General guidance on Wills:
Why make a Will?
This video explains why you need to make a will: the benefits you will gain and the problems you can avoid. Do you want to ensure that you hard-earned assets go to those you want to receive them and in the correct shares? Do you want to avoid family rifts after you are gone? Then you need to make a Will without delay.
Lasting Powers of Attorney – LPAs. The benefits of setting up LPAs now.
A Lasting Power of Attorney (“LPA” ) is a legal document that lets you (the donor) appoint one or more people (known as attorneys) to help you make decisions or to make decisions on your behalf, particularly if you become incapacitated at a later date or lose mental capacity.
The five main threats to your estate, a summary.
There are five main threats to your estate on death; reasons that your assets may be lost and not go fully to who you want them to.
Marriage after death.
If you die and your spouse remarries there is a very real threat that your children and grandchildren could lose out if your spouse then dies before his or her new spouse. The new spouse, having inherited your assets via your spouse then may rewrite his or her Will to give your children or grandchildren nothing! This threat can be prevented with suitable estate planning.
Divorce of beneficiaries
This video explains how, if you gift your assets absolutely on death, a subsequent divorce amongst your children or grandchildren could result in a portion of your estate being taken by the ex-spouse as part of a divorce settlement. This is because you have given your assets absolutely so it forms part of the assets that the judge will share out on divorce.
Through the use of trusts you can protect your assets more, to ensure that they cannot be taken by ex-spouses on divorce and retained within your family, for ongoing benefit of your children or grandchildren.
Long term care fees.
Protect your house from having to be sold to pay for long term care fees.
If you need to move into a long term care home, the local authority may force you to sell your property to pay for the care home fees. Steps can be taken now to protect your property; for your family to retain control over it.
Generational Inheritance Tax (“IHT”)
This means IHT can be paid on your assets multiple times
When you die your estate may be subject to Inheritance Tax (“IHT”). If you gift your assets absolutely, they then become part of the beneficiaries’ estates. If this pushes them over the IHT threshold, further IHT may become payable on the assets you originally passed down. This can reoccur through generations, with more of the estate being gradually eroded by IHT and the tax man.
Creditors and bankruptcy
Your assets can be attacked after death.
If you gift your assets absolutely on death they become property of the beneficiaries. They can then be taken or attacked from creditors on bankruptcy or IVAs. Templar Estate Planning can advise you how the use of trusts can protect your assets from such threats.
Will clarity statements
These prove the validity of your Will and protect it from challenges.
Inheritance disputes brought to court have been rising. By drafting a Will Clarity statement you can secure your Will better should dispute arise. The intention of the statement is to details the circumstances behind you drafting your Will , that you have made your decisions logically and of sound reason.
The Will Clarity statement outlines how the instructions were taken, who was present, risk assessments, mental capacity and the reasoning behind your choices. It provides extra security and reassure.