Making a Will is one of the most important things you will do in your lifetime. It caters for far more than just who will benefit from your belongings (your estate).
'Company' Shall mean County Estates & Wills Ltd.
'Client' Shall mean you; 'you' and 'your' shall mean the 'Client'
'F.inst.Pa' Means 'Fellow Member of the Institute of Paralegals'
‘Q.inst.Pa’ Means ‘Qualified Member of the Institute of Paralegals’
‘MSWW’ Means member of the Society of Will Writers
‘Will’ or ‘Will(s) Shall include any other document or documents provided by us that are in accordance with your instructions
‘Trust’ Means ‘trust deed or trust description’
‘Lasting Powers of Attorney’ Means ‘assignment of an attorney to look after your affairs’
The Company provides its services to the highest standards within the profession and it is mandatory that it operates in accordance with the Codes of Practice shown above.
Making your Will normally requires two appointments, firstly taking your detailed instructions and giving appropriate advice on matters relating to the preparation of them and secondly to the delivery of them when they are ready. Any queries or questions will be answered and a full explanation on the contents and the terminology used in them. We may, in certain circumstances, post your final wills to you.
1. Constructing a Trust or Lasting Power of Attorney might require 3 or more appointments. Following your initial fact finding appointment, either by telephone or by appointment, the prepared documents will need to be signed and witnessed before being registered. Land Registry in the case of Trusts and the Office of the Public Guardian in the case of Lasting Powers of Attorney.
2. To provide you with the best advice on matters relating to your Will, Trust or Legal documentation. In some cases this may mean advice to draw up other documents, or take other action, which may incur further fees and may involve work to be carried out by outside parties, such as solicitors or barristers. In such cases full details of such charges will be given to you in advance. You are under no obligation to proceed with any ancillary services offered but in some circumstances you may be asked to sign a declaration stating that you are acting against the advice given.
2.1 To retain client files for a period of not less than six years after a clients death.
2.2 To comply with the relevant Codes of Practice, copies of which may be obtained from the Company or through the offices of the Professional bodies shown above upon request in written or audio form. Any instance of non-compliance of the Codes by the Company should immediately be brought to the attention of the said Professional bodies.
2.3 To provide a customer service telephone support line which shall be at standard BT rates and not a premium rate line to offer telephone support and advice for a minimum period of 20 working days after the production and dispatch of the documents. Our telephone number is printed on all Company stationery.
2.4 Before we proceed with your instructions we confirm that the fee quoted on our price list provided is fixed, guaranteed and valid for 30 days.
2.5 There will be no increase in your fee on the price list without your prior consent.
2.6 Our fee is due and payable as follows; 50% of the total fee is due on completion of the instruction taking process at the first meeting, unless otherwise agreed.
2.7 Payments may be made by cheque, cash, card or bank transfer.
2.8 Where part of the fee paid to the Company is for services provided by an external solicitor or any other external party we will receive that part of the payment as an Agent and forward it to them.
2.9 Occasionally part of our fee may be paid to a third party by way of a marketing fee and similarly we may receive a fee for introducing you to a third party who provides services to you. Further details can be provided on request.
2.10 Once we have produced draft Wills, we aim to have your final documentation ready for signature no later than 21 days after you have provided all the information required to complete the documentation. The final copy may be provided in person at our Office, or delivered to you at your home at a time agreed with you.
2.11 To provide draft documents within 14 working days of the date when you have provided full instructions, and to produce your final documents no later than 21 working days on receipt of the approved draft document. A draft copy may be provided electronically or by post as agreed by you.
2.12 Where circumstances arise that are outside of the Company’s control which result in a delay beyond the timescales provided, you will be given a full explanation and the documents produced as soon as is possible. We cannot confirm set time periods for work that is outside of our control where we have to rely on an external body or Government organisation to provide us with necessary information. This may or may not include work carried out by an external solicitor or other external party.
DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION AND CONFIDENTIALITY
2.13 To maintain the strictest confidentiality and not to pass your name or details to any other organisation without your express permission. All information disclosed to us will remain totally confidential and secure.
2.14 We may need to provide important information and guidance to parties named in your Will and/or the offer of our services, but before we do you must give us your written permission to do so.
4. The Company offers one free Attestation Service at your home, by appointment. If we attend this appointment but cannot complete the documentation because witness’s are not present (or any other reason beyond our control) then a charge may be made for any further Attestation Service at your home.
4.1 The Company offers a non chargeable Attestation Service to supervise the signing and witnessing of documents prepared by us at our offices by appointment only.
5. The Company will not accept any responsibility for any loss caused arising out of failure to ensure the validity of your Will where Attestation Service has failed by reason not attributable to us and the signing of the Will was not supervised by an agent of the Company. The signing of your Will (the attestation) must be carried out according to the law of England and Wales in order for your Will to be valid. You are invited to utilise the Company’s Attestation Service or return your Wills to the Company for Checking at your expense after execution. However the Company will be unable to ensure that the correct procedure has been followed unless you use the Attestation Service.
