It’s easy to put off…

It’s understandable. So, I make the process as easy as possible. Writing your Will is a way to take care of your family. Your loved ones will be thankful because a well written Will makes an already difficult time much easier for them.

However simple or complex your situation, I will ensure that your Will accurately reflect your wishes. I am friendly and professional, receive on-going and up to date training to stay current, and have systems to ensure your private information is secure.

I offer a free initial consultation at our offices in Newport (Shropshire), or in the comfort of your home and will talk you through the different aspects to consider. Weekend/evening appointments are available. During your consultation, you may receive advice on:
– Who may claim against your estate
– How to manage Business interests
– Guardianship of children
– Planning for vulnerable beneficiaries
– Second marriages/blended families
– Separating and divorce
– Inheritance Tax mitigation
– Avoidance of Intestacy

My fixed fees are competitive and fair. Beware of ‘free’ offers and very low cost Wills – mistakes can cost you and your family dearly.

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Who needs a Will?

Unless you have a working crystal ball, we don’t know what the future holds. Writing your Will, when you are healthy and with no foreseeable intention if dying, means you can make decisions with a clear head. It provides clarity to those left behind and greatly reduces the chances of family dispute. It resolves otherwise difficult decisions (if they don’t know what your wishes would have been). A well written Will ensures that the assets you have built over your lifetime, worked hard to accumulate, go to the people that you chose, in the way that you chose.

Every adult should have a Will. If you have a family, if you own any assets at all, if you have any pets, or if you have any business interests, then you should have a Will.

And… planning your legacy is not just about what happens ‘after'

With some forward thinking, planning your estate now can prevent your inheritance from being eroded by care fees, probate fees, inheritance tax and/or the forced sale of a family home.

Your legacy plan can come into effect while you are still alive. We can arrange Lasting Powers of Attorney, to enable you to stay in control of your finances and your health by nominating ‘attorneys’ (friends/family) who can legally represent you, should you become unable to represent yourself.

We also off trust planning, which offers high levels of protection for your family and your assets while you are still alive and then ensures that they transfer seamlessly to your chosen beneficiaries after you die.

 
Profile picture of Helen Esslemont, estate planning services provider

My background

I have a background in adult & family social care, within Local Authority, NHS & Voluntary Sector – managing care and support services.

In my work, I have experienced all sorts of complex family environments and can support clients in ensuring their wishes are met, without judgement.

I have lived in Shropshire for 18 years, currently in Newport and I provide a service to clients in Newport, Telford, Shrewsbury, Staffordshire, Shropshire – and across England and Wales!

Clients tell me how relieved they feel once their estate planning is in place – it’s one less thing to worry about. So don’t put it off any longer!

 

Our Services

 

Covid 19 concerns

Your safety is paramount. We offer video calls over zoom, if you prefer. We do also deliver face-to-face meetings and we will discuss how best to do this with you, depending on your environment and circumstance.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if I don’t have a will in place when I die?

The first £270,000 would go to your spouse/civil partner and then any further inheritance would be split 50/50 between your spouse/civil partner and your children, giving all children an equal share. Problems occur if the home is worth over £270,000 and the (adult) children decide they want their share of the inheritance – they can force the sale of the family home, even if your spouse is still living there.

When should I review my Will?

If you have a major life event, like moving home, having children, getting married or divorced, you should review your will.

I don’t have much in the way of money or assets, do I need a will?

Even if inheritance isn’t an issue, a will allows you to name a guardian for your children. If you don’t have any children then it allows you to leave small amounts to distant family, friends and/or charities.

Do stepchildren get inheritance without a will?

No, they are not recognised under the laws of intestacy so would not inherit anything without a will.

I’m getting married soon, should I wait to write a will?

If you know who you are going to marry, we can include a clause which will ensure your will is valid after the wedding. It’s better to get a will written sooner than later.

I’m getting divorced soon, can I write my spouse out of the will now?

