Will Writers & Estate Planners in St Neots, Biggleswade, Huntingdon
Richard Woodward & Associates is a local Will Writing and Probate business that has been trading in the historic market town of St Neots since 2012 that also covers Biggleswade, Huntingdon and the many surrounding towns & villages in Hunts, Beds and Cambs.
While our expertise is centered around Estate Planning, we have formed a special relationship with some premium quality service providers and as a result, we have made it possible for our clients to receive a full range of Legal & Financial Services with your trusted consultant at RWA as your central point of contact.
Even if you are married, you may not get everything without a Will!
It is a common belief that, if you are married or in a civil partnership, your spouse or civil partner will automatically inherit everything you own when you die. In fact, the law sets out rules that determine how your assets are to be divided if you should die without leaving a Will.
- You are married (or in a civil partnership) and your estate is worth less than £250,000. The surviving spouse/civil partner inherits everything.
- You are married (or in a civil partnership) your estate is worth more than £250,000 and you have no children. Your surviving spouse/civil partner inherits it all.
- You are married (or in a civil partnership) your estate is worth more than £250,000 and you have children. It now starts to get interesting and potentially problematic for the surviving spouse/civil partner. The first £250,000 and the personal possessions will go to the spouse/civil partner. The remainder of the estate will be divided in half with half going straight to the surviving spouse and the other half being divided between surviving children.
- You are not married (or in a civil partnership) but have children Your children will inherit everything equally. Again, if a child has pre-deceased you then their children will get their parent’s share.
- You are not married (or in a civil partnership) and have no children Your surviving relatives will inherit in the following order.
- Brothers or sisters or their children (or children’s children etc)
- Half-brother or sisters or their children (or children’s children etc)
- Uncles or aunts (brothers and sisters of the whole blood of a parent) or their children (or children’s children etc)
- Uncles and aunts (brothers and sisters of the half blood of a parent) or their children (or children’s children etc)
- If you have no surviving spouse/civil partner, parents, children, siblings, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, first cousins etc , then under the Intestacy Rules, everything will go to the Crown.
What could possibly go wrong with a DIY Will?
A very common mistake with DIY Wills is so obvious but it is completely overlooked by many people we speak to who have made a DIY Will.
Its is not bound together!
For a Will to be legal and accepted by the Probate office to pages containing the text of a Will must be attached to the signatory and witness pages. All of our Wills are thermally bound in protective covers.
A TRUE STORY
Arthur and Janet had spent a lifetime working hard and being sensible with their finances but in their 60s they had a moment of madness and for the sake of saving a few hundred pounds they decided to write their own Wills.
This is what happened: After carefully researching and preparing their DIY Wills and making sure everything was as they wished and that the wording was correct and easily understandable, they printed them off and had their friends witness their signatures, they then put their Wills away and forgot about them, as you would.
Unfortunately, when Arthur died his Will was rejected by the Probate Office because the Will was on separate sheets of paper and not bound together as one document. Arthur died intestate it cost his family nearly £10,000 in legal fees to sort out the mess.
Why? If a Will consists of more than 1 sheet of paper it must be securely bound to prove to the Probate Office, it is the original and has not been tampered with to prevent forgery & fraud.
A Story of a DIY Will disaster!
This is a true story: About 12 years ago I met a lady in her 60’s, some years earlier she had been living with and looking after her elderly mother. The mother owned a £200,000 house outright and had £110,000 in savings.
They decided to make their own DIY Will to save a few pounds, it was agreed that when the old lady died her 2 other daughters would receive £30,000 each and the lady I met would have the rest (residue) including the house.
This is what happened: The lady’s mother was diagnosed with dementia and had to go and live in a nursing home. Her house was sold to pay the cost of the care.
3 years later the old lady died and only £64,000 was left after her funeral was paid for. Because gifts of money come out of an estate first the 2 sisters who were expected to receive the smaller part of the estate received their £30,000 each but the lady I met who was supposed to have the most for looking after her mum received only £4,000.
This is a true story and it is a perfect example of a badly written Will and what can happen. The Will should have been written in a way where this could not have happened.
An experienced Will writer would have understood the objectives required in the Will and drafted it in such a manner that the above would not have happened. It really is not a good idea to make your own Will, far too many mistakes are made causing huge problems and arguments within families.
No Will, What could possibly go wrong?
Peter and Jane were both 71 years old, they had been married for 20 years, But both had also been married before, Jane owned their home.
Peter has 2 sons who he had fell out with & not seen for 25 years since his divorce, Jane has 2 grown up daughters, who Peter helped raise as his own.
Peter & Jane just could not get around to making a Will as they assumed Jane’s 2 daughters would get Jane’s house when they died.
This is what happened: Jane died without a Will and after 2 years of costly legal work, probate was granted to her husband Peter, and he became the owner of Jane’s estate & the house.
Peter then died without a Will, Jane’s 2 daughters went to the solicitors to apply for probate to get the house but were shocked to be told that because Peter had made no Will & they were his step children ‘not blood relations’ they were not entitled to anything belonging to Peter.
Peters 2 sons who he had not seen for 25 years inherited everything including the house! All along Peter & Jane had wanted & expected that Jane’s 2 daughters would get the house! but they received nothing because Peter & Jane did not make a Will.
Thousand’s of otherwise happy families every year fall out with each other because their parents did not have a valid or up to date Will.
Every year 40,000 people in the UK have to sell their homes to pay for care
Watch our video to learn how to avoid this
We offer a FREE consultation in order to properly understand your requirements
After an initial telephone call your consultation can be arranged at your convenience in your home within the following areas: St Neots, Eaton Ford, Eaton Socon, St Ives, Somersham, Huntingdon, Perry, Kimbolton, Godmanchester, Buckden, Biggleswade, Blunham, Great Barford, Sandy, Potton, Gamlingay and all local villages. Further afield in the UK we can arrange consultations by telephone.