Patrick kindly brought our attention several issues that we were totally unaware of and assisted us throughout the entire process in a friendly & professional manner. Gary Cox

0117 907 1002

Willing to give peace of mind

Wills For Single People

Wills and Single People article intro picture

Only around 6% of people under 25 have a Will. Generally, young, single people, who have little in the way of assets or responsibilities need not be concerned. However, as soon as you begin to acquire assets (savings, a business or a home of your own) or responsibilities (a partner, children or anyone dependent upon you) it is only sensible to plan what you want to happen when you die by setting out your wishes in a Will.

Points to consider:

  • With no Will, no spouse and no children, your parents (if living) will inherit from you. Would this increase Inheritance Tax due on their deaths? Better to avoid any extra tax payment and leave your assets to brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces or others you choose in a Will.
  • Do you have a life partner? They have no automatic right to your assets on your death unless you set out your wishes in a Will.
  • Do you have children? If so you should make provision for their financial and physical care in a Will.
  • Do you own a business? If so you should have a succession plan set out in a Will.

Case Study of Wills for Single Person

John is a single man in his early twenties. He has a steady job with a company pension that provides him with a ‘death in service’ benefit and owns a car, but very little otherwise.

John’s parents have been able to help him buy a flat of his own. There is a substantial mortgage and his equity in the property is fairly low. However, he has taken out life cover sufficient to repay the mortgage should he die. Any savings he has will be spent on improving his flat. He has a lot of work in front of him to make the place how he wants, but it is his.

By taking all these factors into account, the current value of his estate breaks down like this:

Asset Value
Flat £125,000
Less outstanding mortgage -£100,000
Net £25,000
Life cover £100,000
Death in service benefit £66,000
Personal possessions £2,000
Total estate £193,000

I advised John to arrange for his life policy to be held in trust for his chosen beneficiaries in the event of his death. The benefit of this is that proceeds from the policy will be released to his beneficiaries immediately on production of a death certificate rather than having to wait until after probate has been obtained. Also, the money will not be counted as a part of his estate when calculating any Inheritance Tax that may be due.

The value of John’s estate is currently below the threshold for paying Inheritance Tax, but this is likely to change over time as the value of his assets rises, so additional estate planning may be appropriate at a later date.

It’s also important for John to consider the value of his parents’ assets and whether leaving his estate to them would result in a worsening of their own Inheritance Tax position by increasing the overall value of their assets. Despite this, John confirmed that this is what both he and his parents wanted.

I asked John to consider what he would like to happen if his parents both died before him. His decision was that he would want his brother to inherit in his parents’ place.

Finally I advised John that under English law, marriage automatically revokes any Will made previously, so if he were to marry he would need to revise his current provision and make a new Will.

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Westbury Wills

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