Cunningtons LLP: Specialists in Wills & Probate
Making a Will won’t kill you! It is a fact that all of us should make a Will yet over two thirds of us never get round to doing so. Why not?
Don’t want to tempt fate? You’re not serious are you?
Don’t have very much to leave? Irrelevant!
Don’t have time? Not even half an hour?
Costs too much? Read on, you will be surprised!
You have made a home-made Will?
And we thought you didn’t like the idea of solicitors making lots of money! It is a known fact that solicitors make more money resolving problems arising from home-made Wills than they ever would from solicitor-drafted Wills.
You don’t need a Will. Everything will go to your spouse or children anyway?
If you do not make a Will, your spouse may only be entitled outright to the first slice of your estate. This may not even be the whole value of your home! Arguments and Tax bills may follow!
Do something about it now!
Instructing us to draft your Will is easy, please download and complete our basic Will questionnaire and return it to us at Cunningtons LLP, Great Square, Braintree, Essex CM7 1UD. Once we are in receipt of your complete questionnaire we aim to send you a draft for your approval within seven days. If you have any queries please contact Bryony Wilmshurst on 01376 567280.
Dying without a Will can cause a lot of unnecessary problems and heartache for your family and friends.
Even if you don’t have much to leave, someone has to administer your estate however small it is.
If you have children, who will become their guardians?
If you do have valuables, possessions and/or a house you really shouldn’t delay any longer. We will:
- Receive your instructions
- Prepare a straight-forward Will for you
- Send a draft for your approval
- Send the final Will to you with an explanation about how to sign it
- Store it for you if you return it – FREE OF CHARGE
- You can even pay by Credit Card
If your circumstances are such that a more involved Will is required then we can provide a free estimate of the likely costs to deal with this. We do recommend however, that at least you have a straight-forward Will prepared in the interim.
Cunningtons LLP in Great Square and Tofts Walk in Braintree, Essex, is the head office for Cunningtons Solicitors across the UK. Established in 1748, the Braintree head office in Great Square is still in its original offices. This amounts to almost 300 years of Experience and Tradition.
The Senior Partner at Cunningtons’ Braintree office is David Drake. Paul Fenton is the Joint Managing Partner. He, along with Johanna Withams are the residential conveyancing partners at the Braintree practice. They are supported by qualified Solicitors and Licenced Conveyancers.
The Brighton & Hove office of the firm Cunningtons LLP was opened on 1 April 2014 by Cunningtons partner Jason Bradshaw, and is located on Duke Street in Central Brighton. The office specialises in residential conveyancing in Brighton and Sussex, and also provides you with access to a range of other legal services through our branch network.
If you are selling your home, buying a new home, or simply remortgaging your existing home, our firm of residential conveyancing solicitors make sure that all the legal aspects are taken care of. To find out how much conveyancing will cost, click here:
The Chelmsford office of Cunningtons LLP was founded as Colemans Solicitors by Brenda Coleman in 1979. Colemans was incorporated with Cunningtons Solicitors in 2001.
Cunningtons’ Chelmsford branch specialises in residential conveyancing and family law.The Chelmsford office of Cunningtons LLP is situated on New London Road and deals with residential conveyancing in the Chelmsford and mid-Essex area, including Brentwood, Epping, Basildon, Ingatestone and Maldon.
The Croydon branch of Cunningtons LLP was opened in January 1995, and specialises in residential conveyancing and commercial property issues.
Jason Bradshaw, who was based at the Croydon office when he joined the firm, is the Partner with overall responsibility.
Nicholas Brothers joined Cunningtons Solicitors as a Senior Associate in 2006 and is based at Croydon. Nicholas is Cunningtons’ specialist commercial property solicitor.
The Solihull branch of Cunningtons LLP was established in July 1994, and is now run by managing partner Aymer Hutton. Aymer is a specialist residential conveyancing solicitor, and became a partner of Cunningtons Solicitors in 2001.
The Solihull branch of Cunningtons LLP deals mainly with residential conveyancing enquiries, covering a large area of the country including Birmingham, East and West Midlands, Wales, Leicestershire, Warwickshire, Coventry, West Bromwich and Wolverhampton. The Cunningtons Solicitors Solihull branch also works closely with other Cunningtons branches so they can offer the full range of Cunningtons’ services to our clients, with dedicated specialists in matrimonial law, personal injury, wills and probate, litigation, immigration and commerial property.
