A Morpeth based business has just launched providing a will writing and estate planning service to the Northumberland and Tyne and Wear area. But this is a business that takes a slightly different approach to this often overlooked service.
Allery Will Writers was started by qualified secondary school teacher Chris Harris to provide a professional service providing will writing, secure will storage, lasting power of attorney, trusts and funeral planning. This holistic approach will ensure that the assets owned by people are protected and are passed down to loved ones and not to the state. Allery Will Writers is different as it doesn’t just provide an estate planning service it also educates people on the necessity of a will and the products that sit alongside a will. ‘As a teacher I believe in educating people, you can make better decisions if you are informed in plain English with less legal jargon’ said Chris. ‘I have a website where people can find short videos on the products we offer and explain why they are vital as part of your estate planning, products which, people didn’t know existed’.
Chris said ‘I have spent the last year retraining to become a financial advisor and have sat rigorous exams’ ‘ It’s strange as I am used to teaching others how to pass exam successfully and now I have sat them myself! I am pleased that I am now able to use my skills as a teacher to help people understand the importance of a will and the complexities of proper estate planning’.
Shockingly 67% of adults in the UK do not have a Will and about 34% of people die without a will. Dying without a Will means the state decides where your money and home goes through the rules of intestacy. According to the Money Advice Service £8 million went to the government last year because people didn’t leave a Will. A Will is not all about money, if you die and have children under the age of 18 then social services could place your children with a guardian who you don’t want them to go to.
Chris said ‘Most people don’t have a will but do think it is important to have one. The biggest excuses are – not had time to do it and too young to think about it’ As long as you are over the age of 18 you can have a will and it particularly important if you have a family or own your house. Get a professionally written valid will, in the comfort of your own home and it will only take a couple of hours.
There are a lot of DIY wills out there which you can pick up from the high street however so many of these wills end up being invalid because people didn’t understand what was required to make a valid Will. This means all your hard earned possessions and money will be distributed as if you didn’t have a Will at all.
The government advise that everyone should have a lasting power of attorney (also known as a living will) providing you are over 18 and have mental capacity. Anyone can lose mental capacity either through illness, accident or old age. A bank can freeze the account of a person who has lost mental capacity even if it is a joint account. It can’t be unfrozen until a person has been appointed by the courts to manage the money in a way the court orders. This can be time consuming and restrictive at such a difficult time. Taking out a lasting power of attorney by appointing trust worthy people eliminates all this and prevents money being withheld should the worse happen. ‘Get in touch with me and I can come to your house for a free consultation and make sure that you are protected in this eventuality’.
Future plans include the introduction of insurance brokering and mortgage advice. It is hoped that more people can be employed to offer estate planning services. Chris said ‘At the moment I operate from home, but I hope to take up some office space so people can drop by for a coffee and a free consultation’.
Chris will be available on Tuesday 6th October and again on Friday 30th October at Sanderson Arcade. This will be a drop in centre for anyone who would like to chat over a free cup of tea or coffee. They can find out more information and make arrangements for a home visit to write their will and plan their estate.
People can find more information by visiting www.allerywills.co.uk and follow on twitter @allerywills.