Ensuring your wishes are carried out…

If you have significant assets and no Will - or one that is seriously out of date – we hope you are planning on immortality! Unless you have no spouse or children and care little where all of your wealth goes when you die, you need to ensure your Will is fit for purpose, reflects your wishes and is up to date.

Anyone dying intestate (without a valid Will) effectively passes control of their wealth - and decisions on where that wealth goes on death - to a Court, who are governed by rules laid down by the State. 

Any existing Will automatically becomes void if you are later married. Divorcees should definitely re-write their Will, as should anyone who has had an addition to their family (children born after a Will has been drafted may not be automatic beneficiaries)

We can introduce you to a Will writing service that can help you ensure that the people you wish to benefit after your death can do so – rather than having the Intestacy Rules operate.

Their service includes:

And remember, you can change your will as often as you wish; nothing is irreversible - until you die!

To talk to one of our consultants, please complete the contact form or call us on 02380 454379.

Intestacy Rules

If you are married:
If your estate is worth less than £250,000 then your spouse gets everything.
If your estate is worth more than £250,000 and you had no other surviving relative (e.g. children, grandchildren, parents), then your spouse will still get everything.

If you are married with children:
If your estate is worth less than £250,000 then your spouse gets everything.
If your estate is worth more than £250,000 then your spouse would get £250,000 and a life interest in half of anything over this sum.
Your children would get half the sum over £250,000 immediately and be entitled to the other half on the death of your spouse.
Should any of your children die before you then their children would be entitled to take their parent's share.

If you are married, with no children, but other relatives:
If your estate is worth less than £450,000 then your spouse gets everything.
If your estate is worth more than £450,000 then your spouse would get £450,000, plus half the balance.
The remaining half goes to the other relatives in this order of priority - parents; brothers/sisters; half brothers/sisters; grandparents; aunts/uncles; spouses of aunts/uncles.

If you are not lawfully married, but have had children:
Your estate will be shared between the children. Should they die before you then their children would take their share.

If you are not lawfully married, have no children, but have parents or have had brothers/sisters/ grandparents/aunts/uncles:
Your estate will be shared equally amongst them in this order of priority - parents; brothers/sisters; half brothers/sisters; grandparents; aunts/uncles; spouses of aunts/uncles. If any of these have predeceased, but have living children then the children will take their parent's share.

If you are not lawfully married, and have no other relatives your estate will go the Crown.

Inheritance Tax

Those with significant assets or business interests should prioritise a periodic review of their Will and consider changes that may aid them to reduce Inheritance Taxes (IHT). As this punitive tax is levied at 40% on any estate worth more than £325,000, a very large sum could become due to HMRC if no planning has been made for this entirely avoidable tax. HMRC have frozen this limit for many years (unlike inflation) so more and more ordinary families are being caught by this tax, often simply due to their family home having increased in value in line with inflation.

There are a multitude of ways to legitimately plan around IHT and if your own assets are likely to be worth more than £325,000 (£650,000 for couples), then you should be discussing this with someone to avoid IHT in future years. Your heirs will be very glad you took the trouble to plan for it. Pensions can be ignored in this calculation - these will already be held within a “pension trust” and do not form part of your Estate.

Powers of Attorney

A Power of Attorney (sometimes referred to as a living will) is essential for most adults but is often overlooked. A normal Will is only activated under law when the person to whom it relates is clinically dead. In circumstances where incapacity due to health issues (such as alzheimers) or accidents resulting in brain damage where survival is for months, a Will cannot be activated. If that person owns significant assets, a share of a joint account, family home or a business, the surviving partner, spouse or children may have legal issues in obtaining access to assets if no POA is in place.

RSS Feed Widget

Selectis Financial Agency - Wills & IHT, Insurance, Pensions, IFAs, Mortgages, Property, Investment, Financial Services, UK

© Selectis Financial Agency. Registered in England No 09318606. Selectis is not licensed or regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and does not provide a regulated service. The Selectis service provides generic information which should be of general assistance to you in managing your finances. Selectis always recommends that you seek further information from an independent financial adviser and/or further information from the providers of specific financial products.

Website by Lush New Media.