The answer is absolutely not! At the time of writing I have almost 8 years of experience in the world of estate planning. I have met may fellow will writers, been to multitudes of Society regional meetings and listened to many expert talks.

The conclusion I have drawn is this- in every service in life there is the good, the bad and the ugly. I have seen some excellent wills drawn up by solicitors and I have also seen some horrendous ones and heard stories from families where distress was caused when things needed to be sorted out.

Some solicitors in their shiny high rise offices may not do the best job for you-they could miss out important information they need to tell you. Likewise, a self-employed estate planner working from a home office may do a sterling job for you. We are not a one-trick pony, our area tips into the realms of conveyancing, inheritance tax and income tax, capital gains tax, all these areas can and may, be affected by a will.

I will give an example for you. I met a client who lived in a house and was given a right to occupy it if the owner died first. He would not inherit it by will, just live in it until he died. What the solicitors who drafted this will had failed to mention to him, was the effect on his inheritance tax bill when he died was huge. Having a RTO loads the value of the house you are living in onto your estate value if you die whilst living there as if you owned it. In his case, his beneficiaries would have had to pay off an IHT bill of £114,000! Luckily, he came for a will re-draft and I was able to inform him and help him take a different route.

Pick your estate planner carefully. Make sure they are experienced and have constant up to-date training. Make sure they are members of a body such as the IPW, SOWW or CILEx. Make sure they carry personal indemnity insurance to cover work undertaken. Check there are plenty of happy client testimonials.


WILL MYTH BUSTERS #1 -I already have a will in place……………………….

Great! Do you know where it is? Even if you have a will it’s best to keep it under review to make sure that it still matches your personal circumstances.  After all, you wouldn’t purchase a car and assume it doesn’t need any maintenance for the rest of your life. Also, the last person to advise you may not have known all the facts or perhaps explained to you how you may protect the value of your home from being lost. Did you know that standard mirror wills may not protect the family home??

Here at Western Wills we recommend everyone reviews their will every 3 to 5 years or earlier if your situation changes. These changes could be due to marriage, divorce, birth of new children or grandchildren, death of a beneficiary, starting a business or even coming into some money. This also makes sure you keep abreast of any changes to the law that effect your planning so you can be sure that your will is as effective as possible.Last will & Testimony


So it is a new year. A time to review things, maybe pull in the financial belt or lose a few pounds (That’s me for sure…) Something we all want to ensure though is that what we work hard for will pass to those we love, or charity or basically where WE would like it to go. Sometimes, it doesn’t always work this way but this is where a well- constructed will and advice from a professional can help.

As a reminder I offer the following services:
Wills and Trusts (Free will review)
Specializing in protecting house value for over 60’s
Lasting Power of Attorney (Full Service)
Pre-paid funeral plans
Document storage
Probate advice

Don’t put it off any longer-get peace of mind!

I can also signpost to excellent professionals for equity release. accountants, mortgage advisers, independent financial advisers.

Call today.older-couple-hugging

The 7 Costly Mistakes with Care Fees……………….Free EBook

Grandmother with adult daughter and grandchild in park

Mistakes  are often made regarding care costs unwittingly by vulnerable people or their families. If you read this, it could potentially save your family thousands of pounds that may be lost due to lack of knowledge.

We all want the best for our loved ones. It is my mission here at your local estate planning company, Western Wills to keep you informed.

Download the following link for a free eBook with relevant advice.


p.s. if you feel nervous about clicking links, you can access this information via the website “Care to be Different”.

Queen Of Soul Aretha Franklin Owed Millions In Unpaid Tax Says IRS

When soul legend Aretha Franklin died in August aged 76 she left no will to her vast estate. As interested parties file documents with Oakland County Probate Court, the IRS has joined the fray claiming back tax believed to be in the region of $6.3 million plus penalties and interest, a possible total of nearly $8 million.

The debts are in respect of 2012-2018 and the IRS has demanded payment as a priority, in advance of any distribution to other creditors.

However, an attorney representing Franklin’s estate disputes the figures saying that $3 million has already been paid in back taxes and all returned filed.

David Bennett, an attorney working for Franklin’s estate, said: “We claim it’s double-dipping income because they don’t understand how the business works.

“The vast majority of Ms Franklin’s personal 1040 tax obligations were paid prior to her death – something she wished to occur. The estate is diligently working to resolve any remaining issues”

Don Wilson, Franklin’s entertainment attorney for the past 28 years, regrets that she neglected to set up a trust, saying: “It would have expedited things and kept them out of probate and kept things private. I just hope [Franklin’s estate] doesn’t end up getting so hotly contested. Any time they don’t leave a trust or will, there always ends up being a fight.”

Her four sons have already filed notices of interest in her estate with the Probate Court, and it is expected that the net estate will be divided between them.

In the past two years she had forfeited three properties and had a lien placed on a fourth because of overdue taxes, which she then paid.

With the estate estimated to be worth $80 million, paying outstanding debts won’t be difficult, although winding up her complex affairs, including numerous properties and copyrights to her songs and partial copyrights for many of those she covered is likely to take years.