Passing on your wealth after you die: what if things aren’t straightforward?
As we grow old, the question of inheritance comes to the forefront of our minds. For many people, writing a Will can be a daunting task, especially if one isn’t quite sure who they would like to pass their wealth onto. However, this need not be a hurdle as there are several ways to ensure that one’s wishes are carried out after their death.
Here are some of the most complex aspects of writing a Will, and how they can be addressed:
What if I can’t decide who gets what?
If you’re unsure about who will inherit your wealth, this shouldn’t stop you from making a Will. One solution is to build a discretionary trust into the document. The trustees appointed by you can distribute your assets as they see fit, guided by a letter of wishes left by you. Although this letter is not legally binding, it can serve to inform the trustees of your intentions regarding the distribution of your wealth.
What if the people I want to inherit my estate are children or too young to manage the money responsibly?
If your intended beneficiaries are minors, it’s common to set up a trust for them, where trustees can manage the funds on their behalf. They can guide the trustees as to how to distribute the funds, and decide at what age the beneficiaries will receive the full estate.
What if my beneficiaries are vulnerable in some way?
If a beneficiary is disabled or has a long-term condition, you can set up a discretionary trust or a vulnerable person’s trust for them. This can be very tax efficient, and you can make sure the money is invested in the right way so that the beneficiary is looked after for the rest of their life.
Can you leave someone out of a Will?
The freedom to do as one wishes in their Will comes with the possibility of someone who might expect to inherit from the estate making a claim against it. However, this may not succeed unless that person had a long-standing financial dependency on the testator. It is important to take advice before excluding someone from the Will.
What if the people I want to inherit from me die before I do?
It is not uncommon for parents to survive their children, so it is important to provide for another beneficiary if your intended person dies before you. For example, you could designate their own children as secondary beneficiaries.
– It is crucial to get professional advice when drawing up a Will, especially if the issues pertaining to beneficiaries are complex.
– A simple Will may not address complex issues, so it is important to have a Will that is tailored to your specific circumstances.
– Many people do not realize that certain life events, such as marriage or divorce, can have significant implications for their Will.
Writing a Will can be a complex task, but it need not deter anyone from making one. By seeking professional advice and tailoring it to our specific needs, we can ensure that our wealth is passed on to our intended beneficiaries in the way we want it.
In conclusion, writing a Will is an important step in estate planning. It is normal to be unsure about certain aspects of it, but there are always ways to address these issues. By seeking professional advice and taking the time to think about the best plan of action, we can ensure that our wishes are carried out after our death.