Lickey Wills specialist Sue Jenden offers advice on making the right Will to protect your loved ones.
I’ve lost count of the number of times people have said to me: “My financial affairs are really straightforward; all I want is a simple Will.” I find myself explaining that in this day and age, there really is no such thing as a simple Will and, if you have one, you may well find that you don’t achieve the end goals you were hoping for.
Many couples think that by having a standard mirror Will (one that leaves everything to their partner and, on the death of the second party, to the children) they have sorted everything out. Unfortunately, this assumes you’re not concerned about any of the following:
* Your children losing out on their inheritance should your partner remarry and die without having made a new Will
* Loss of assets from paying care fees
* Adding to the financial burden of your wealthy children by giving them more of an inheritance tax worry
* Your hard-won wealth being lost when one of your children goes through divorce
* The inheritance never reaching your intended beneficiary; for example, if they have been declared bankrupt, the inheritance would pass straight to their creditors
* Making provisions for such things as education for your younger children.
I am sure you would be concerned about these things, which is why a good Will should only be prepared once the Will writer has explored all your circumstances and fully understood what you want to achieve by making a Will. The increase in the number of second marriages, stepchildren and increasingly fragmented family dynamics means that making a Will can be more complicated than ever before.
The additional inheritance tax relief on the main residence which was introduced in April 2017 reaches its maximum of £175,000 per person this April. The relief is transferrable between spouses. It is important that you make the most of this relief by reviewing your Will.
Many families could potentially lose out on this valuable relief unless they make significant changes to their Wills. It makes sense to review your Will now. The right Will, with appropriate trusts, gives you choice and security in today’s complex social and financial society.
If you’re concerned that your Will may not fully protect your interests, or feel it might need to be updated due to a change in your, or your family’s circumstances, give us a call on 0121 445 5874.
Sue Jenden is a solicitor and an affiliate member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners. The firm is a member of, and is regulated by, the Institute of Professional Will writers.
Based at Lickey, they cover the whole of Worcestershire and Birmingham. They deal with a broad range of work, including Wills, inheritance tax planning, trusts and administration of estates.
In addition, they advise clients about powers of attorney and Court of Protection issues. Sue and her colleague, Jane Villarreal, work closely with other professional advisers to ensure that all aspects of estate planning are covered and that clients’ objectives are achieved.
Sue says: “We visit clients in their own homes, which our elderly clients prefer, as making a Will can be a daunting prospect. It seems a morbid subject and this tends to put people off.
“But the fact is that you have worked hard to build up your assets and it is sensible to have a say where they are to go. We offer fixed fees for our services.”
Tel: 0121 445 5874
This firm complies with the IPW Code of Conduct