“I’ll do them when I am older.” If I had a pound for every time that I had heard that phrase when asking about Wills, then I would be significantly more wealthy. Unfortunately, as we all know, there are only 2 certainties in life – and suddenly taxes seem the more appealing.
As the pandemic has served to highlight, it is not just the older generation who can pass before their time, and determining the age at which you will shuffle off this mortal coil is a very inexact science. The question therefore is, could you really afford to allow your affairs to be dealt with without any control?
The death of the Swedish DJ, Avicii, aged only 28, can teach everyone a valuable lesson about the importance of estate planning. The law in Sweden dictates that his parents inherited the entirety of his estate. Is this what he would have wanted? Without a Will, we will never know.
It can be an unsettling topic talking about mortality. However, if you could think differently about these discussions as peace of mind, knowing that your family and assets would be in the right hands after your death, I’m sure you would agree it is worth any short-term discomfort.
Intestacy, dying without a Will, means that your estate would be dealt with using the Rules of Intestacy and means that someone not of your choosing is in charge of collating, administrating, and distributing your estate. Worse still, as there is no Will to guide where things should pass, the estate is instead shared out according to the intestacy rules.
Whilst initially your money will pass to any married or civil partner, as you may expect, should there be any surviving issue then your partner will not get everything. Instead, they will receive the first £270,000 of the estate and your personal property, but then only half of the remaining. The other half of your estate, above £270,000, will instead pass down to any surviving children or grandchildren immediately, which may not be something you want to happen. It can also result in an unexpected and avoidable bill for inheritance tax and mean partners, brothers, sisters, carers, or even stepchildren are not entitled to anything.
As you can see, a Will solves a plethora of issues. It allows you to choose who administers the estate once you have gone, what they should do with the estate, who gets what, and who saves on tax. So, if you do not have a Will already, then this is something that you should consider straight away.
At Foresight, we are experts at helping people organise their finances, and Wills are an integral part of any financial plan. If you would like to discuss your own options, then please get in touch and one of our Wealth Strategists would be pleased to help you.