If you have minor children, you can appoint Guardians in your Will. The appointment would normally only take effect after the death of any surviving parent.
If your children are to receive money or property under your Will, would you want them to inherit at the age of 18, or would you prefer the age of 21 or 25?
If you have children from a former relationship, your estate can be left to your spouse or partner during their lifetime and after their death, your children will inherit. You can control the ultimate destination of your estate in this way.
You should think about who you would like to benefit from a gift or legacy. You can leave money or specific assets to as many friends, relatives, and charities as you like.
Rather than outright gift, you could grant a lifetime right of occupation in your home if you prefer.
You could even make financial provision for a person who has agreed to look after your pets.
Household & Personal Possessions
You might want to list some personal items to be left to friends or family members. If you prefer, you can deal with specific items in a Letter of Wishes to be stored with your Will. The letter can be changed or updated as often as you like.
if you have any special wishes about burial or cremation these can be included in your Will or that information can be set out in a separate letter to be kept with your Will. Without a Will or letter, your family might not know your wishes.
Who would you like to be responsible for dealing with your estate? with couples or cival partners. Each person can be named as the sole Executor for the other on the first death, However we recommend you name at least two family members or friends to act on the second death.
Many people wish to appoint a solicitor to act jointly with a relative or friend so that a professional person is available right from the start to assist with the estate.
Do you want to leave legacies to any charities? Did you know that if you leave 10% of your estate to charity? The inheritance tax rate is reduced from 40% to 36%.
Tax planning and asset protection
Making a Will is of course an ideal opportunity to consider inheritance tax planning, so it is worth considering if you would like to discuss how a Solicitor or Financial Adviser can help save you tax. Financial advisors are well skilled when it comes to inheritance tax planning. Financial advisors and Solicitors can also help with concerns over possible future care home fees and provide you with advice on how you can ring-fence or protect your assets.
Your business or farm
You may wish to leave your business or farm to a particular family member to continue the running of the business or farm in the event of your death. A solicitor can talk you through the best ways to structure your will and any tax considerations that need to be considered.
Did you know that?
Without a will
Your estate will be distributed under the intestacy rules. Couples who are not married or in a registered civil partnership have no automatic right to a share of the other persons estate and the survivor of them could be left homeless.
Married couples and registered civil partners may not inherit as much as they expect. The intestacy rules will not benefit your friends or charities and you will not be able to choose who will sort out your affairs and who will look after your children.
If you have made a will and then marry, your Will is likely to be automatically revoked. This could occur if you remarry following the death of your spouse or partner.
A divorce does not automatically revoke a Will. However, any appointment of a former spouse as an executor and any gift to a former spouse would not take effect. A Will should therefore be reviewed following a divorce.
Jointly owned assets
All assets you own personally will pass under the terms of your Will. This includes everything from jewellery, cash, furniture, investments and your house if it is in your sole name.
However with assets held in joint names (such as a joint bank account or house owned as joint tenants) your half share will automatically pass to your co-owner irrespective of the terms of your Will.
A family Trust can help where there are children from an earlier relationship and there is a concern that the entirety of the estate of the first to die will pass outright to the survivor and then to his/her children (or even to a new spouse or partner) on the survivors death. The children of the first person to die might become completely disinherited in this way. A Solicitor can make arrangements to ensure that each parties estate passes eventually to their own children, or alternatively that all children and step children are treated equally.
Claims against the estate
Under the inheritance Act 1975 It is possible for certain people to make a claim against your estate on the basis that you have not made reasonable financial provision for them. A Solicitor can advise you as to who can bring such a claim and the steps which can be taken to reduce the chances of this sort of claim being successful.
Hopefully this has given you something to consider, as independent financial advisers we act in your best interest and in most cases can mitigate any inheritance tax due through ongoing tax efficient financial planning, however if the worst was to happen this is when having a suitable Will in place would have been a precaution to have made.
We work with exceptional will writers and solicitors and recommendations to these professional comes under our goal as always acting in a clients best interests.