1. Stepchildren do not inherit unless they are named in the will.
2. Adult children do not automatically take control of a parent’s affairs, if the parent loses mental capacity.
3. A spouse does not automatically take control of their husband/wife’s affairs if they have lost mental capacity.
4. Unmarried couples without a will do not automatically inherit; the estate will usually pass to the deceased’s parents. There will be a 40% CGT to the parents if they then pass it on to their child’s “partner!”
5. Signing a property over to a relative is a very ineffective way of protecting against care home fees, and could see the relative being liable for CAPITAL GAINS TAX (which is currently at 40%) and losing state benefits.
6. Without a Children’s Trust in your will, your children could end up with unsupervised access to all their inheritance at the age of 18, and they could also lose out on state benefits.
7. Without a funeral plan in place, will your family have access to sufficient funds to pay for the funeral or will they have to wait to sell some assets? Your funds could be tied up, awaiting probate.
8. If you own a limited company you are only protect against actions taken against the company, not against actions taken against you personally. To protect your personal assets against bankruptcy, creditors, or divorce, a Trust is required.
9. If you have remarried, your new spouse would automatically inherit everything. If you want your children’s inheritance protected, you need a Trust.
10. People who think we don’t need a Trust because “we would always do the right thing” could end up giving 40% of their estate away in taxes. A new wife who decides to give 50% of the estate to her husband’s children would find that the children could be liable to 40% capital gains tax.
11.There is no such legal status as a common-law husband or wife. While there are cohabiting rights, unless you have kept records of all joint expenditures with dates, it is extremely difficult to enforce. The term “partner” only legally applies to people who have had a civil ceremony.
12.Wills only come into force AFTER YOU HAVE DIED. They can be changed at any time simply by writing another will. For example, if you have 2 children and your wife has 3 children, you both write Wills stating that on the second death the estate will be divided equally between the 5 children. After your death there is nothing to stop your wife from writing a new Will giving the entire estate to her 3 children and excluding your 2 children. A trust is the way to prevent this from happening.
13.If you have business assets these are all added to your personal estate, usually meaning that all business assets are liable to 40% inheritance tax. This can be prevented with a Business Property Relief Trust.
14.Do you know the ownership status of your property? Is it Joint Tenancy, or Tenants in Common? Without knowing this, half the property may not be included in your will.
|Joint Tenancy||Tenants in Common||Tenants in Common|
|ALL of the Property to the survivor||Each own a share of the property||That share is distributed as per the Will.|
15.Divorce does not automatically void a previously written will.
There are simple, cost-effective ways of resolving these issues and many others. Call us now for an informal no-obligation chat to see how we can assist you.