Clients often say to us that they just need a “simple” Will as their circumstances are “straightforward”. With the availability of DIY Will kits, there is a common misconception that as there is the option to do it yourself, it must be simple. This is rarely the case, Wills can be complex documents and can be tricky to get right. When discussing Will instructions with our clients, we regularly hear the response “oh, let me come back to you on that point; I hadn’t thought about it”.
With the nuclear family now less common and family structures becoming increasingly diverse, making a Will is increasingly important. Relying on the intestacy rules, which apply if you die without a Will, may mean that certain family members are not provided for. This is particularly relevant for unmarried couples – the surviving partner does not inherit.
With the benefit of advice from our highly specialist lawyers, you can be certain that the people you want to benefit from your estate on your death do so and that all eventualities have been considered. Where inheritance tax is an issue, we can structure your Will in a tax-efficient way.
Depending on your circumstances and aims, we may advise you to include a trust within your Will.
This may be a:
- right of occupation – giving a beneficiary the right to continue to live in your home, either for a set period of time, until a specific event or until their death
- life interest trust – popular for those on a second or subsequent marriage. This allows the surviving spouse to continue to live in your home. It also gives them a right to receive income from your assets, whilst protecting the underlying capital assets for your children
- discretionary trust – a flexible option, naming a list of potential beneficiaries. You appoint trustees who decide how much, when and which, if any, of the beneficiaries should benefit and no beneficiary is absolutely entitled
Our clients include individuals, married couples and civil partners – in both the UK and abroad – and we regularly advise clients who have their own businesses as well as farmers and landowners.
If the above has struck a chord with you, please contact one of our team members below.