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Wills & Inheritance Tax Planning Solicitors

Making a Will and planning for the future is something that many people put off for a variety of reasons. But without a valid Will in place, the state will determine who receives the benefit of your estate when you die, according to intestacy rules. This can make things much harder for your loved ones when the time eventually comes.

At Kingsfords, our Wills and Inheritance Tax planning solicitors in Kent have years of combined experience when it comes to lifetime planning. Whether you are looking to create a Will from scratch, need to make amendments to an existing Will, or you are looking for Inheritance Tax advice, our team will be able to provide carefully tailored advice and legal support at every turn.

With our support, you can ensure that your property and assets are distributed in accordance with your wishes, providing you with the reassurance that your loved ones are provided for.

Our Wills service includes the following:

  • Creating a Will
  • Updating your Will
  • Will disputes
  • Inheritance Tax advice
  • Nil Rate Band Discretionary Trusts
  • Life Interest Trusts in Wills
  • Home visits available on request

Speak to our Wills and Inheritance Tax solicitors in Kent today

Speak to one of our Wills and Inheritance Tax solicitors at our offices in Ashford, Cranbrook or Hythe today by calling 01233 624545 or fill in our enquiry form on the right hand side of the page to request a call back.

Our Wills and Inheritance Tax expertise

Creating a Will

A Will is a vital document that ensures your estate (such as your property and savings) is distributed in accordance with your wishes. If you die without a valid Will in place, the rules of intestacy will dictate who inherits from your estate – no matter what your wishes may have been.

When you make your Will, there are several important issues and decisions to consider, including who you would like to benefit from your estate and what provisions you need to make if you have any dependents that require support when you’re no longer around.

Our Wills solicitors in Kent can work alongside you to create a valid Will that is carefully tailored to your individual circumstances and priorities. We can also act as witnesses to your Will and store your Will free of charge in our Will safe.

You can access the firm's Wills Questionnaire here.  Please download a copy to complete and bring with you to your initial appointment. 

Amending an existing Will

It may be the case that you already have a Will in place. However, life moves fast and, as such, you should make sure that your Will is up to date and fully reflects any changes to your life, e.g. if you get married or divorced, or you have children.

Our Wills solicitors can review your existing Will and advise you on where an update is required. In certain circumstances, a Will can be updated through the creation of a supplementary document, known as a codicil, and in others a new Will may have to be drafted from scratch.

Will disputes

Finding yourself in a legal dispute over a Will can be incredibly stressful, especially if it means that you find yourself at odds with another family member. This is why it is important to seek specialist legal advice as soon as possible to sidestep any avoidable conflict or expense.

Our dispute resolution solicitors in Kent can advise on a wide range of Wills and probate disputes, ensuring you find a fair solution that matches your needs and priorities.

For more information on Will disputes, please refer to our litigation and disputes expertise.

Inheritance Tax advice

For many estates, Inheritance Tax can be a significant burden and has the potential to place additional financial stress on your loved ones when your estate is passed down. However, this does not have to be the case as, with diligent planning, the Inheritance Tax on your estate can be mitigated.

Our Inheritance Tax solicitors in Kent will be able to assess your current financial situation, discuss your available options and advise on the most sensible way forward.

Nil Rate Band Discretionary Trusts

Nil Rate Band Discretionary Trusts can be used in your Will to protect assets up to the value of the nil rate band (the nil rate band is the sum of money you are allowed in your estate before inheritance tax has to be paid. The nil rate band is currently set at £325,000). These types of Trust can be used to protect assets up to the nil rate band value for future generations in the event the surviving spouse remarries or has to go into care.

Our team can advise you on the use of Nil Rate Band Discretionary Trusts and how to best make use of them if they are likely to be beneficial for your personal circumstances.

Life Interest Trusts in Wills

A Life Interest Trust provides your spouse or civil partner the right to benefit from your estate for the remainder of their lifetime or until their remarry and thereafter the estate will pass in accordance with your wishes The Life Interest Trust in your Will can also be used to protect assets from care home fees and secure them for your children or other beneficiaries.

We can advise on whether including a Life Interest Trust in your Will is within your best interests, as well as advising on the practical application of such a Trust in your existing Will.

Frequently asked questions about Wills and Inheritance Tax

When should I write a Will?

Because we never know what might be around the corner, there is no right or wrong time to make a Will. Simply put, it’s vitally important to create a Will, as soon as you have any considerable assets, which may include savings, investments, and property.

Creating a Will is also essential if you are married and have children, as you can be sure that they will inherit from your estate. If you are getting married, any existing Will you have will no longer be valid, so it is essential to have a new Will made.

Can I make changes to my Will?

Once a Will has been made, if you want to make any changes you will either need to create a supplementary document known as a codicil or make an entirely new Will.

For a codicil to be considered valid, it needs to be witnessed in the same way as a Will. It is important to note that there are no limitations on the number of codicils you can make on a Will. Generally, codicils are only used for minor alterations, such as updating your address or changing an executor. More major changes will typically require a new Will.

It is a sensible idea to review and update your Will every five years, or if there are any major changes in your life e.g. if you get married, divorced or have children.

If you create a new Will, any previous Wills will be cancelled.

Who can be an executor of a Will?

Executors of Wills carry out your wishes when you are no longer around and ensure all of your affairs are taken care of. They will also be tasked with applying for a grant of probate, if required.

Anyone can be appointed as an executor, so long as they are at least 18 years old and are considered to be of ‘sound mind’. This means you have the option of appointing a family member, friend or a professional, such as a specialist Wills solicitor.

Do I need a solicitor to write a Will?

Technically, a Will does not have to be prepared or witnessed by a solicitor, but there are various strict legal requirements which must be followed for a Will to be considered legally binding. A specialist Inheritance Tax planning solicitor is also likely to be able to improve the tax efficiency of your estate, meaning more will pass to your heirs and also ensure that your assets pass to who you want them to.

For that reason, it is highly recommended that you work alongside a specialist Wills solicitor when making or amending a Will, as this will ensure that every detail is handled professionally and accurately. It will also reduce the chances of your Will being disputed by your beneficiaries after you die.

Can you visit me in my home or hospital/care home?

We can visit you in your home if you are unable to get into the office or you would feel more comfortable having the meeting in familiar surroundings. We are also able to visit you in hospital or a care home.

Can I have a meeting on a Saturday to discuss making a Will?

We can by arrangement meet with you on a Saturday if that is easier for your schedule.

Speak to our Wills and Inheritance Tax solicitors in Kent today

Speak to one of our Wills and Inheritance Tax solicitors at our offices in Ashford, Cranbrook or Hythe today by calling 01233 624545 or fill in our enquiry form on the right hand side of the page to request a call back.

  • Marcus Parsons
      • Marcus Parsons
      • Director & Head of Wills, Probate and Powers of Attorney
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  • Julie Granger
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  • Adam Luke
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  • Rebecca Evans
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  • Sarah Geering
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  • Elizabeth Isaac-Garner
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  • Emma Bishop
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For more information please call us on  01233 624545