Ensure your Inheritance Planning Protects your Children
The bottom line is that you need a will to ensure your estate is passed on to the people or organisations you care about. With our longer lifespan, higher divorce rates, second marriages, increased stepchildren, jumps in property prices, and half siblings, the more complicated and incendiary inheritance has become. The bigger the extended family the more chance of a dispute.
A will solves this problem as inheritance passes to the people you want to have it.
What happens if I do not make a will?
If you live with a partner but are not married or in a civil partnership, your partner is not by law entitled to anything should you die. This has resulted in grief stricken partners having to sell the family home, and the proceeds distributed in accordance with the law.
If you are married and do not leave a will, your estate passes to your spouse. Should you not be married, your estate passes to your children, then grandchildren, parents, brothers or sisters, half-brothers or sisters, grandparents, aunts, uncles, half uncles and aunts, and if nobody surfaces at all, your estate goes to the Treasury.
At the very least, you could leave your estate to a charity of your choosing rather than seeing your hard earned estate pass to the state.
A typical example of what can happen with extended families and wills
Recently, this problem was highlighted by an article which appeared in the Mail Online. The story focused on Stuart Herd whose father remarried after his wife and Stuart’s mother passed away in 1986.
William, Stuart’s father, married Dorothy two years later. The couple drew up mirror wills meaning that when one died the estate would pass to the other. The wills also stated that when they both die the estate would be split between the two children, Stuart, and Dorothy’s son.
Upon her death in 2012 however, Stuart discovered that she had changed her will to leave everything to her son, leaving him with nothing.
It is incidents like this that have led to a considerable increase in inheritance cases being heard at the High Court. In 2012, 490 cases were heard. Last year, this jumped to 861.
Make a will and keep your family together
It is important that you make provision for your wealth after your death. Your will should be planned with the help of a professional who can go through your investments with you, and work out which family member will get what. This can stop a lot of arguments and disputes which tend to be nasty in nature due to the sums of money involved.
It is not just a question of making a will and forgetting about it. You should revisit it at least every five years, or if a major event happens in your life. Marriage, divorce, new children or grandchildren can all make a difference as to how your estate is divided.
As an experienced financial planner, I can help you make a will which factors in all of your wealth. This way you will have the peace of mind that should you pass away, the right people will have what they should. Click here and complete the Call Back Service form in the first instance. I will contact you to schedule an appointment.
The lack of a will can see your children and grandchildren receive nothing from your estate. A will secures their inheritance.
Source: Mail Online