Estate Planning

Estate Planning Solicitors

You’ve worked hard all your life. Now it’s our turn to work hard on your behalf, to protect the wealth you’ve accumulated and the lifestyle you’ve created for you and your family so that you can pass it on to the people you’d like it to go to.

Everything you treasure. We can help you keep it in safe hands

Our aim is to build long-term relationships with our clients to help them manage, grow and pass on their wealth to the next generation.

In a world where laws and taxes are constantly changing, we will provide clear, practical and straightforward advice. You can be confident that our team can assist you in all areas of planning for the future, including tax mitigation, Lasting Powers of Attorney and protecting assets later in life from the cost of care.

We have the legal experience and expertise to manage large estates and solve complex legal problems, ensuring your loved ones keep hold of the things you value most. By taking the time to listen and learn about your finances in-depth, we’ll provide clear, tailored advice and services that are unique to your specific needs and priorities.

Expert tax and financial planning advice – made simple

We work closely with tax advisors to seek the most tax-efficient outcome for your particular circumstances, including the most tax-efficient ways of disposing of or retaining your property or assets in the UK and abroad.

We’re also skilled in analysing your circumstances and providing uncomplicated solutions that can minimise the potential impact of Inheritance Tax, Capital Gains Tax and Income Tax, wherever possible.

Contact our estate planning solicitors in Gloucestershire

For expert advice on planning your estate, please contact your local WSP branch in Gloucester, Stroud or Dursley today.

How our estate planning solicitors can help

Making a Will

Making a Will is probably the simplest yet most important way you can plan for the future. The benefits of making a Will as part of your estate plan include:

  • You ensure that your money and property is left to the right people after you die (and make sure that your closest loved ones aren’t left out. For example, an unmarried partner cannot inherit unless you leave a Will).
  • You can make your estate more tax-efficient, for example, by putting in place trusts or taking advantage of tax breaks and exemptions.
  • You can appoint people (your executors) that you trust to do the best possible job in executing your estate plan after you die.
  • You can put your funeral plans in writing – your executors won’t be bound to follow your plans, but it makes your wishes clear.

Tax planning

Tax can devour a huge chunk of your estate during your lifetime and after you die. Planning for tax can maximise the amount you are able to use for care as you grow older and how much you can pass on to your loved ones after you die.

Our estate planning lawyers work closely with tax experts to help you put in place a solid plan for tax.

A certain proportion of your estate can be passed on tax-free after you die (at the moment, the nil rate band is £325,000). After this, Inheritance Tax applies at a standard rate of 40%. However, there is a range of tax reliefs and exemptions that may be available depending on your personal circumstances, such as:

  • Leaving your estate to your spouse or civil partner – this also allows you to pass on your tax-free allowance
  • Passing your family home on to your dependants (your children or grandchildren)
  • Lifetime gifts (potentially exempt transfers) – assets passed to your loved ones during your lifetime can sometimes be passed on tax-free or with reduced rates of Inheritance Tax
  • Leaving money to charity – legacy donations can be passed on tax-free and, if you leave enough of your estate to charity, your whole estate can receive Inheritance Tax relief
  • Business property relief – allows you to receive Inheritance Tax relief of 50% or 100%
  • Agricultural property relief – allows you to pass on agricultural property free from Inheritance Tax during your lifetime or after you die.

We can also assist with other tax planning matters, including:

  • Making a Will
  • Creating and managing trusts
  • International Inheritance Tax issues, such as dealing with overseas property

Preparing for care costs

Care can be extremely expensive, especially if you need to move into a residential care home at some stage. Most people also need to contribute towards their own care, and some people are at risk of having to sell their homes.

This can be a stressful situation. Your personal care and welfare in old age or if you become disabled is essential, but you may be concerned about how much inheritance you can leave to your loved ones after you pass away.

Our estate planning solicitors can help you plan for care costs and take steps to protect assets wherever possible. You’re not allowed to dispose of assets specifically to avoid care costs – this is called deprivation of assets, and your local council may count the value of those assets during care funding assessments anyway. However, the earlier you think about planning for care, the less likely this is to be an issue. Our lawyers will take this into account and provide practical advice accordingly.

Lasting Powers of Attorney

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is an essential legal document that you can make to appoint someone you trust (your attorney) to make decisions on your behalf if you ever lose mental capacity.

There are many reasons why someone might lose mental capacity, including:

  • An illness such as dementia
  • A condition such as a stroke
  • Temporary unconsciousness
  • A brain injury
  • A severe mental health condition

An LPA allows your attorneys to make decisions about your welfare and/or your health and personal welfare.

Making an LPA is important because it ensures that your best interests will be protected if you ever need additional support. It lowers the risk of exploitation and entrusts your affairs to the people who care about you the most.

Visit our Lasting Powers of Attorney page for more information.

Advance Decisions/Living Wills (decisions about end of life care)

End of life care is hard to think about, but making difficult decisions now means that your wishes will be respected until the very end.

An Advance Decision (also known as an Advance Directive or a Living Will) is a legal document you can put in place to set out your wishes about end of life care and whether you want to refuse certain types of medical treatment in certain circumstances.

This document lets your doctors, family and carers know exactly what your wishes are, even if you cannot express them yourself when needed.

Our estate planning solicitors can help you put an Advance Decision in place, talking you through what to include and supporting you as you make the necessary difficult decisions.

Agricultural estate planning

Agricultural businesses are often family businesses, so estate planning is essential to ensure that the future of your business is secured and the risk of disputes minimised.

We have specialist expertise in this area, having years of experience advising farmers, landowners and occupiers and rural estate owners and occupiers across Gloucestershire. Our agricultural estate planning solicitors can provide a range of bespoke services, including:

  • Making a Will
  • Inheritance Tax planning and passing on agricultural property and business interests
  • Making a Lasting Power of Attorney

Visit our Agricultural Law page for more information.

Contact our estate planning lawyers in Gloucestershire

For expert advice on planning your estate, please contact your local WSP branch in Gloucester, Stroud or Dursley today.

Beneficiary: Someone who will benefit from your will or trust.

Estate: Everything you own.

Guardians: Responsible for looking after children (under 18) following the death of both parents.

Grant of Probate: A court certificate authorising the person(s) named on it to deal with a deceased’s estate with full authority.

Inheritance Tax: The government’s charge on all your assets at your death.

Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA): A document authorising an individual(s) chosen by you to make decisions on your behalf in connection with your property, financial affairs, health and welfare when you are no longer able to make those decisions for yourself.

Nil Rate Band: The value of your estate assessed to inheritance tax at the rate of 0% (i.e. tax free), currently £325,000, with the balance being charged at 40%.

Trust: A binding obligation on the trustee.

Trust Administration: The day to day running of your trust, including the management of trust assets, filing tax returns and preparing trust accounts.

Trust Fund: The total of all the assets subject to the trust.

Trustee: Responsible for looking after trust funds for your chosen beneficiary or beneficiaries.


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    We can help with...
    • Planning what happens to your estate when you die
    • Planning to reduce the impact Inheritance Tax has on those you leave behind
    • Tax mitigation, including capital gains, income and inheritance tax planning
    • The use of family trusts to protect wealth
    • The full use of exemptions and tax reliefs
    • Co-ordinating Wills with the restructuring of family businesses to ensure smooth transition of business assets
    • Structuring the ownership of land and business assets for tax efficiency and asset preservation