Wills, Estate Planning & Tax

Assistance with planning for the future

Making a Will is one of the most important things you will do in your life and an essential part of planning for the future. Without a Will, the state will decide how your assets are distributed on your death.

Don’t lose your chance to maximise available tax reliefs and ensure that you benefit the right people when you die. You may believe that upon your death, without a Will, everything will go to your spouse. However, this may not be the case. In larger estates (over £400,000), some of the assets may go straight to your children, and some may be held in trust for your spouse. You may ultimately wish to benefit your children, but you may prefer to do this in a more structured way through your Will. If you cohabit with someone and you do not leave a Will, a cohabitee will only receive your share of any joint assets and nothing else.

One of the difficulties facing people when writing Wills and planning to leave their estate in as tax efficient manner as possible, is that the tax laws of this country never seem to stand still for long. They are constantly changing and evolving with each successive Budget. This is one of the reasons why at WBW Solicitors, we advise our clients to review the terms of their Wills with us at least every three years.

Nevertheless, for a variety of reasons, people do pass away leaving assets to family and friends in a manner which is not as tax efficient as it might be. All is not necessarily lost however, as the law provides a two-year period in which retrospective changes to a person’s Will can be made so as to improve its tax efficiency in light of the tax laws as they stand at the date of that person’s death.

It is to be emphasised that this is not a straightforward area. There are hurdles to clear and pitfalls to avoid before a person’s Will may be successfully varied in this way, including obtaining the consent of all interested parties. With the right advice and a sensitive approach however, we have frequently been able to save significant sums for the beneficiaries of such estates, while still respecting the deceased’s wishes in full.

Our team at WBW Solicitors is skilled at spotting such opportunities and working closely with executors and beneficiaries to achieve a result that benefits all.

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