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Latest News

Residence Nil Rate Band (RNRB).

A new tax-free allowance was announced in the Summer Budget 2015 (the Residence Nil Rate Band) that will take effect on or after 6th April 2017.  Downsizing provisions have yet to be finalised.

There are a lot of myths and misconceptions surrounding this new allowance - please call or view our website pages (not yet updated) for further information - including:

  • everyone has a new allowance of £1M;
  • everyone can pass their home free of tax to their children

You may not get the full allowance (or double the allowance) if:

  1. your estate exceeds £2M
  2. you rent property
  3. you don't leave your property (or proceeds of sale) to the right qualifying people and in the right manner
  4. you are unmarried


Who can write my Will?

Writing a Will

What are your choices for selecting someone to write your Will and how do you pick the right option?  Will-writing is currently an unregulated industry so anyone can write your Will for you and they generally fall into one of four categories:

  1. DIY Will – you could write it yourself or buy a Will-writing pack from a stationer
  2. Banks – your bank may have a Will writing service (some even offer a free service!)
  3. Solicitors – your local solicitor is probably able draft your Will
  4. Other Professional Will Writer and estate planner

How do you choose?

Whether your circumstances require a simple Will or something a little more comprehensive choosing the right option for getting your Will drafted is important.  Questions to ask yourself are:

“Is the legal wording correct?”

“Do I have the right number of executors/trustees?”

“Has it been executed correctly?”

“How experienced is the Will writer and what qualifications do they have?”

“How do I know that it will work when I’m gone?”

“Who can my family go to when it goes wrong?”

So many "do-it-yourself Wills" partly or totally fail due to the wording within the Will.  A simple word like "my" or “a” or wording that does not cater for possible future developments such as further children or the change of name or ownership with banks or shares could be the difference between a simple or problematic estate.  Similarly a misplaced comma could alter the interpretation of a particular clause in your Will which could mean that the Will is referred to Counsel for their interpretation and adjudication.

If a DIY has been drawn up with insufficient numbers of trustees then additional trustees will need to be appointed, especially where gifts to minors or trusts relating to property are concerned.  A legal deed will have to be drawn up by a solicitor, which will cost over £200 in legal fees.

The Will could be completely invalid or partly fail if not signed correctly by the right people in the right places.  Any slight marking, tear or smudge could cause considerable costs and delay when your executors apply for Probate.

Some companies offer cheap or even a free Will-writing service.  In the short term this might be the case but once you’ve gone will that same company be administering your estate and charging £10,000s of administrative fees?  Probably.

With Cornerstone Wills you know that you’re in safe hands:

  • We are STEP qualified – having passed the Advanced Will Drafting Certificate;
  • We are Society of Will Writers qualified – having passed the Estate Planning diploma;
  • We have £2.5M Professional Indemnity Insurance on each Will;
  • All our Wills, for clients that have unfortunately died, have been taken through probate successfully; and
  • We come highly recommended by our clients, introducers and partners (see some of our Testmonials)