Additional Services

Other Trusts

We are also able to provide Trusts for specific purposes such as:

Secure Professional Storage

Once you have made your Will, It is important that it is kept in a safe and secure place.

At home there is a considerable risk of accidental loss, burglary or destruction by fire, flood or tampering over the many years your Will is likely to be stored for. If you cannot find your original Will it is deemed that you have not made one. A copy is not acceptable proof of a will.

Elite Wills are able to arrange professional storage via Kings Court Trust Ltd

Why Kings Court?

Kings Court Trust Ltd, based in Bristol, offers a friendly, professional and client-focused Will storage and Estate Administration Service. Each Will is stored in a safe and secure storage facility and is clearly marked with a unique reference number. Your will is insured against loss or damage, and is registered with WillData, the National Will Database, to ensure your Will can be found at the time of your death.

Benefits Include:

Certificate of Custody & Executor Cards

You will receive a certificate of custody with WillData registration and executor ID cards. For security reasons the Executors cannot retrieve your will unless they apply in writing and enclose a copy of the death certificate.

Where the appointed Executors are 'lay persons' such as your surviving spouse or children they will be offered a free help-line with the opportunity to talk to one of the Kings Court Probate experts.

Dispatch of documents is normally 24-48 hours from receipt of a retrieval notice along with supporting proof of identity and a copy of the death certificate. In case of death, Wills are only sent via guaranteed or registered post.

We can offer an annual or Lifetime Storage option to give you complete peace of mind about the long term storage of your will. If you would like to discuss your options or arrange storage for your will, please get in touch.

Probate Advice

If you, or someone you know, have been named as an Executor or Trustee in a Will, you may not have the time or expertise to see the job through to the standard it needs and deserves. You may not realise that you are legally liable for life if you make any errors. Help is at hand as we work with professionals that can undertake this work on your behalf, and take the liability away from you personally. They are highly efficient and operate on a fixed fee basis. Furthermore, they will constantly keep you up to date with the progress they have made on your behalf. We can talk to you in more detail about the process if you are considering naming a professional executor, or delegating your role to a professional rather than taking on the role personally.

Advance Directives

As a competent adult, you have a legal right to give or withhold consent to medical treatment. However, if you become mentally incapacitated or unconscious, treatment may be given or withheld without your consent provided medical staff are convinced it would be in your best interests.

Through an 'advance directive' (also known as a 'Living Will'), you retain your legal right to decline specific treatment, including life-prolonging treatment.

The Mental Capacity Act defines an advance directive as 'advance decisions to refuse treatment'. Provided the document is written and signed by someone who fulfils the criteria listed below, it has legal force. However, in some emergency situations people treating you may not be aware of your instructions.

An advance statement is when you specify what treatment or care you would like to be given if you no longer have the capacity to make your own decisions. This is not legally binding for health professionals but will help them to understand your preferences.

For your advance decision/statement to be valid, you must:

Advance Directive or LPA?

Many people want to know, in the event they are unable to communicate, that they will get some say in any medical decisions that may affect them, even if this is to be through a third party. Others no longer have much faith, if any, in decisions made by medical professionals, and a growing number want to be sure they will not be kept alive artificially.

The decision whether to opt for the LPA or Advance Directive can often be as simple as "I would be asking too much if I asked someone else to make medical decisions for me. So I will instead make my own medical decisions in advance". Others may opt for the Advance Directive simply because it is cheaper to arrange.

Two Things to Remember:

1. The advance directive is effectively 'tablets of stone', and after you have lost capacity, cannot be undone! On the other hand, if you had chosen a LPA your attorney can at least talk to your medical team, when they might arrive at a decision you would have been happy with.

2. Under a LPA, the doctors can still over rule the attorney(s)

In other words neither is a perfect answer, and you must make your choice now based on your best instincts, and good advice from family and friends. We are happy to provide further guidance on the pros and cons so please contact us now for further information.

Funeral Plans

Many people are still unaware that they can safely and cost-effectively pre-pay for their own funeral during their lifetime.

Funeral costs have consistently risen at rates well above inflation, so it can make good sense to sacrifice part of your low-yielding bank or building society savings now and secure YOUR choice of funeral at today's prices. Even if you have allocated savings on a special account, accessing the money after your death may be difficult until probate is granted. By choosing a pre-paid funeral plan, your relatives or executors would be spared the embarrassment of being asked to pay several thousand pounds by a funeral director, which they may end up having to borrow.

You may be very happy to have a fairly low budget funeral but, if you don't pre-plan, the relatives you leave behind may not be aware of this and may choose to splash out on a lavish affair at a cost well above that which you would find acceptable. Alternatively, they may choose a fairly modest funeral when you would have preferred a top-of-the-range send off.

Choosing what you prefer in advance can avoid family arguments and make a very difficult time less painful for those you leave behind.

If you have reasonable levels of savings that are not performing well, using some of them now can make good financial sense and avoid difficult choices for your family or friends.

The money you invest in your pre-paid funeral plan is fully protected, and you can even pay by instalments if you prefer, so please ask us now for further details.

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Elite Wills & Estate Planning LLP (Partnership Number OC380425) is a Member of the MASTER GUILD OF WILL WRITERS.