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South Wales Accountancy Practice Expands Wills Writing Business

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The Newport and Cwmbran-based accountants, who offer their will writing service through Parker & Co Wills, aims to reach beyond its traditional business clients with its service.

Director Gary Parker, who has brought Patricia Szczerba into the team as a trainee will writer, said: “Historically we wanted to provide our accountancy clients with Wills, Lasting Powers Of Attorney (LPA), trusts and other estate planning in order to preserve their inheritance. They need and should have a valid will. Patricia is now experienced in will writing.

“We believe the figures show that as many as two out of every three people do not have a will.  We wish to provide the general public with essential and professional advice they need in order to write a valid will.

“Our wills business has been established for a number of years. We are looking to promote the company more. Our prices are exceptionally competitive. We offer home visits and can be as accommodating as the clients require. Our knowledge is of a high standard as we are members of the Society of Will Writers and continuously use their services to expand our expertise.

“The main reason to have a will is for one’s estate to be distributed accordingly with their wishes, rather than letting the law decide as well as minimising Inheritance Tax and potential care costs . In a will, one can appoint their executors/trustees, guardians to minor children, beneficiaries of the estate, record funeral wishes, pass down personal chattels, leave provisions for pets and any other wishes you may have.

“If people die without a will, intestate, their estate could potentially be distributed between relatives who they may otherwise wish to leave out of the will. You could also potentially be left with a huge Inheritance Tax bill.

“In 2014 a shocking £8m worth of estates was paid to the Crown due people passing away intestate, without a will.

“Having a will is critical for parents in order to appoint guardians for their children. If a child loses both parents and there is no will, not only do they have to deal with a heart-breaking bereavement, but the carers or guardians could be decided by the courts.

“If you own a business, who will run the business and who will own it? Very often nowadays people believe that where there is no will the wife or husband will inherit everything– this is not true. People in business need to ensure that the business passes to someone who will ensure its continuity and secure the best possible inheritance for its family.

‘’We are seeing more and more co-habiting relationships where partners are often left with no rights to their home or inheritance. Where there are children from previous relationships, there must be suitable estate planning clauses involved.

“There are certain methods which can be used to protect Inheritance from marriage after death or insolvency for example. Our knowledge covers those situations and we always make sure we ask a client necessary questions in order to make sure that their will covers all potential situations and is as effective as possible. When couples marry any current Wills are automatically revoked. When couples divorce, they should get up to date Wills completed.

‘’A will should  be reviewed every five years at least or when there is a major change in circumstances.

“We often come across clients who wish to write a basic will, however once we discuss their personal circumstances it is apparent that in order to cover all of their wishes, and sometimes worries, we move into more complex estate planning situation. We believe that when writing a will, it is vital to do the job properly from start to finish and leave no stone unturned.

“Bad wills,. homemade or online wills, do not accommodate personal circumstances. It is essential to have a consultation to discuss personal circumstances prior to writing a will to ensure that all is covered. A bad will can sometimes be worse than no will. To make them valid they should be properly signed, dated and witnessed.

“It's very straightforward to set up a will with Parker & Co Wills.  We would normally have an initial consultation in which we present a number of cases i.e. marriage after death, we ask the clients what their wishes are in each case and gather all necessary information to draft their Will.

“Once a will is drafted, we email it to the client so that they can check all is in order and book a mutually convenience time for the client to sign and have the Will witnessed at our office. If client prefers, we do offer telephone/online consultations. We are flexible in terms of accommodating our clients’ needs, especially in current climate and Covid-19 restrictions. For a Will to be valid, it must be signed by the testator in front of two independent witnesses therefore we must have at least one face to face interaction with the client.

‘’We follow all Covid-19 regulations in the office, our boardroom is always sanitised before and after a client meeting.

“We are still doing home visits if necessary as we understand the importance of Will Writing and that some clients may not be mobile enough to come to the office. There have been instances where we have drawn up the will using online means of communication and only met one time in order to sign and witness the Will.

‘’We pride ourselves at writing Wills for people in business and can also cover LPAs and business LPAs where we believe a client should have one. Every person in business should have a Will and at least a financial LPA. Very often people will already have a Will but it may not be appropriate – we can review such wills free of charge.”

‘’Please visit our website https://parkeraccountants.com/will-iht-planning/ for more information about will writing, and a very informative video on ‘threats of not having a will’