Wills & Inheritance Tax Planning
Family life may have moved on over the last 90 years, but the law that dictates what will happen to your estate if you should die without having first made a Will and this is still governed by an Act of Parliament that was passed in 1925!
It is true that there has been some updating since the original legislation was passed, but do you really wish to trust all that you have worked for during your lifetime to rules that were devised at a time when the Blackpool Illuminations were brand-new technology, Margaret Thatcher was born and the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, Winston Churchill reduced Income Tax by 6d (2½p).
Making a Will is not something that many of us relish, no doubt because it brings to mind our own mortality. However it is often a much more straightforward and less expensive task than many people imagine. At Rita Sen Solicitors our experienced staff do all that they can to make the process as understandable and easy as possible. We avoid legal jargon, spell out your options, but leave you to make the important decisions. After all it is your Will.
Among the things that you need to consider is who you would want to act as your Executors – the people who will be responsible for the administrative side of dealing with your estate and ensuring that the wishes that you have set out in your Will are carried out. If you have children you may need to consider who will look after them in the event of your death and, equally importantly, who will take care of any financial affairs for the children until they are able to look after such things themselves. You may have important family heirlooms, or items that may not have significant financial worth, but are priceless in sentimental terms and you may want to be sure that these pass to the family members that you have chosen.
As well as dealing with who is to receive your estate a Will can also be an important tool in making sure that as much of your property stays out of the hands of HM Revenue and Customs. Inheritance Tax is currently charged at 40% of so much of your estate that exceeds the “nil rate” band and can take a significant bite out of your assets. We can advise the best way in which this tax burden can be legally minimised.
Once completed, with your agreement, we will arrange for the Will to be registered on the Certainty National Will Register to help avoid any problems your family might experience in locating the original document. We are also happy to provide safe storage facilities (including in cases where we did not prepare the Will). Both of these services are provided without additional charge.
We recommend that you review the contents of your Will regularly, but otherwise you have peace of mind, knowing that if the worst happens you have not left a mess for you loved ones to sort out!