Cunningtons LLP’s Wickford Office was opened in 1989 by Cunningtons LLP Managing Partner Paul Fenton and is located on London Road in Wickford. The office specialises in residential conveyancing.
Cunningtons LLP Wickford offers a dedicated and personalised residential conveyancing service for the local community. Cunningtons Solicitors Wickford believes in the traditional approach of an office based around the personal touch with each client telephone call being answered by the solicitor or secretary. The modern benefits of the technological world prevail in the methods we employ to gain information upon properties. The internet is utilised to request information from the Land Registry and the search results upon properties are e mailed to each solicitor to save any unnecessary postal delay. Clients regularly comment on the friendliness and efficiency of the service.
Wills & Probate
Cunningtons LLP has been in practice for over 250 years. We are specialists in Wills & Probate, dealing with thousands of wills and probate transactions each year. There are several specialist areas within Wills & Probate where we have can help from preparing your will to trusts and inheritance tax. Select any of the options below for more information.
To get started on writing your will, please click here to download our Will form, then print it out and complete it before sending it to us.
The Will Questionnaire can be used to instruct us to draft mirror Wills (two wills on similar terms) or a single Will.
Once we are in receipt of your completed Will Questionnaire we aim to send you a draft of your Will for your approval within seven days, it is then your choice whether you would prefer to come in to one of our offices and sign your Will in our presence or sign it in the comfort of your own home with two independent adult witnesses of your own choice.
Please do not hesitate to contact Bryony Wilmshurst on 01376 567280 if you have any queries or would like to discuss your requirements.
If you would like to leave someone a life interest in your property or would like your Will to include an asset protection trust the Will Questionnaire will not be suitable for your requirements.
Please contact Bryony Wilmshurst on 01376 567280 to discuss your requirements.
Our Probate team, led by Partner Bryony Wilmshurst, prides itself on offering a friendly and sympathetic, yet speedy and professional service to help clients during a distressing time in their lives. Following the death of a loved one, many people find the thought of dealing with Probate and the administration of an estate most daunting and this is where our expertise can help to simplify the situation and relieve you of the worry and stress.
In addition to dealing with applications for Probate or Letters of Administration, inheritance tax matters and administering the estate,we also deal with property matters and Deeds of Variation/Family arrangements to actually save you thousands of pounds in inheritance tax.
Please do not hesitate to contact us for more information on 01376 567274.
What is an Advance Directive (often known as a living will)?
An Advance Directive is a document that relates to the medical treatment you would or would not wish to receive, should you become seriously ill and were unable to state your wishes for yourself.
The Advance Directive is particularly relevant where degenerative diseases are concerned. For instance, if you developed cancer you may not wish to undergo chemotherapy even if it would prolong your life. On the other hand, you may wish to be provided with more effective pain relief, even if this would have the consequence of shortening your life.
The Advance Directive is for those people who would prefer quality of life to quantity and those who wish to be allowed to die with dignity.
Please feel free to contact Cunningtons on 01376 567274 to discreetly discuss your requirements with us.
What is a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)?
An LPA is a legal document that enables you to appoint one or more persons to manage your personal affairs, financial affairs, property and your health and welfare. A financial and property affairs LPA can be immediately effective once it has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian should you simply wish to hand over the management of your affairs to another person. On the other hand the LPA can be retained and only registered with the Office of the Public Guardian if you have lost the mental capacity to deal with your own affairs.
In all cases, the LPA must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before it becomes valid to use. We can do all this in proper format, properly executed for you.
The advantages of having an LPA are:
- You chose your attorney(s). If you lose the capacity to manage your own affairs and have not made an LPA then someone not chosen by you may make an application to be appointed as your deputy but this is a lengthy and costly procedure.
- It is much cheaper and quicker to register an LPA than to make an application to the Court of Protection to be appointed as your deputy after you have lost capacity.
- You can make your property and financial affairs LPA effective immediately if you wish to do so
Ring us now on 01376 567274 to discuss your requirements with us.