6. The Company offers a document storage service, but cannot accept any liability or obligation to advise you of any changes in legislation or taxation which may affect you either directly or indirectly that necessitate a change to your Will. Your Will should be reviewed at least once every three years and on the occasion of any change in your circumstances, such as divorce, marriage, the birth of children, or the inheritance of a large sum of money etc.
6.1 You may retrieve your own documents from storage by written confirmation only, and subject to suitable identification. Any overdue storage payments must be settled before any documents are released.
6.2 You may request in writing (bearing your signature) for us to return your documents to you to a UK mainland address using Royal Mail Recorded Delivery postal service for a fee of ten pounds. This must be paid in advance, including any overdue storage payments. We will not accept any liability for any loss of documents beyond our control.
6.3 You may also request the use of Royal Mail Special Delivery in the UK at a cost of ten pounds. This must be paid in advance, including any overdue storage payments. We will not accept liability for any loss of documents beyond our control.
6.4 For an Executor or other authorised Personal Representative to retrieve documents from storage we will follow the above procedure but will also require proof of identity, and confirmation of your death.
6.5 Clients with storage may amend documents once a year free of charge. Amending is limited to altering an existing clause. There will be a postage fee which is currently five pounds (to reflect postage and materials costs). There will be no fee if you collect your documents from the office subject to prior appointment.
RIGHT NOT TO ACT
7. The Company reserves the right to refuse to process some or all of the legal documentation for you at its absolute discretion. If we do decline to act or decline to prepare a specific document then we will say so in writing and no fee will be payable.
8. In order for the Company to provide accurate advice and to produce an effective legal document you are required to disclose all the relevant facts and answers to all the questions asked. The Company shall not accept any responsibility in respect of information which was not disclosed, and therefore not documented by the person taking your instructions which comes to light at a later date as being of a relevance and which may affect the validity or content of your Will, or advice given. You confirm that you will check the instructions for correct spelling and accuracy before you sign the Company instruction form or this Terms of Business.
8.1 To read through the Will, and other documentation provided to you, to confirm that they correctly reflect your wishes as to the distribution of your estate and the names and addresses of the persons mentioned in them are correct.
8.2 It is your responsibility to return any documents requiring amendment to the Company within 21 days of receipt, if you fail to return the documents to the Company, the Company shall accept no liability for any error or omission on them.
8.3 If you need to send us your property title deeds you must deliver them personally to our Company office, or alternatively we recommend you use an insured carrier at your own expense. The Company will not accept any liability for loss in transit. The Company will confirm safe receipt of your title deeds once received but not the completeness or content of them.
8.4 To pay the agreed fee as indicated in paragraph 2.7 above.
8.5 If you are using the Attestation Service at home, you should arrange for the witnesses to be present at the time of the appointment for the signing of your documents.
8.6 To acknowledge you have read these Terms of Business by signing and notorising the fact find questionnaire on the date you give your instructions. These will be retained by the Company to confirm your acceptance of them.
CLIENT CARE/COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE
9 The Company is committed to providing you with a high quality of service. An essential part of that service is that we will communicate effectively with you and that you are kept informed of progress.
9.1 The Company Customer Care Service maintains a complaints procedure to which any complaint should first of all be addressed in writing to Mr S. Mitchell, Fortress Estate Planning Limited, 23 Sycamore Place, Fairwater, Cardiff, CF5 3PN. Any complaint shall be acknowledged in writing within 7 days of receipt. All complaints received shall be investigated and responded to in writing within a further 14 working days.
9.2 If a complaint is not resolved to your satisfaction you may refer it in writing to The Institute of Paralegals, the professional body of which this Company is a member. The Company complies with the Institutes Code of Practice and copies are available on request.
9.3 If you are not satisfied with the decision of either the Company or the Institute Of Paralegals, the Institute will advise you of the options available to you.
9.4 You may seek other forms of redress instead of or as well as those provided under the Codes of Practice.
10. The Company shall not have any liability whatsoever or be deemed to be in default for any delays or failure in performance under these Terms of Business resulting from acts beyond its control including, but not limited to acts of God, acts or regulations of any government or supranational authority, war or national emergency, terrorist activities, accident or fire.
11. Any provision of this Terms of Business which is declared void or unenforceable by any competent authority or court shall to the extent of such invalidity or unenforceability be deemed severable and the other provisions of the Terms of Business shall continue unaffected.
For more information on Terms of Business please contact us on 01834 815062 or click here to email us.
A will is a legal document where a person, names one or more persons to manage his or her affairs and estate. In “olden” times, a Will referred to property, and a Testament referred to personal property, hence the term now used “Last Will and Testament”.
If someone dies without making a will, they are said to have died “intestate”. If this happens, the law sets out who should deal with the deceased’s affairs and who should inherit their estate (property, personal possessions and money).
Tel: 01834 815062