Patrick's in-depth knowledge of the subject, combined with his quiet, calm professional manner put our minds at rest - before our bodies! Dave Saunders

0117 907 1002

Willing to give peace of mind

Wills & Couples

Wills and Couples article intro picture

Many believe that if you do nothing, when you die everything will be sorted as you wanted. This is wrong!

There is a whole host of issues that arise if you die leaving no Will:

  • Life partners (unless you are married or civil partners) have no right to inherit from you and may receive nothing.
  • A spouse or civil partner may not inherit everything. Intestacy rules determine what happens based upon the value of assets and whether there are children or other close relatives. This can cause great difficulty for a surviving spouse or civil partner. Click here for information on intestacy rules.
  • Care of young children may be left to social services until a suitable relative is found and approved.
  • Children from an earlier relationship may inherit nothing.
  • The full benefit of allowances against Inheritance Tax may not be obtained, meaning there may be less for your beneficiaries.
  • The opportunity to protect assets for your beneficiaries from outside claims such as care fees will be lost.

It is only by giving serious thought to such matters and ensuring you have a valid Will that contains provision fitting your circumstances and wishes that you will gain peace of mind in knowing that on your death your loved ones will be provided for as you want.

Joint Wills for Couples – A Case Study

Fred and Freda are a married couple in their mid-thirties. They are both in excellent health and they have two young children. Fred has a good job with a company pension that includes death in service benefit. They want Wills to ensure that their children will be provided for. Their assets comprise:

Asset Value
Home (jointly owned) £350,000
Outstanding mortgage -£262,000
Net £88,000
Life cover £325,000
Death in service benefit £175,000
Personal possessions £20,000
Total estate £608,000

There is exemption from Inheritance Tax on all assets passing between spouses on death, so provided Fred and Freda leave all assets to the surviving spouse, no tax will be due at that time. When the second death occurs, the executors may claim from the Revenue a 100% increase in the threshold allowance applicable at the date of that death. To obtain this increased threshold allowance, executors must hold proof that no part of the allowance available on first death was used. If the Revenue is satisfied with such proof, no Inheritance Tax will be payable on the estate. This will need to be reviewed periodically, as the value of the estate will probably increase over time and additional estate planning may be appropriate at a later date.

Fred and Freda have decided to appoint Fred’s sister and her husband as executors and trustees and also as guardians for their children. They have discussed this with them and they’ve agreed to act in these roles when the time comes. If Fred and Freda both die, they will then be responsible for the welfare of the children and also to hold the assets in trust for the children’s benefit. They will have the power to invest assets as they see fit, bearing in mind that they have a duty to do the best they can for the children. They may also use any money or other asset in the trust for the benefit of the children if the need arises.

Fred and Freda decided that their children will not inherit until they are 21, when they will be more mature and better able to deal with the money.

The family travels together fairly often, so even though the thought is an unpleasant one, they need to consider what would happen if all of them were to die in an accident. They had not thought of this themselves, but after some thought they decided that they would want their estate divided between their surviving nieces and nephews.

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Society of Will Writers

Westbury Wills

57 Sylvan Way, Sea Mills, Bristol BS9 2LB United Kingdom
Phone: 0117 907 1002