Wills and Probate
At Aylmer Becker Campion, we guide clients through wills and probate issues, whether an individual seeking peace of mind in their personal affairs and the distribution of assets after death, or an executor administering a deceased person’s estate.
Wills, probate and administration of estates are practice areas which most of us do need at some point. These deal with will-making and succession planning, which is concerned with the distribution of a person’s assets after death. Probate and administration of estates deals with the collection, valuation and distribution of a person’s assets following their death, according to their will or if none, to the rules of intestacy.
By making a Will, a person can control what happens to their assets, and who will inherit them after their death. Subject to certain provisions of the Succession Act, a person who leaves a valid will on death can decide, through their Will, how his or her property is to be distributed among beneficiaries named in the Will. The person making the will, the Testator appoints an Executor (or Executors) in the Will who will carry out the Testator’s wishes and instructions and ensure that the various beneficiaries receive what is left to them in the person’s Will.
Making a will always involves tax planning, enabling a person to ensure that their assets are distributed after their death in the most tax efficient way. It is vital that a person receives clear, expert advice from a solicitor when drawing up their Will. This ensures that the will properly reflects the person’s wishes and that all relevant information, including taxation advice, is given and understood.
A Will speaks from death which means that a person is free to make a new will, or indeed any number of subsequent wills before their death. This ensures that the last validly made will properly reflects a person’s wishes as to who they want to inherit their assets on their death.
At Aylmer Becker Campion, we advise clients to review their wills as life changes occur and as tax legislation is amended. Very often a person wishes to change their will as their assets change value, as intended beneficiaries pass away or as other life changing events occur.
It is equally vital that executors acting in the administration of estates receive clear, expert and timely advice on all aspects of probate and administration of estates. Expert advice and guidance may be needed on such matters as preparation of Inland Revenue Affidavits, preparing and lodging applications for Grants of Probate, Capital Acquisitions Tax, distribution of assets, property sales and preparation of estate accounts.
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