Haven't made a will? The government will decide for you

Very often, Financial Planning will not only assist with planning your own financial security during your lifetime, but also safely passing your wealth to your intended beneficiaries when you die. It is therefore a crucial piece of the Financial Planning jigsaw to ensure you have a current valid will in place so that your wishes are carried out, and your intended beneficiaries are not disappointed.


What happens if I don’t have a will?

It is often assumed that for a married couple, upon first death the survivor will inherit all of their deceased partner’s assets, however this may not necessarily be the case.


The situation can become more complex for individuals who have Children from a previous relationship, and wish to protect their Partner in the event of death whilst ensuring their assets ultimately pass to their own Children.


If you do not currently have a will, you can find out what will happen to your estate when you die, at the link below.


Where will my money go if I die without a will?


Have you reviewed your will recently?

Whilst a will can remain valid and relevant for many years, it is important to consider the contents of your will from time to time to ensure it still reflects your current wishes. Circumstances change over time, as does legislation; if you haven’t reviewed your will recently it may be prudent to do so. Below are some common reasons that may result in a will needing to be reviewed and possibly updated:


If you have Married since you made your will, it is likely to be invalid unless it specifically made reference to your intention to marry

  • Purchase of property overseas; have you made a new will in the country where you bought your holiday home, and if so does it acknowledge your UK will?

  • Birth of Children; if your will does not currently appoint Guardians for your Children, you may wish to include a clause to do so

  • Birth of Grandchildren; would you like to make provision for your Grandchildren within your will? If your own Children are financially secure, “skipping a generation” can be a legitimate and tax efficient Inheritance Tax Planning strategy

  • If you have divorced, it is a good idea to revisit your will; your former spouse will effectively be struck from your will as though they had died before you

  • Does your will include trust arrangements? Trust legislation has changed in recent years, and further changes are to be introduced in April 2017 which may not be fully compatible with certain types of will trusts

There are many more circumstances which may cause a will to become invalid or require updating. If you are unsure, contact a solicitor to review your existing will to ensure it is still suitable and reflects your current wishes.


Comment


Keeping your will up to date is important to ensure your estate is passed in the most tax efficient manner, and in accordance with your current wishes, when you die. We would be pleased to refer you to a solicitor to assist you with reviewing your will upon request.


Important Note

This article is intended for information purposes only and should not be considered to be a recommendation. This article is based on our understanding of current and draft pension and tax rules as at the date of this article. Please note that tax and pension rules are subject to change; if you are at all uncertain about the suitability of any option for your circumstances we strongly suggest you seek regulated personal financial advice. You should not take action solely on the basis of this article without seeking advice specific to your circumstances. Please get in touch to find out more.


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