Yes, you should change it as soon as possible. If you die before the divorce is finalised and your spouse is a beneficiary, then they will still benefit. If you own a home together and you die, your half would automatically pass to your estranged spouse – it doesn’t become part of your estate. If you don’t want this to happen, split the tenancy and write a will stating your wishes!

Is it possible to get my will changed in the future if I make it now?

Yes, but it would have to be rewritten and signed/witnessed again. If you are an existing client, I will already have your will on my systems, so will only charge an admit fee for minor amendments (not the full cost, again).

Can you store my Will safely for me?

Yes, many customers opt for us to keep their Will securely stored for them. If you decide to store your Will yourself, we recommend a fire-proof safe and make sure your Executors know where to find it.

Can I leave my pet(s) to someone in my Will?

Yes, legally, pets are seen as your ‘property’, so you can make sure your pet(s) will be well cared for by leaving them to a trusted friend or family member. It is advised to leave instructions and a small sum of money along with pets for anyone named this way in your will to make sure your pet(s) are properly looked after.

Can I name a secondary beneficiary in case I outlive my first choice(s)?

Yes, and it is recommended that you name at least one reserve beneficiary, just in case.

Can I name a legal guardian for my children?

Yes, if you have children under 18, you should name guardians in your will. They will only act if both parents (with parental responsibility) die before the children turn 18. You may wish to plan some financial support for the guardians as well as your children, to make sure your children have what they will need.

What’s the difference between a Will and a LPA?

A Will takes care of matters after you die. A Lasting Power of Attorney deals with matters while you are still alive. LPA’s give a trusted individual of age 18+ (called an ‘attorney’) the power to make decisions on your behalf in case you are unable to make those decisions for yourself. There are two types, Property & Financial (enables attorneys to withdraw money from your accounts, pay bills, etc); and Health & Welfare (enables attorneys to make medical decisions on your behalf). LPA’s can only be set up by someone who has mental capacity, so it should be done as soon as possible.

What are the benefits of a Trust?

A trust is a legacy entity, that exists in its own right and can ‘own’ assets. For many families, the family home is the primary asset in an estate. Placing your family home (or other assets) into Trust protects it from many potential threats. It is like locking you assets into a safe. The assets are protected from:

  • Care Fees (you legally don’t own the assets, so they cannot be taken into account upon financial assessment)
  • Probate Fees (there is no probate as the assets sit outside the estate)
  • Divorce/Remarriage (Trusts ensure your assets stay within the bloodline, not to any ex-spouses)
  • Sideways Disinheritance (after you die, even if your spouse remarries, you ensure that your assets pass to YOUR children)
  • Inheritance Tax (with Trus planning, Inheritance Tax can be reduced down to ZERO)
  • No Probate (not only no probate fees, but assets seamlessly pass to beneficiaries with no probate)
Who will manage the Trust?

You and your spouse will be Trustees, so retain full control over your assets. In addition, clients will often have their adult children as Trustees. It is often wise to also include a professional Trustee, particularly if you feel the Trustees may have differing opinions.

What happens if my beneficiaries inherit under 18?

Their inheritance will be held in trust by the executors until they reach the age of 18

What if I don’t know enough trusted people to act as executor to my Will?

We recommend that you name at least two people to be Executor in your Will, however, if you can’t then you can name Maplebrook Wills as a Professional Executor.

I want a will but can’t afford the costs, what can I do?

If you can’t afford the full cost upfront then, let us know and we will work with you to get a plan in place. It is important to get your will in place, as soon as possible.

Can I not just write my will by myself, why should I pay for it?

You can write your own will, or purchase a will template, but getting your will prepared professionally significantly increases the chances that no mistakes are made! Mistakes can either make your will invalid, or can cause much higher costs later on. With Maplebrook Wills Shropshire, you will receive a fair price professional service, that is personalised to fit your particular requirements.

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Get started with your estate planning

Clients tell me how relieved they feel once their estate planning is in place - it’s one less thing to worry about. So get in touch and don’t put it off any longer!