Wills, Succession Planning and Trusts

Your Will is a legal document of supreme importance to you.  We will understand quickly your motives and desires for succession to your estate and will give clear and robust advice on the options open to you to achieve your objectives effectively. We know how to minimise the risk of a claim being made against your estate and are alert to the different dynamics within families.

We are quick to respond and to prepare documentation but we won’t rush you into making a decision; we are good at listening and deal promptly with concerns and queries. Our efficient but personal approach means that your experience with us will be a positive one.

If you have assets in multiple jurisdictions and complex business structures, high value real estate or other assets, we can give appropriate advice or liaise with other professional advisers when appropriate. We understand the need to dovetail UK succession planning with laws in other countries, with shareholder or partnership agreements where there are business or farming assets, and give expert advice on tax implications and structuring your Will tax-efficiently.

We are often called upon to advise on the creation, administration and interpretation of trusts and their associated tax issues and we act on behalf of settlors, trustees and beneficiaries. We match our keen academic knowledge of trust law with experience in finding practical solutions against a complicated conceptual background.

Our specialist team deals with the administration of a deceased's estate.  We know that the death of a family member puts practical, financial and emotional stress on those left behind but we understand how to address the practicalities and realities in a way that gives confidence and a degree of peace of mind.

It continues to surprise us how many people in the UK pass away without making a valid Will. So many people wrongly assume that if you are married or living with a long term partner, everything will go to them automatically on death. However, this is not the case if there are children or if you are not legally married.  The intestacy rules (which come into play if no Will is left) rarely achieve a desired result. The rules are necessarily a “one size fits all” solution with the result that rarely matches individual wishes. Failure to make a Will exposes those left behind to otherwise avoidable tax implications and financial worry.

As you would expect, our advice is that anyone who has assets, and cares about what happens to those assets on death, should make a Will, but there are certain circumstances where it’s more important than ever to make or review your Will:

  • A change of marital status - including divorce and separation
  • Having children, step-children or grandchildren
  • Substantial change in financial circumstances
  • Buying or selling a property or a business
  • Residence and domicile changes
  • The death of a close relative or someone mentioned in a Will

Please don’t put off talking to us about making a Will; the result should prove to be peace of mind for you - and financial certainty for your family.

Online Wills Service

Online Wills service

We offer an online Wills service, allowing you to easily capture your main details and requirements via a secure online questionnaire. Once prepared, you will be able to access your Will from wherever you are in the world and request amendments to it as your circumstances change. 

There is no added cost for this service and the personal attention and quality advice you receive from one of our private client lawyers remains unchanged.

Wills, Succession Planning and Trusts Comment

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The difficulties (but not impossibility) of challenging wills prepared by solicitors

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Contesting a forged or fraudulent will

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Death in the Digital Age

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Disputed wills and mental capacity

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Practical advice for avoiding potential inheritance disputes

Debts and Death

Laugh after Death

Where there’s a surrogacy arrangement, there’s a Will

The EU Succession Regulation and a Brexit

The death of a child without a will — is it time to change the law?

Wills, gifts and inheritance tax planning for Attorneys and Deputies

Severing a joint tenancy may be easier than you think

Lord Lucan’s legacy and the Presumption of Death Act 2013

Protecting a same-sex survivor’s right to pension funds

£1m Nil Rate Band – fact or fiction?

Everything you need to know about recent changes to the UK residential property tax regime

When are you on your deathbed?

Part 2: Talking to your parents about their Lasting Power of Attorney

Robin Williams' brand protection – tax efficient way to protect publicity rights in the afterlife

Changes to Capital Gains Tax treatment for purchases of residential property for non UK residents

Legal update - The requirement for suspicious circumstances in 'want of knowledge and approval' claims

Intestacy rules – changes to be introduced on how estates are settled without a Will

Lasting Powers of Attorney - traditional signatures are here to stay

Protecting children's wealth on divorce and remarriage

Thinking of excluding children from your inheritance? It may be harder than you think

Recent disputed Will cases on the grounds of lacking capacity

Disputed Will cases – Inheritance and Family Provisions Act 1975 claims

Divorcing wife wins domicile war and can divorce her husband in the UK

Lasting Powers of Attorney – the pitfalls of appointing successive replacement attorneys

STEP’s code is much simpler to formally adopt

Supreme Court upholds the Wills in a landmark case where a married couple accidentally signed each other’s Wills

STEP’s new Code for Will writing protects clients from cowboys

Court of Appeal disallow Inheritance Act claim brought outside limitation period

The Inheritance and Trustees’ Powers Bill – welcome changes to Intestacy and Family Provision Rules?

Delay in drafting a Will can amount to professional negligence

Implications of the new “Wills and Inheritance Quality Scheme” – for clients and private client lawyers

Inheritance claims by spouses rise with number of remarriages

Invalid Wills – the challenge of proving lack of ‘testamentary capacity’

Bernard Matthews’ Will - French law has the final say

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+44 (0)20 7814 1200


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