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Will Writer’s Words of Wisdom

 
 
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 Will Writer's Words of Wisdom 

  (Red for Danger / Green for Safety) 

If a married couple dies together, and where there is no Will, the eldest is deemed to have died first, so only the family members of the surviving spouse will inherit. 

A beneficiary or their spouse should not be a witness to a Will, or they will disinherit themselves. 

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, subject to the Inheritance and Trustees Powers Act 2014 gaining Royal Assent. 

Unless it has a contemplation of marriage clause, marriage or re-marriage invalidates a Will, requiring a new arrangement. 

Without a Will, spouses and civil partners are NOT automatically entitled to all of the estate assets on death: NB 01 Oct 2015 legislation below. 

A properly worded Will could ensure that half the value of your home is potentially protected against Local Authority care home fees. 

Without a Will, the Government could inherit your estate if you die with no surviving traceable relatives. 

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. 

Without a Will, even grandparents have NO automatic Legal Guardianship of their orphaned grandchildren. 

There is no Inheritance Tax liability if the deceased spouse has left their entire estate to their surviving spouse or civil marriage partner, BUT, without a Will, the Rules of Intestacy, ie ‘The Government Will’, could land the children with an IHT liability. 

A beneficiary or their spouse should not be a witness to a Will, or they will disinherit themselves. 

Although divorce does not invalidate your Will, marriage/re-marriage will indeed invalidate your Will, unless a marriage clause has been embedded. 

Always appoint charities as your final beneficiaries, to avoid your estate being claimed by the Government.

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. BUT..... if Probate is not completed, the Trust Deed will not be set up and notified at the Land Registry !

If children have special care needs, an appropriate Discretionary Trust could avoid loss of State benefits on inheriting your estate. 

A Grant of Probate confirms to Executors that they have the authority to act and carry out the wishes of the deceased. 

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. 

Provide in your Will for continuity of your business on your death. 

If you own property abroad, you should arrange a Will in that country, to avoid costly fees and much Probate delay. 

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, is sufficient. 

If you have no surviving parents, siblings, grandparents, uncles or aunts, then under the Intestacy Rules, the whole estate goes to the Crown or the Duchy of Lancaster or the Duke of Cornwall.   

 

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   Will writer\'s words of wisdom for your Will

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