Our client, Mr. W from Newbury, tells us about two of his recent, separate experiences…
Many of us over-indulged during the recent holiday season, and now we have that dreaded task ahead of us of losing a few pounds. There is, however, a place where it’s not ok to lose any pounds. Any ideas? It’s your Will. If you don’t have one, or you do, but it’s outdated, and if you pass away, your beneficiaries may end up losing a lot of money. Life happens, and things change.
Your Will needs to match your current circumstances
If any of these have changed since your Will was produced, you need to revisit it now:
- New life partner
- Recently divorced
- New baby
- New home
Changes like these need to be updated in your Will, otherwise your dependents could suffer financially, causing stress at an already stressful time. Understanding tax implications and the distribution of newly acquired assets all lead to the need to re-write your Will. Don’t lose pounds with an out of date Will!
It’s a sad statistic, but these days around 45% of UK marriages end in divorce. If you’re part of this number, it’s time you redid your Will. This is even more essential if you’ve re-married and now have children in your new marriage. The situation becomes even more complicated with a blended family, and you will need professional help from experienced will writers to make sure your assets go to the right people, in the right amounts.
Or are you co-habiting? The number of couples co-habiting has doubled in the last ten years to over three million. If you are co-habiting, your partner will not automatically inherit your estate when you die, if you don’t leave a Will. Therefore it’s vital that you take advice on how best to set out your wishes.
The government likes to collect taxes, and this doesn’t stop when you die. Inheritance tax or IHT is payable from your estate on any assets over a certain amount. The standard rate is 40%. The good news is that with simple planning, you can reduce this.
During your life, if you give an annual gift to your chosen beneficiary, you can save your estate some inheritance tax. Wedding gifts up to a certain value also avoid IHT. Inheritance planning will save you from losing unnecessary pounds.
If you die and don’t have a Will, your spouse gets your estate, right? Not necessarily. Children and other family members may have a claim. To make sure this doesn’t get nasty during the probate process, it’s vital to choose your beneficiaries wisely, and name them in the document.
Estate planning is crucial. You must be sure to include everything to be distributed in your Will. These include bank accounts, stocks, foreign assets and pensions. One more thing many people overlook is their digital legacy. Access to social media profiles, websites, blogs, and even pictures needs to go to the right people.
Out of date Will – where to find out more
If you think you have an out of date Will, we are currently offering a free Will assessment – if you’ve already got a Will but you’re not sure if it still does what you want it to, we’ll evaluate it and offer comments and suggestions, entirely free of charge. If you’re interested in taking advantage of this offer, please visit our Free Will Assessment page.
Wills can be complicated. If you want to avoid losing valuable pounds, and are unsure about anything, please call us on 01635 959111 to talk to our Will writing experts, they’ll make sure everything is current and covered.
The government also has some online advice about updating your Will.
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.