Do I Need A Will?

22nd April 2020


The concept of preparing a Will can seem daunting and let’s face it, nobody enjoys raising the subject of their eventual death among loved ones. For the procrastinators among us, it’s often overlooked as ‘something I must get around to doing when I have time’ and for many, that time never comes. You can read more about that scenario in our article titled ‘What is Probate?’.

Another common justification for avoiding the process is simply the assumption that it wouldn’t be a necessary thing to do for someone who doesn’t own high value assets.

At Elizabeth Middleton Solicitors, we specialise in Will Writing and helping our Clients understand the importance of documenting even the most inexpensive assets which may have huge sentimental value to a loved one following their death.

In this article we share 10 compelling benefits of preparing a Will as we aim to bust a few myths on the topic and demonstrate the importance of writing even the simplest of Wills.

  • To ensure that on your death, your estate passes to beneficiaries of your choice and excludes you specify. This can include specific sentimental items that you’d live a nominated person to receive.
  • To save your heirs from considerable time, trouble and expense incurred as a result of you not having a Will.
  • To make sure that your assets are passed to the partner you live with in the event that you’re not married or in a registered civil partnership. The law doesn’t automatically recognise partners who live together and without a Will in place, your partner could be left with nothing.
  • To protect any children or dependents who may not be able to care from themselves. Without a Will, there could be uncertainty about who will look after and provide for your children or dependants following your death.
  • To legally document any changes to your circumstances e.g. marriage, divorce, separation or children. Changes to your circumstances could make all or part of a previous Will invalid or inadequate.
  • To help ensure that your heirs save significant amounts of inheritance tax and to understand how inheritance tax affects what you own.
  • To plan efficiently for tax purposes regarding any property you own outside of the UK.
  • To manage any tax and administration issues if you were born outside of the UK or if you have long term connections outside of England & Wales.
  • If You have assets that could be put into trust before your death. Wills only take effect upon death and it may be appropriate for you to put assets into a trust during your lifetime as this could have significant tax benefits.
  • If you made a will without the help of a trusted expert, you may have made a mistake which may cause problems for your family or friends after your death.

If you have any questions about the necessity of preparing a Will or updating an existing Will in relation to your personal circumstances, please contact Elizabeth Middleton Solicitors based on Woodley for trusted advice and a professional and respectful service.

Tel: 0118 343 2737
Email: [email protected]


Equity Release

22nd April 2020


Many people find themselves needing access to more cash during retirement or in later life. In a scenario where you don’t have enough savings, there are ways to use the value of your home to boost your finances.

At Elizabeth Middleton Solicitors, we support our clients with the conveyancing process after your Financial Advisor or Mortgage Advisor has explained the different Equity Release options available to help you extract cash from your property.

Equity Release is only available to people aged over 55 and is paid back on the sale of the property.

The Conveyancing Process

After your Financial Advisor or Mortgage Advisor has helped you with the right financial product, Equity Release providers such as Nationwide or Legal and General will make you a mortgage offer.

They will ask you to nominate a Conveyancing Solicitor to act on your behalf. Equity Release is one of our core services at Elizabeth Middleton Solicitors so we are well placed to assist by executing the following process:

  • We will organise an appointment to meet you, face to face or online.
  • Advise you about the Mortgage Deed together with the accompanying documents from the Equity Release Provider.
  • Send all the documents to the Equity Release Provider’s Solicitor.
  • Answer any additional enquiries that the Equity Release Provider’s Solicitors will raise.
  • Send the equity release monies to you on receipt.

For more information about whether we can help represent you as your Equity Release Conveyancer, get in touch with Elizabeth Middleton Solicitors based in Woodley for trusted advice and a professional and respectful service.

Tel: 0118 343 2737
Email: [email protected]

Lasting Powers of Attorney

Lasting Powers Of Attorney (LPA)

22nd April 2020


When it comes to giving someone Power of Attorney, there are a few fundamental things to note about the different types and what they mean. In this article, Elizabeth Middleton Solicitors has outlined the options that can be put in place to give you peace of mind that someone you trust is in charge of your affairs.

If you’re aged 18 or older and have the mental ability to make financial, property and medical decisions for yourself, you can arrange for someone else to make these decisions for you in the future if there comes a time when you’re unable to make decisions for yourself. This legal authority is called “lasting power of attorney” and will give people that you nominate the power to make decisions on your behalf.

The person who is given power of attorney is known as the “attorney” and must be over 18 years old. You are known as the “donor”.

There are 2 different types of LPA:

Personal Welfare LPA

A personal welfare LPA gives your attorney the power to make decisions about your daily routine in the event that you are unable to make your own decisions. This can include washing, dressing, eating, medical care, moving into a care home and life-sustaining medical treatment.

Property & Financial LPA

Property and financial affairs LPA gives your attorney the power to make decisions about your money and property, including managing your bank or building society accounts, paying bills, collecting your pension or benefits and, if necessary, selling your home.

Once registered with the Office of the Public Guardian, it can be used immediately or held in readiness until required.

It’s generally recommended that you set up both a personal welfare LPA and a property and financial affairs LPA at the same time and many people do this while reviewing or revising their Will. You can read more about the benefits of preparing a Will in our article titled ‘Do I need a Will?’.

For more information about LPA’s or advice on registering an Attorney, get in touch with Elizabeth Middleton Solicitors based in Woodley for trusted advice and a professional and respectful service.

Tel: 0118 343 2737
Email: [email protected]


What Is Probate?

22nd April 2020


Managing the financial and property related affairs of a loved one when they die is never easy. At Elizabeth Middleton Solicitors, we have prepared a simple guide to talk you through the steps required when administering a dead person’s estate.

The entire administration process is called ‘Probate’. In a nutshell, this process involves organising the finances, assets and possessions of the deceased and distributing them as inheritance – after paying any debts and taxes.

Every estate and every Will is different so the process will vary according to the instructions left in the Will and the assets, creditors and beneficiaries the estate has. You can read more about the benefits of writing a Will in our article titled ‘Do I need a Will?’

If you have been appointed an Executor in somebody’s Will, you are responsible for carrying out probate. There are four main stages to the process:

  • Assessing the total value of the estate and whether it’s liable for inheritance tax.
  • Apply to the probate registry for a grant of probate and submit an inheritance tax form to the tax office.
  • Pay any inheritance tax that is due and swear an oath at a Solicitors office or a probate registry.
  • Administer the estate by gathering in assets, paying off any debts and distributing what is left according to the Will.

For more information about applying for probate or the probate process including how long it takes and how much it costs, get in touch with Elizabeth Middleton Solicitors based in Woodley for trusted advice and a professional and respectful service.

Tel: 0118 343 2737
Email: [email protected]