There has recently been an announcement about new rules surrounding wills and inheritance tax (IHT).
The rules make the legal situation more clear and precise, so it’s a good idea to ensure you have a will, chose your executors wisely, and let your close family members know you have a will.
Currently 47% of UK adults die intestate, in other words without a will. According to the Society of Will Writers, many people believe that if they make a will, they will die soon, so there is a degree of suspicion and distrust to overcome.
Fortunately, many people do have wills (and haven’t expired as a result!).
The new Inheritance and Trustees’ Powers Act 2014 (ITPA 2014), came into force on 1 October 2014.
- Where there are no children, the entire estate will pass to the surviving partner. This excludes blood relatives such as parents, brothers, sisters or their children.
- Where someone dies leaving a spouse and direct descendants the first £250,000 will pass to the surviving spouse/partner plus 50 per cent of the remaining balance as a capital sum. Previously they had a life interest in 50 per cent of the remaining balance.
- Unmarried couples continue to receive nothing if their spouse dies intestate.
If you are tempted to try a ‘do it yourself’ Will, think again: they might be cheap but the consequences of getting it wrong could be extremely costly for your family. There are plenty of people who could help you with this and at Vincent & Co we can recommend some for you to speak to.
If you own a business you need to understand the implications too. You need to have a robust succession plan and ensure all relevant people are included.
We understand you will need to tell the will writer confidential, highly personal details so you need to like and trust your will-maker in the same way as you need to like and trust your accountant, so we understand you may need to speak to a few before selecting one.
It doesn’t have to cost a fortune, but it could save you one. Call us for advice – especially if you own a business too – and The Society of Will Writers has good ideas and tips so view http://www.thesocietyofwillwriters.co.uk/