What’s Your Last Will and Testament? – Richard LishmanFeatured Products Promotional Features
Posted by: The Probe 2nd February 2018
According to the latest figures over half of UK adults have not written a Will, leaving tens of millions liable to the rules of intestacy.[i] If you are amongst those who do not yet have a Will, here’s what you should know…
A legal Will is a must have for any person with property, savings, investments, insurance policies, dependants and/or a business, as it ensures that your estate is shared according to your wishes. This not only guarantees that your hard earned money is passed on to your loved ones, but prevents your wealth from falling into the hands of the taxman.
There are a number of ways in which you can distribute your assets, including setting up a trust for any beneficiaries. For your loved ones, this yields all the benefits of receiving inheritance without incurring any of the Inheritance Tax charges that would usually apply, as trusts do not form part of an individual’s estate. This can help to save thousands of pounds as well as ensure that the value of the policy is paid out immediately at the right time to the right person. Care should always be taken when naming the Trustee in the Will so as to secure the smooth administration of the estate.
The same advice applies when naming the Executors of the Will, as putting faith in the wrong person could spell disaster later on down the line. Should you opt for a solicitor instead of a family member or friend be aware that this will incur additional charges, though this is arguably a small price to pay for peace of mind.
Once made, you should endeavour to review your Will every five years to make sure that details are current, and update after any major life changes such as moving house, having a child, getting married and getting separated or divorced.
Only with an up-to-date, legal Will can you both ensure that your family is provided for once you are gone and rest assured that your estate has been taken care of in the most tax efficient manner. Without it, your estate will be shared out according to law with no consideration to your personal wishes, meaning certain loved ones could miss out. Indeed, unmarried partners, lesbian or gay partners not in a civil partnership, stepchildren, close friends and carers have no claim to inheritance under the rules of intestacy. So to protect your assets and the ones you care about be sure to draw up a Will as soon as you can – after all, you never know what is around the corner.
[i] Unbiased: ‘Fewer people in the UK have Wills in place than last year, with nearly four in ten over 55s having no Will at all’. Published 26 Sep 2016. Accessed online 11 Sep 2017 at https://business.unbiased.co.uk/press-releases/fewer-people-in-the-uk-have-wills-in-place-than-last-year-with-nearly-four-in-ten-over-55s-having-no-will-at-all-26-9-2016
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