Writing a Will could be the most important thing you'll ever do and yet it is estimated that two thirds of UK adults still do not have one.
To help get you started here are a few things to think about when preparing to write your Will.
- Make a list of everything you own and what it is worth (assets)
- Include any life insurance policies and pension assets (if not already assigned)
- Subtract any money you may owe on death, such as mortgages and loans (liabilities)
- Estimate how much your estate is likely to be (the difference between your assets and liabilities)
- Make a list of those whom you want to benefit, including names and addresses. Think about any wider family and friends also
- Think about who you would like to be guardians for your children and seek their approval
- Think about whether you want to leave gifts to any charities. See our legacies page for more information
- Make a note of who you DON'T want to benefit
Once you have all of this information you are ready to start drafting your Will.
Can the actions of a Trustee be challenged?
If it can be shown that a trustee has breached their duty (either their legal duty or a duty pursuant to the terms of the trust) then the actions of a trustee may be subject to legal challenge. In some circumstances trustees may be removed from office by an order of the court.
Do all Trust disputes result in court proceedings?
No. Wherever possible we will seek to resolve the dispute informally by negotiation and alternative dispute resolution. The majority of trust disputes reach settlement without the need for court proceedings to be commenced. Should this approach not prove successful however, we have experience and expertise in trust litigation and court proceedings can be commenced.
How much does a trust dispute cost?
It is difficult to accurately predict the total cost of any dispute as no two disputes are the same and the costs are largely dictated by the amount of work required to bring the dispute to a final resolution. We appreciate that clients do not like uncertainty in relation to legal costs and depending on the circumstances of the case, we are able to offer a number of funding options to clients in order to suit their needs.
What are duties and powers of a Trustee?
A trustee has the legal responsibility for assets held in a trust and is required to manage the trust in accordance with the specified terms and the settlor’s wishes. Trustees are subject to various duties and as part of their function, including a requirement to: -
- Act with responsibility and care;
- Administer/manage the trust in accordance with the trust deed;
- Act fairly and impartially to all beneficiaries;
- Keep detailed records to demonstrate the trust has been managed properly;
- Not to personally benefit from the trust.