E & C Solicitors, 57 Hythe Street, Dartford, Kent. DA1 1BG



Wills are estate planning tools which ensure that one's estate after death is dealt with in accordance to your wishes Everyone should make a Will, but regrettably many do not, causing heartache, complications, and extra expense for those left behind.

In many cases Wills are straightforward to draw up unless the estate greatly exceeds the Inheritance Tax Band. Husbands and Wives can (but don't have to) make so-called "Mirror Wills" where the provisions are mutually reflective, although the law contains default provisions in case Wills have been not been executed ("Intestacy"); these automatic provisions will provide for a spouse and children of the family in a pre-ordained fashion, but may not be ideal in their practical outcome, and are best avoided by having an up-to-date Will in place.

Cohabitees and same-sex partners really do need to have Wills drawn up as there are no default provisions at law such as there are with married couples to provide for the surviving partner. They also ought to have cohabitation agreements to protect their respective property interests . Proper Wills are a "must" for those living together outside formal marriage. Young couples, married or not, who have children under the age of 18 should make Wills at least to provide for legal Guardians for the children in case both parents die.

In the Will you will also nominate your executors and trustees - those who carry out the terms of the Will for you. These will usually be family or friends, but we can also act as professional executors/trustees if this would be helpful in your particular situation.

Wills are relatively cheap and can save much heartache, confusion and cost after the event. Estate and Corporate Solicitors provide a cost-effective Will-writing service which is simple and quick for small estates.

Powers of Attorney and lasting Powers of Attorney

Powers of Attorney are useful in all sorts of commercial and private situations. They give their bearers legal authority to act on behalf of another person; for example when someone is away from the country for a long time (General Power of Attorney ) .

An extension of this concept is the Lasting Power of Attorney which is very helpful in circumstances where someone is aged and/or infirm or is likely to become of unsound mind and unable to look after their own affairs properly. Here a lasting power of attorney can be given to one or two close relatives or friends.

This is a very useful tool for the elderly and infirm when they are unwell or likely to become incapable of looking after themselves to ensure that their affairs are managed properly by someone trustworthy of their own choice.

We can, if required, prepare a testamentary package of Will, Lasting Power of Attorney so that all aspects of infirmity and death are provided for.

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