Making a will is one of the most important things that you can do. It ensures that any specific wishes you have for the division or disposal of your property, money and other possessions after your death can be properly carried out. It is a common misconception that only the wealthy need a will. This is not the case. A will is essential for anyone with assets of any value and is particularly important for those with minor children, or other vulnerable or disabled relatives for whom they have an obligation to provide.

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If a person dies without making a valid will then they are deemed to have died intestate. In such cases the rules of intestacy apply to their estate and these provide for a distribution of their assets in a way which may not be appropriate to their circumstances.

At Cleaver Fulton Rankin we have considerable experience and expertise in will drafting and combine this with sound advice in relation to other, wider issues such as planning for inheritance tax and issues around nursing care. This ‘estate planning’often makes use of trusts as a way to ring-fence and protect assets for future generations.

In addition, the firm owns and operates a corporate trustee, Cleaver Fulton Rankin Trustees Limited, which can be appointed by our clients as both an executor in their will and as a trustee of any trusts which they may choose to create by will or during their lifetime.

It is important to keep any will or estate planning under review as and when your circumstances change. Any major changes in your life could impact on such arrangements, and in some cases will necessitate drawing up a new will, such as the death, divorce or bankruptcy of an intended beneficiary. It is recommended that your will is reviewed at least every five years to ensure that its provisions accurately reflect your circumstances.

If you would like any further information about how we can assist with wills, trusts or estate planning please contact a member of our Private Client team.