At our initial meeting we will discuss with you your family situation and establish all the relevant circumstances. We will then prepare the Will in draft and go through that draft with you at a second meeting – it is usually possible to finalise the Will at the second meeting. We will advise you on all aspects of your Will including the way in which your Will can minimise potential future liabilities for care home fees and inheritance tax charges. The risk of children not inheriting because the surviving spouse remarries after the first death is a common concern – we can provide a solution to this potential problem through the use of trusts so that you can have peace of mind that your children will not be disinherited by a second husband or a second wife.
If you die without a Will your estate may end up being divided in unanticipated ways – click on the next link for some examples. Wills can also be used to protect your assets from the ravages of the taxman and care home costs. Life is full of twists and turns and none of us can be sure of what the future holds. Creating a Will eliminates uncertainty and is the best way of ensuring that your hard earned wealth does not end up in the wrong hands. Making a Will is not just for the elderly or those who are ill – it is simply part of sensible financial planning for any family or individual. Once your Will is in place you can rest assured that your family will be provided for should anything happen to you.
If you do not make a Will the Intestacy Rules will apply – these may have unexpected results as the following examples illustrate:-
Fred is 52 and dies suddenly from a heart attack, leaving £750,000. He did not have any children but is survived by his wife Sarah. The surviving spouse will receive the whole lot, and parents and long-lost aunties won’t see a penny. In other words, Sarah will take the entire £750,000.
However, if Fred and Sarah had children, Sarah will take all of the first £250,000 plus half of the residue i.e. she will get £500,000. The children will get £250,000 being the other half of the residue; but they will have to wait until they reach age 18 to get their hands on it.
Contrast the position of an unmarried couple, with children. Example: John has a son, Jack from an earlier marriage, but has been cohabiting with Susan for 20 years. Susan has a daughter, Jill from her former partner. John has treated Jill as his own daughter. If John suddenly dies, Jack inherits the lot while Susan and Jill get nothing under the intestacy rules. The parents are treated as single people – with the estate going entirely to blood relatives, with children first in line.
It is always sensible to keep your Will under review – please bear in mind that marriage/civil partnership will cancel any prior Will that you have made – changes to your Will will be required if you divorce and it will also be necessary to update your Will to take account of changes in the law, the birth of children and the deaths of beneficiaries/trustees/executors. The recent introduction of the Residence Nil Rate Band means that some Wills may need to be adjusted to ensure that this additional Inheritance Tax allowance is utilised. The new allowance will from April 2017 be worth £100,000 (rising by £25,000 in successive tax years until 2020 when the allowance will plateau (subject to future increases in line with the Consumer Prices Index) at a figure of £175,000).
How can we help you?
Bramhall Solicitors can help you by providing you with a high quality legal service.
Our starting point is that our clients need looking after. Legal matters can be stressful – so, whether you are moving house, dealing with bereavement, trying to work out what you should do in your Will or facing family issues, we will make it our priority to provide you with all the legal support and advice you need.