Wills & Probate
Writing a Will is one of the most important things you can do. It ensures your wishes regarding money, possessions and your property are carried out after you die, making sure your family is provided for in the future will give you real peace of mind. We can ensure you get the right advice so that your wealth is passed onto your loved ones smoothly and with the least amount of stress to your loved ones.
It is equally important that your executors and trustees get expert advice about administrating your estate so that:
Delays are minimised
All available reliefs and exemptions are claimed
Due consideration is given to all applicable taxes, e.g., income and capital gains tax mitigated
If you don’t have a Will, the UK Intestacy Rules will govern how your estate is passed on. These rules can be quite harsh and can result in your assets passing to family members you may not be closely connected to or even know existed. Certain relatives may end up inheriting your assets even if you have had no relationships with them during your lifetime.
• If you are married or in a civil partnership and your estate is not worth more than the £250,000, then everything will pass to your spouse/civil partner, and this money is theirs to use as they wish.
• If the estate exceeds £250,000, your spouse/civil partner will receive the first £250,000 of the estate, all your chattels (personal possessions and will be fully entitled (i.e., outright) to half of the remainder above that amount. Your children will receive half of anything above £250,000, and that will be kept in trust until they can access it at 18 years old. This applies even if you have informally separated from a spouse or civil partner and not yet legally divorced or ended the partnership
• If you have a spouse or civil partner, but no children and your estate is worth more than £450,000, your spouse will receive the first £450,000, but anything over and above this will pass back to your parents or if they have predeceased you, on to your siblings
• If you are unmarried and do not have children, your estate will pass to your parents, brothers and sisters or nieces and nephews in that order depending on who survives you.
The following people have no right to inherit where someone dies without leaving a Will:
• Unmarried partners
• Lesbian or gay partners not in a civil partnership
• Relations by marriage
• Close friends
If you already have a Will, it is advisable to regularly review your Will because while life moves on, your Will remains the same and breakdown in relationships may mean that your wishes have changed since your Will was written.
This is often a question raised by foreign property investors when purchasing a property in the UK if they need a UK Will if they already have one in their country of residency
• It is internationally accepted that immovable property passes in accordance with where the asset is situated. While the UK may recognise a valid non-UK Will, it is quicker and easier to administer such UK assets under the terms of a UK Will
• It is often common for individuals to create trusts in their Wills. In many countries, Wills may not be possible because the countries themselves do not recognise trusts.
• These days families who have settled in the UK may feel it is easier to administer the estate under UK law rather than the testator’s place of residence.
• It may be easier to obtain a ‘Grant of Probate’ when presenting the UK Will rather than a non-UK Will to transfer assets on death.
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