It is sensible to review your Will every few years, or even consider writing a new one to reflect a change in your financial or family circumstances. Changes to a Will can be made by codicil – an addendum to the original Will – or by revoking the old Will and drawing up a new one. Contact us now to discuss a free review of your current arrangements.
Why make a Will?
A Will is a legal document that informs everyone how you would like to leave your Estate - that is everything you own including property, investments and savings.
If you die without a Will then your Estate will be distributed as per the rules of Intestacy, it could go direct to the Government or in Cornwall, the Duchy, which is Prince Charles. It is therefore very important to make a Will to ensure your estate is distributed as you would wish. Review your Will.
Typically, most Wills leave everything to an individual or individuals, whether that is a partner, spouse, relatives, friends or someone else. This can be risky because it means all the assets then belong to that individual or individuals and therefore could be subject to a number of threats:
- Creditors or Bankruptcy – If the beneficiary or beneficiaries were to be subject to Creditor Claims/Bankruptcy then their inheritance is at risk.
- Marriage After Death (MAD) – If the beneficiary or beneficiaries marry or re-marries then the inherited estate could be lost to the new spouse.
- Inheritance Tax – On the death of the beneficiary or beneficiaries the whole estate will be passed to their beneficiaries and therefore form part of their estate for Inheritance Tax purposes.
- Divorce – When the beneficiary or beneficiaries pass away the whole estate would pass to their beneficiaries and therefore, if they were to divorce, then some or all of the estate may be lost.
- Care Costs – If the beneficiary or beneficiaries needs care then the whole of the estate could be used to fund the care subject to the limits applicable at the time.
A more effective solution is the use of Trusts.
Trusts were first established in the 12th Century. Knights would go on crusade and leave their land under the control of somebody else on the understanding that it would be returned to them on their return.
A Trust is a legal entity where property is owned for the benefit of someone else. The prudent use of Trusts has many benefits but most importantly the beneficiaries will always be who you intended them to be.
Effective Trust planning can deal with many, if not all of the threats detailed above.
Will and Trust advice
We can arrange your Estate so that your assets are protected. We can minimise your Inheritance Tax liability, but more importantly we will ensure that those you want to benefit - will benefit.
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Demelza Independent Estate Planning work in association with Countrywide Tax & Trust Corporation Ltd whose Directors are full STEP members and adhere to the STEP Will Writing Code.
Wills & Trusts
We can rewrite or amend your Will to reflect your current circumstances and advise on the use of Will Trusts to protect assets and reduce inheritance tax.