What is a Will?
A Will gives you peace of mind, knowing how all of your assets will be distributed and who will benefit from them. There are some more reasons to make a Will that you may not have thought about:
- Appoint executors that you would like to manage and distribute your estate
- Minimise inheritance tax, meaning beneficiaries will receive more of your estate
- Appoint guardians to make sure your children are cared for and continue to have your values instilled in them
- Provide for vulnerable dependents
- Protect assets from unforeseen circumstances
- Make complex arrangements, for example, setting up trusts
If you don’t make a Will, your estate will follow the rules of intestacy. There is also partial intestacy if some of your assets are not included in your Will. An unmarried partner would be entitled to nothing and if you have no direct relatives, all of your estate will go to the Crown.
A Will should be reviewed every 5 years or when your circumstances change, such as, divorce or marriage.
What types of Wills are there?
The two main types of Wills are single and mirror. A single Will is a for one person and a Mirror is for a couple. You can also have more complex Wills, such as, setting up trusts so that funds can be distributed over time or creating a right to occupy so someone can continue to live in a property but not ultimately inherit it.
The costs for each type of Will are:
- Single - £175
- Mirror - £275
- Complex - £450
Russell Financial Solutions also offer a Will storage service, charged at £25. This is great way to have an additional copy in case yours is misplaced.
There are numerous types of trusts to cater for many situations. They can be used to provide for minors or vulnerable persons, with Trustees managing how the assets are distributed to beneficiaries over time. Trusts can also be useful way to reduce inheritance tax.
Russell Financial Solutions work with the Society of Will Writers who can set up trusts for you.
Additional things to consider
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) can be used to manage your affairs and make decisions for you if you become unable to do so. There are two types of LPA; Health and Welfare, Property and Financial Affairs.
Various things can be done to reduce Inheritance Tax (IHT):
- The Nil Rate Band (NRB) and the Residential Nil Rate Band (RNRB) are amounts that are charged at 0% before the full 40% IHT. There are rules relating to these so it’s important the opportunity to take advantage of these is not missed.
- Business Property Relief (BPR) and Agricultural Property Relief (APR).
- Making gifts in your lifetime to create Potentially Exempt Transfers (PETs) and Chargeable Lifetime Transfers which can have a reduced or even nil charge of IHT, depending on the length of time they were gifted before death.
- Donating 10% of your estate to charity will reduce the IHT on your whole estate from 40% to 36%
Why use an SWW Member
Members of The Society of Will Writers have undertaken intensive training and continue to train to keep their knowledge up to date. They are fully insured and adhere to the SWW Code of Practice.
You can find out more information on The Society of Will Writers on their website: www.willwriters.com.