Bonallack & Bishop Free Wills Week



12-17th January 2009

Bonallack & Bishop Solicitors in Salisbury are pleased to announce that from 12-17th January, they will be offering anybody over 75 years’ old the chance to have a will drawn up by one of their solicitors at their Salisbury branch, totally free of charge. 

Gill Bassett, Wills and Probate Solicitor at the firm, says, ‘It is surprising how many people don’t have a valid will, and don’t appreciate the importance of making one. Dying intestate (i.e. without a will) makes life a lot more complicated for your family, and your estate may not be distributed as you would have wished.’

Tim Bishop, senior partner at Bonallack & Bishop, comments, “Arguments about how to distribute money and property after a loved one dies are sadly becoming increasingly common. Having no will, or an invalid or out-of-date will often results in huge distress for those left behind. By offering a free will to anyone aged 75 or over, we hope to provide peace of mind to those in their autumn years."

If the week is successful, they hope to repeat it in their Andover and Amesbury offices in the near future.

Bonallack & Bishop also offer free Wills and Deeds storage in their fire-proof vaults.

The offer applies to straightforward wills only, and appointments must be made. Please contact Gill Bassett on 01722 422480 for more information or to book an appointment.

If you want to know more about our probate services, visit our specialist Probate UK website.

Wills, Trusts & Probate

Can you believe that over 70% of the population do not have a current accurate Will. Don't be one of them – if you are, you risk dying intestate (i.e. without saying who should inherit your property). This could leave a very uncertain future for your family, friends and even business partners. We strongly advise that you make a Will and review it from time to time and that you consider taking out an Enduring Power of Attorney. It may cost less than you think - we offer value for money fixed fees for simple Wills.

Free Wills and Deed Storage

We are happy to store your Will and House Deeds free of charge in our own fire proof storage.


Why do I need a Will?

If you do not make a Will:-

  • Your family could be involved in unnecessary costs and delay and you will have no control over what happens to your property.
  • Disagreements may arise between how your property is split between your family.
  • You may not have made enough financial provision for your spouse.
  • Your family home may have to be sold to distribute the assets unless you make the position clear to the contrary.
  • There might be more tax to pay.
  • You could leave your business partners unprotected resulting in a forced sale of the business.
  • If you are co-habiting without having married then your partner will have no automatic right to any part of your estate.
In contrast, if you make a Will you do have some control over what happens to your property after you die and can ensure:-

  • Those you care for are provided for.
  • You decide who should deal with your estate.
  • You choose someone to look after your young children.
  • You can keep tax payable on your death to a minimum.
  • You can remember family and friends by leaving them particular gifts.
  • You can avoid disputes over your property from first and second families.
  • You can make proper provision for your co-habitee if you were not married.
  • You can provide a smooth handover of your business.
  • You can consider any foreign property you own.
Do not forget your estate may be far more valuable than you think and will include the following:-

  • Your home.
  • Your business.
  • Your savings.
  • Any insurance or pension policies.
  • Your personal possessions.
  • Second homes.
I want to make a Will – What should I do next?

Before you make a Will you should think about:-

  • The nature and value of your property.
  • Who you would like to benefit from your Will, including your partner, children, any previous family and your extended family and friends.
  • Your business interests.
  • Tax implications - especially Inheritance Tax.
  • Who you would like to choose to administer your estate.
  • Who you would wish to look after your children if you were not able to.
  • Do you have any particular wish for your funeral arrangements.
  • Do you want to donate any of your organs or allow your body to be used for medical purposes.

Probate and Estate Administration

When someone close to you dies somebody has to deal with their Estate. A person's Estate is considered to be made up of the money, property and any posessions they had at the time of their death. The process of Probate involves collecting any money that is owed, settling any debts due (including outstanding taxes) and dividing the estate amongst the respective beneficiaries.

All assets (including property) in an estate will remain frozen, until the Probate Registry gives the authority (via a document known as a Grant of Representation) to the individual(s) nominated in the Will, the Executor. If you have no Will, then it is up to the most appropriate member of the family to act on behalf of the Estate.

If there is a Will the Estate will pass to the people named in the Will. If there is no Will certain rules known as the Rules of Intestacy will apply.

Whether you are an Executor or the next of kin, our expert lawyers can provide practical guidance to help you deal with the administration of someone's Estate. We can help you determine the size of an estate for Probate and Inheritance Tax purposes. We can prepare an application for the Grant of Representation on your behalf and help you lodge the required forms with the relevant organisations to collect monies due to the Estate and settle outstanding debts.

We can arrange the transfer or sale of any shares and work with our residential property lawyers to handle the sale of any property or land owned by the deceased.

Tax Planning – Can I Save Money?

Inheritance tax is no longer just for the rich. With the average house now worth over £200,000,more and more people are at risk of incurring a substantial inheritance tax bill on their death. Don’t leave it to chance – speak to one of our tax planning lawyers now – you could find yourself saving tens of thousands of pounds.