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Stratford-upon-Avon

13 The Courtyard
Timothy's Bridge Road
Stratford-Upon-Avon
Warwickshire CV37 9NP

01789 294484

enquiries@gjassociates.co.uk

London

7-8 Stratford Place
Mayfair
London
W1C 1AY

0207 495 0304

enquiries@gjassociates.co.uk

Death is an undeniable fact of life; nevertheless, it is still a topic we often struggle to discuss. However, planning for it is essential. By taking the necessary steps, you can ensure peace of mind about the security of your wealth and the inheritance of your loved ones. Join us as we delve into everything you need to know about making a will.

What is a will, and why is it essential to make one? 

Making a will tells people how you want your money and assets shared after death. It is essential to make a will to ensure your loved ones benefit entirely from the inheritance you want them to receive.  

You should make a will to give financial and emotional security to those closest to you upon your death. If you do not make a will, authorities may take minor children into Care while appointing guardians.

There is one death every 51 seconds in the UK.

– source: United Kingdom Population Clock

Writing a will offers you and your family peace of mind. It alleviates the pressure of “doing what is right” by you during these challenging times. 

Critically, it is never too early, but it is often too late to Make a will! 

Who can make a Will, and what considerations must they consider?

By planning your estate, you can leave it to whomever you want upon your death. To do this, you must make a will.  

You are classified as a ‘Testator’ if you make a will. You must have the legal and mental ability to make or alter a valid will (Testamentary Capacity).  

When you make a will, you must consider the following: 

When you make a will, you should set out the following: 

You can also include a charity in your will

How do I make a will legal?

To make a will legally, you must fulfil several requirements.

You and your witnesses must sign the same document.  

Both of your witnesses must see you and the act of signing. You can ask someone to sign on your behalf if you cannot do it.  

When your witnesses sign your will, you must have a clear view of them and the act of signing. Your witnesses do not need to sign it at the same time as each other. 

You cannot leave your witnesses (or their married partners) anything in your will.

You must follow the same signing and witnessing process if you change your will. In England or Wales, you can sign a will remotely (for example, by video conferencing). 

When do I need to seek legal advice? 

It is best to seek professional advice before you make a will. If your will is not straightforward, you must seek professional advice to protect your wealth and legacy. These scenarios may include:

What happens if my will is lost? 

If the original copy of the will cannot be found after your death, the authorities will presume that you have revoked it by destruction. As a result, it is then for those ‘seeking’ to prove the will to dispute that presumption.  

If you lose your will, unintended Beneficiaries may inherit your estate under the rules of Intestacy.  

Where should I store my will? 

You must keep your will safe; the original will is the only will. However, you should never keep an original will at home! If you store your will at home, it could suffer damage in various ways, such as through a fire, flood, or burglary, which may lead to its potential invalidation.

Your Solicitor or Will writer may store your will for you at their offices. Equally, the National Will Safe Document Storage facility is a unique national, central storage facility for wills and is a secure way of caring for your important legal documents. 

Who inherits my estate if I do not make a will? 

If you die without making a will, the division of your estate will follow strict ‘Intestacy’ rules. These rules grant inheritance or estate claims only to individuals who are married to Civil Partners or close relatives of the deceased.

You cannot be sure those you wish to benefit will If you do not make a will. Your spouse or civil partner will not automatically inherit ALL of your estate. Plus, ‘Common Law’ partners may not receive anything if you do not make a will.  

One in two (50%) UK adults don’t have a will.

source IFA Magazine. 

They will need legal advice to figure out your estate’s net value and who will inherit what. Authorities could take minor children into Care while appointing guardians. Not legally expressing your wishes could mean lengthy delays for your Beneficiaries and disputes. You cannot prevent certain family members from benefiting if you do not make a will. You cannot leave something to friends, colleagues or charities that fall outside the rules of Intestacy (leaving a valid will). 

Is a will the most tax-efficient way of distributing my estate? 

No. A basic will is not necessarily the most Tax efficient way of distributing your estate. It is only suitable in limited circumstances. A more detailed will allow you to consider all or some of the following provisions:  

How can a Trust protect my assets?

Instead of leaving assets to specific individuals, it is possible to leave assets to one (or more) Trusts. The Trust(s) would hold the assets on behalf of the individuals you choose so that it offers some protection rather than if the assets belonged to the individuals. Trusts have the added benefit of being Tax efficient and can reduce Inheritance Tax for future generations.  

Who can help me make a will? 

You can make your own will, but you must ensure its validity by signing and witnessing it correctly. At Grenfell James, our trusted experts can help with your estate planning needs and support you in making a will. To ensure your loved ones benefit entirely from the inheritance you want them to receive, call us today at 01789 294 484.   

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Grenfell James Technology Adoption Index

How does your business perform against others adopting financial tech? Find out with our interactive diagnostic:

1.

How does your business receive invoices?

A)

Invoices are mainly received in paper form

B)

Invoices are mainly received by email

C)

Invoices are emailed then automatically forwarded to a designated mailbox

2.

How are purchase invoices processed?

A)

Invoices are entered manually

B)

Invoices are attached to manually raised invoices

C)

Automated software (e.g. ReceiptBank, 1Tap, HubDoc etc) collates invoices

3.

How are accounts processed?

A)

Using Excel/paper-based

B)

Using Computer-based, offline software

C)

Using cloud-based accountancy software

4.

How often is business data revised?

A)

Data is updated annually

B)

Data is updated quarterly

C)

Data is updated monthly or more often

5.

How is banking updated for your business?

A)

Banking is updated manually

B)

Banking is updated by imports

C)

Banking is updated via a live feed

6.

How are bank payments made?

A)

Bank payments are manual

B)

Bank payments are made using bulk imports

C)

Bank payments are made directly via accounting software

7.

How are bank receipts reconciled?

A)

Receipts are chased and reconciled manually

B)

Receipts are chased and reconciled automatically

C)

A third-party platform is used to chase debts and collect fees

8.

How often are management reports produced?

A)

No reports are provided

B)

Reports are provided but often too late to be valuable

C)

Reports are automated with real-time information

Score 8-12:

Curious Exploration

Your financial technology phase is Curious Exploration

% of respondent businesses are in this phase too.

Switching accountancy systems may seem like an upheaval, but can be much more straightforward than most businesses imagine. From talking to our clients, they have found moving from paper invoicing and desktop-based accounting software to the cloud and apps quickly makes the transition process a worthwhile investment of time. Digital accounting solutions bring in streamlined processes, up-to-date business data and greater confidence in the accuracy of information when making financial decisions.

Grenfell James works with your team to fully assess the needs of your business and minimise the impact of any transitions for solutions we recommend.

Find out more about App Advisory

More

Score 13-19:

Measured Discovery

Your financial technology phase is Measured Discovery

% of respondent businesses are in this phase too.

Once cloud accountancy software is in place, there’s still plenty of scope to improve your accountancy processes and make sure your business is maximising the benefits of adopting a digital accounting solution. Grenfell James assesses each business to understand how any implemented solutions are being used, identify areas for improvement and the needs of the business overall to support your business goals and achieve success.

Our team of experts can discuss a range of time-saving automation and get different apps and cloud-based solutions talking to create and manage a digital accountancy eco-system to help your business grow.

Find out more about App Advisory

More

Score 20-24:

Bold Innovation

Your financial technology phase is Bold Innovation

% of respondent businesses are in this phase too.

You know the benefits of accounting technology and the impact it can have on your business goals. If you want to take it a step further, our team can conduct a systematic review of your processes, apps and business goals to ensure your digital accountancy ecosystem is keeping pace with the changing needs of a growing business.