We all know that we should have a valid Will and of course we all…
At a basic level it could be argued that they are the same. It could equally be argued that they are totally different, so if they can be the same and different there must surely be a reason for this? In this article we explain the difference between Bloodline planning and writing a Will.
Bloodline planning is about your family and the way they take part in the plan, know what it contains and why. As ever with these sweeping statements an example can sometimes get the message over more quickly than anything else.
It will come as no surprise that we often have to explain what Bloodline planning is to people but when they get it they really are on board with the difference between Bloodline planning and writing a Will and the benefits of what we are trying to do. I was explaining what we do to a lady (let’s call her Mrs A) when suddenly she interrupted me, as the penny dropped about what I was saying. “If only I had met you last year I might still be talking to my mother!”
Well, that stops you in your tracks. It turns out that Mrs A’s aunt had decided to make her executor to her Will, without telling her. After the aunt’s passing they retrieved the Will and Mrs A’s mother had assumed that she herself would have been made the executor and was less than impressed that she had been sidestepped for her daughter. It is a very emotional time and the last thing anyone needs is a shock discovery. I can imagine that things were said that are not easily “unsaid” and a rift in their relationship was formed, which it would appear is not getting fixed easily or soon.
Keep the family informed
What has this to do with Bloodline planning? Well, quite a lot as it happens. The logic of what the Aunt had done is great. She had realised that her sister, who was of similar age, was just as likely to die as she was therefore, she thought it would be much more sensible to pick a younger person who based on the law of probability was much more likely to be alive when she needed an executor (not guaranteed but much more likely than her sister). The mistake and where Bloodline planning would have helped was that she did not tell either of the people involved. Had she done this I am sure her sister would have understood the logic of the decision and after a little bit of pride massaging, would have supported her daughter (Mrs A) in the role.
Share the planning process
When you start to put a Bloodline plan together, we encourage you to involve as many generations of the family that are available, not so they can help you make decisions (as I am sure we all know committee decisions are not the fastest) but to make sure that everyone is aware of what you are trying to achieve. If they know what your plan is trying to achieve, not only can they help achieve it, they can point out if it is likely to fail because of information they know that you don’t. Sharing the planning process by sharing information also gives people the chance to understand their role in your plan and you are much more likely to get Executors and Attorneys for your estate that know what they are doing for you and why they are doing it.
A Bloodline plan has one other significant difference from a Will in so much as the Bloodline plan may involve multiple generations of the same family with coordinated ideas, thus ensuring that the greatest number of benefits are accrued and delivered to future generations of your Bloodline.
Of course, a Will is a part of the Bloodline plan and it will be written to reflect what the plan is trying to achieve, but the major difference between the Bloodline plan and writing a Will is that everyone will be aware of what the plan is trying to achieve and the chances of surprises when emotions are high are reduced dramatically. One would also hope the chances of your family having a bad situation made worse will have been removed.
Difference between Bloodline planning and writing a Will.
If you would like to avoid some of these problems and have some guidance on Bloodline planning, please get in touch with us via email or phone. Or you can request a free Bloodline planning assessment.
About Kept Assets
We are a specialist advisory firm that can provide you with Bloodline Planning, comprehensive Will Writing and Estate Planning services. We are based in Newbury, Berkshire and cover the Newbury, Basingstoke, Reading and Oxford areas. During the Covid lockdown we are holding online video consultations with clients so please get in touch if you’d like to talk to us about how we can help.