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The dangers of a 'cheap' Will

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A recent article has highlighted a service offered approximately 15-20 years ago by some banks and other financial organisations where customers were offered a reduced or free Will service. The banks and other financial organisations could afford to offer this discount because they had included in the terms and conditions a catch; that the organisation could appoint itself as executor of the Will. The subsequent fees charged by the organisations when they enforce the catch are often based on a percentage of the value of the estate to be administered.  As the value of property prices in the South, for example, have significantly increased over the course of 15-20 years, the fees to be charged are likely to be significant.  

At BakerLaw we encourage clients to regularly review their Wills, at least every 2-5 years generally and always  when there are changes to family circumstances, the value of the estate or a change in legislation.  In particular you should consider:-

  • Has your estate significantly changed since making the Will? 
  • Has the value of those assets increased and is Inheritance Tax now a consideration, where it may not necessarily have been previously?
  • Have your personal circumstances changed?
  • Are the Executors appointed still appropriate?

There are circumstances where it is appropriate to appoint a professional and neutral Executor. Here at BakerLaw, if we are appointed as Executor, we always explain the procedure and ensure it is clear what our likely charges will be to administer the estate. We believe in being transparent with our clients so that they can make an informed decision.

In a previous article we discussed some of the other points you should consider when reviewing or making a new Will and other important aspects to protect  both you and your family.

If you would like to discuss how we may assist you or your family, including Wills, Power of Attorneys, Attorney Support Services, Tax Planning, Administration of Estates and Court of Protection related matters,  please do not hesitate to get in contact with our Private Client Department directly on 01252 907829 or email privateclient@baker-law.co.uk. 

This article is not a definitive statement of the law. It is designed as a free update on the law at the time of publishing. It is not a substitute for legal advice on specific facts and circumstances. BakerLaw LLP and/or the writer accepts no liability or responsibility for reliance on this article and recommends that you seek independent legal advice on your specific circumstances prior to taking any steps.

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