What is a will?
A will is a legal document that ensures that your stuff goes where you want it to when you die. Having a will means your entire life’s efforts and hard-earned savings first and foremost benefit the people you love, rather than anyone else.
Do you do home visits?
Yes, we come to you. We’ll call at a time that suits you, whether that’s during the day, in the evening or weekends. We believe in meeting people face to face, and our customers prefer it too. It avoids you having to sit in a stuffy office under fluorescent lights, drinking machine-brewed coffee from a paper cup!
How much does it cost?
Our wills are a fraction of the price of those sold on the high-street, where typical charges can run into several hundred pounds. Maplebrook Wills is a franchise business and each franchise is run by local, independent businesspeople who are free to set their own prices. In most parts of the UK outside Greater London, our wills start at £149 + VAT.
How long does it take?
Our first home visit takes around an hour, during which we’ll gather all the relevant information and discuss your particular circumstances. We then go away and draw up the documents, returning no more than two weeks later for you to sign them in the presence of witnesses. In total, the whole process should take no more than two hours of your time.
What do I need to show you?
For a basic will, we don’t actually need to see anything. However, proof of identification like a passport, driving licence or birth certificate is helpful.
Who keeps my will?
You can. We recommend storing it in a safe place, along with any other legal or official documents you might have. However, it’s important that you tell everyone mentioned in the will - your partner, children and relatives - where it is. And it’s probably best not to lock it away, in case the key is lost. For your piece of mind, we can also arrange to store wills. The benefit of storing your will through us is that we’ll remember the narrative and can provide FREE probate advice and guidance.
What happens when my will is needed?
When a death occurs, we offer FREE help and guidance on the administration of your estate. Currently, Maplebrook Wills does not offer estate administration services - probate being the name commonly used for this legal process. However, we have excellent relationships with numerous probate providers. Simply contact us if you need a recommendation.
What does an executor do?
An executor is the person who carries out the instructions in your will, such as selling your property and ensuring that the correct amount of tax is paid on your estate. On your death, the executor must apply for probate to get legal permission to administer your estate. You name executors in your will, and they can be among the beneficiaries. You can have up to four executors, which can be useful if you want different people for different tasks, such as family matters and sorting out taxes.
Will my ex-husband/ex-wife get any money when I die?
If you don’t want them to, you can write a will so they get nothing. That’s assuming you’re divorced and you have a decree absolute - the legal document - to prove it.
Will my children get my money when I die?
Possibly not, if you don’t have a will. When someone dies without a will, it’s known as dying intestate. If you die intestate, your married or civil partner gets the first £270,000 of your estate. They also get half of the remainder, if there is any. Children get a share of what’s left, divided equally between them. If you have a will, on the other hand, you can give your children exactly what you want them to have.
What is a lasting power of attorney (LPA)?
A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a set of documents that legally allows other people to help you if you can no longer make decisions for yourself. It sometimes happens when people get older. They’re no longer able or willing to pay the electricity bill or get cash out of the bank. The person who has the legal authority to make such decisions - accessing a bank account, for example - is known as an attorney. The term attorney in this instance has nothing to do with solicitors.
What is a trust?
A trust is the legal owner of assets, and it’s something you can have in your will. It ensures that tax inspectors or ex-partners are unable to get hold of your assets because you don’t own them - the trust does. It’s like having a company own your house rather than you. But rather than a board of directors making decisions, the trust is controlled by the trustees.
Who are these trustees who will manage my trust?
You can choose anyone you like. Or rather, anyone you’re confident you’ll be able to rely on to carry out your wishes when you’re no longer around. Typically, trustees are family members or close friends.