Instructions and Preferences
    • We consider with you any specific requirements or wishes, for example guidance as to the sort of care you would like. 
  • Drafting your LPAs;
    • We prepare drafts for you to review and produce the final versions. 
  • Signing the LPAs 
    • We arrange for you and your attorneys to sign. We also write to your attorneys to explain what the job entails and provide details of the LPAs.
  • Registration
    • We submit your completed LPAs to the Office of the Public Guardian to be registered (this is currently taking 5 – 6 months). We also deal with any enquiries from them on your behalf. 
  • LPA Storage
    • We can provide secure storage of your LPAs.
  • Certified Copies
    • We prepare certified copies for you/your attorneys to keep at home in case you need them. Note only the originals or certified copies can be used.