Protective Property Trust
You may wish to include a Protective Property Trust in your Will if:
- You do not wish to leave your share of your property to your Partner but would like to give them the right to live in the property for the rest of their lives, before the property passes to your children.A Protective Property Trust in your Will can contain a provision that upon your death, your share of the property is put in trust allowing your partner to continue to live in the property for his/her lifetime, but upon his/her death, to be given to your children. In this way, you can make provision for your partner, whilst protecting your share of the property for your children.
- You are worried that you may need nursing home care in the future, when your local authority may have the right to sell your home and use the proceeds to meet the costs of your care. You cannot transfer your property to relatives to avoid paying nursing home fees, without falling foul of the law, but you can include a Protective Property Trust in your Will, containing instructions that upon the death of you or your spouse, that half share of the property is put in trust for your children, instead of passing direct to the surviving spouse. In this way, the half share of the property that has been put in trust is protected and the surviving spouse may continue to live in the property. That half share cannot be taken by the local authority for care home fees. On the death of the surviving spouse, the half share of the property owned by the trust can be given to the children.
If your property is held as a joint tenancy then it will be necessary to change this to a tenancy in common – we can do this for you
- Joint tenancy – this is where the parties own a property together and upon the death of one person the property automatically passes to the survivor whatever the will says.
- Tenancy in common – this is where each person owns part of the property in their own right and can leave their share to whoever they like.
Trusts for Children
If you have children, you may wish to make provision for them, in case you should you pass away before they reach 18. If this is the case, you may wish to include a trust in your Will. In this way, you can appoint both Trustees and Guardians for your children, with your Trustees providing funds to your Guardians, for the care of your children until they reach 18. A Trust can be established either during your lifetime or as a provision in your Will, to be set up after your death.
A Discretionary Trust is a very versatile Trust and can be used for many purposes, either during your lifetime or as a provision in your Will.
You will decide upon and appoint Trustees and beneficiaries for the Trust and you will decide what assets you wish to put into the Trust. Your appointed Trustees will then administer the Trust on behalf of your appointed beneficiaries. However, you should be aware, that assets put into a Trust, belong to the Trust, they do not belong to your appointed beneficiaries and if you are setting up a lifetime trust you cannot get assets back, once you have put them into the Trust. We can advise you on this.
The reason that the Trust assets do not belong to your appointed beneficiaries is because the Trustees of a Discretionary Trust have the discretion to decide how the Trust assets are used and are under no obligation to treat all your beneficiaries equally. Choice of Trustees is very important. As Solicitors regulated by the SRA we can be appointed to give you confidence that your wishes will be dealt with.
If one of your beneficiaries is claiming welfare benefits, their benefits will not be affected by their being the beneficiary of a Discretionary Trust.
Inheritance Tax Planning
There are various allowances, exemptions, reliefs and methods that you can utilise to reduce your liability to Inheritance Tax: We can advise you on these.
Your Guide to Deputyship
What is a Deputy?
A Deputy is a person appointed by the Court of Protection to manage the property and financial affairs or personal welfare of someone who lacks the mental capacity to manage them themselves.
Who can apply to act as a Deputy?
A Deputy is usually a family member, a close friend or a professional. The Court of Protection will decide who to appoint as a Deputy.
An application must be made to the Court of Protection and an Order granted before someone can deal with the affairs of someone who does not have mental capacity.
A doctor must complete an assessment of capacity for the person who is thought not to have mental capacity.
Details of the proposed Deputy and the person who does not have mental capacity must be submitted to the Court of Protection, this includes details of their assets, their family members and the people who visit them.
Family members of the person who lacks mental capacity must be given notice of the application to the Court of Protection.
If the Court of Protection grant an Order appointing a Deputy the Order will set out the powers of the Deputy and the Deputy must not exceed those powers. In some cases further permission may need to be sought from the court, for example before a large asset is sold.
Supervision and Termination of Deputyships
When a Deputyship Order is made the Office of the Public Guardian will allocate the Deputyship to a category of supervision. The Deputy’s reporting obligations will depend on the level of supervision allocated.
A Deputyship Order is terminated if the person lacking capacity died, regains capacity or if the Order is limited in time and expires.
A Deputy may retire from their position.
For more information please contact Bryony Wilmshurst, Solicitor on 01376 326868 or email@example.com
Cunningtons Solicitors, Great Square, Braintree, Essex, CM7 1UD
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