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Will Writer’s Words of Wisdom – 20 reasons for making a Will

 
 
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WILL WRITER’S WORDS OF WISDOM

 

  1. If a married couple dies together without Wills, and with no bloodline, the eldest is deemed to have died first, so only the family members of the surviving spouse will inherit.
  2. A beneficiary or their spouse should not be a witness to a Will, or they will disinherit themselves.
  3. The estates of current or retired members of the Armed Forces are entitled to exemption from Inheritance Tax if they die on active service, or if their later death was caused by an injury or disease that was received or aggravated while they were on active service. This has been extended in the 2014 Budget to members of the Police, Fire and Ambulance services.
  4. Unless a Will has a ‘contemplation of marriage’ clause, it will become invalid upon marriage or re-marriage, leaving assets subject to the Intestacy Rules, ie the Government’s ‘Will’.
  5. Without a Will, spouses and civil partners are NOT automatically entitled to all of your estate on death.
  6. A properly worded Will could ensure that half the value of your home is potentially protected against Local Authority care home fees.
  7. Without a Will, the Government could inherit your estate if you die with no surviving traceable relatives.
  8. If a couple dies simultaneously, the elder is deemed to have died first - s184 Law of Property Act 1925, leaving only the younger spouse’s family to inherit.
  9. Without a Will, grandparents have NO automatic Legal Guardianship of their orphaned grandchildren.
  10. A beneficiary or their spouse should not be a witness to a Will, or they will disinherit themselves.
  11. Although divorce does not invalidate your Will, marriage/re-marriage will indeed invalidate your Will, unless a marriage clause has been embedded.
  12. Always appoint charities as your final beneficiaries, to avoid your estate being claimed by the Government.
  13. By the use of a Property Protection Trust, you can ensure that if you pre-decease and your spouse re-marries and has more children, your own children benefit from your share of your home, and not the new spouse.
  14. If children have special care needs, an appropriate Discretionary Trust could avoid loss of State benefits on inheriting your estate.
  15. Civil partners and spouses have a nil rate Inheritance Tax allowance band currently worth up to £325,000 each before 40% tax is levied. This will be worth an additional £100,000 in 2017-18, £125,000 in 2018-19, £150,000 in 2019-20, and £175,000 in 2020-21. However, the assets must include a ‘family home’, which must be the main property and not buy-to-let and second properties.
  16. A Grant of Probate confirms to Executors that they have the authority to act and carry out the wishes of the deceased.
  17. Even if an estate is less than £5,000, Probate may still be required re lifetime gifts in the preceding 7 years, so take legal advice.
  18. Provide in your Will for continuity of your business on your death.
  19. If you own property abroad, you should arrange a Will in that country, to avoid costly fees and much Probate delay.
  20. If a Named Beneficiary, Executor, Trustee or Legal Guardian changes their name, eg on marriage or by Deed Poll, it is not necessary to amend the Will: documentary evidence, eg Decree Absolute, Deed Poll, Marriage Certificate, is sufficient for Probate purposes to prove identity

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   Will writer\'s words of wisdom for your Will

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