• Living Wills

    Living Wills

    Richardsons Legal Services


A Will is your first line of defense to ensure that your assets go to your chosen recipients. It is not fool proof however and sometimes Wills can be contested, and an award made by the courts to someone you did not wish to inherit.

Certain groups of people are entitled to reasonable financial provision in your Will under the 1975 inheritance act: all your
children, a spouse, an ex-spouse who has not re-married, a partner who has co-habitated with you for 2 years or more, and someone who is partly or wholly supported by you, at the time of your death.

We will advise you how best to minimise these risks when we see you to take your Will instructions. If you have underage children and you die without a Will, your children will probably be taken into care and may be fostered out because there is no one with the legal right to become their guardian. There is a simple answer to all this: you can nominate guardians in a Will and they then have the legal right to assume those responsibilities.

Very often, when someone dies leaving a spouse or partner, with the passage of time that person meets someone else and changes their Will, this can result in your children, or other nominated beneficiaries, getting nothing.

All problems have an answer and the best solution for most people over 60, who are retired or semi-retired, is a Home Protection Trust or Asset Protection Trust.

For those of a working age the solution is usually different. There are a numbers of Trusts which can be built into a Will. The most useful are Protective Property Trust (not to be confused with Home Protection Trust) and Discretionary Trust of Residue. 

And for parents with a disabled child, a Disabled Trust really is essential to ensure that child is looked after from the Trust without losing state benefits.

Before you see us to take your Will instructions, you should think about:

Who are going to be your executors? We recommend trusted family and friends. More than 1 but no more than 4. We do not recommend having a professional as an executor unless there is no one else.

Who are your beneficiaries to be?

Who are to be guardians for any underage children?

What assets have you got: ISAs, cash in bank etc. and how do you want them distributed? You can gift fixed sums of money, known as pecuniary legacies and you can also give percentages of your estate.

Don’t worry about thinking everything out, we can discuss your wishes on our appointment and the answer usually becomes clear quite quickly.
Finally, there is no rush on our appointment. We would prefer to take our time to discuss things properly with you, and do a good job for you.
We are able to offer will writing services from our offices in Plymouth, Exeter and Taunton, but can also travel to you. Please give us a call to arrange your appointment.