Wills & Trusts
Just a guess… if you’ve thought about making a Will before but haven’t done it, you’ve probably said one of the following:
‘It’s too expensive’
‘Everything I own will automatically go to my spouse or children’
‘None of my possessions are significant enough for a Will’
... These are common misconceptions - don’t be a fool.
Around 60% of people in the UK have not made a Will, risking their possessions, money, property and dependent children being left to someone they have not chosen. It is extremely important to make sure you and your family have a Will, should the worst happen.
Your Will sets out what you would want to happen to your possessions, money and property when you pass away. Collectively, these are known as your ‘estate’. If you pass away without a Will, the law decides what happens to your estate, and this may not be what you would have wanted.
Making a Will is the only certain way to ensure that your partner, children, or relatives inherit what you intend e.g. possessions, money and property.
Undoubtedly, you’d like to make this difficult time for your family much easier and less stressful for them, and the way to do this is by writing your Will.
Additionally, making a Will can reduce the amount of Inheritance Tax (IHT) your family will have to pay on your estate.
Our dedicated solicitors, can advise you on the best course of action when writing your Will, and help by ensuring your Will is completely valid.
People often say that they haven’t done their Will yet because they think it should be left until they’re older.
However, Claire Chapman of Wosskow Brown's Property Department said: “as soon as you buy a house, you should write your Will.”
If you’re a business owner, you will want to consider the business side of things too and write a Business Owners Will. You will need to consider who you want your business shares or interests passing on to, and who you’d like to be the successor to your role in the business (succession planning).
The same applies for small business owners too, as the income from this business may be the main source of income for your family. Therefore, setting out what shall happen with the business and its income in your Will is extremely important as your family could be dependent on this.
A trust is a legal entity that allows a person to benefit from an asset after the owner has died, without actually owning it.
There’s a trust called a Lifetime Property Protection Trust (LPPT) which is a form of lifetime trust. Its purpose is to protect the family home from claims against it by third parties.
The family home can be transferred to a trust by the owner (the settlor). The settlor retains a life interest in it. Upon the death of the settlor, the family home is held on discretionary trusts for the beneficiaries, which are usually the children of the settlor.
There are several benefits of setting up a Lifetime Property Protection Trust:
- Saves probate costs – the trustees can sell your home upon your death without any need for probate.
- The trust will protect the entire value of your house for the next generation.
- Anything put in a lifetime trust can have discretionary rules which set out when assets are to be passed on to children, for example, as they may not be in a good position to inherit such property or other assets.
There is also such thing as a Business Trust, which is of great importance if you’re a business owner, and takes advantage of Inheritance Tax reliefs.
We can advise on:
- Single and mirror Wills
- Property protection Wills
- Business Owners Wills
- Lifetime trusts
- Long-term care issues
- Resolving estate matters after death
- Free and secure storage
- Powers of attorney
- Court of Protection applications
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