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Wills and Intestacy

November 2015

The vast majority of people have not made a Will and the administration of their estates will fall under the intestacy rules, statutory rules which direct how an estate is to be distributed. Naturally these rules are arbitrary and will not divide your estate as you wish nor are they necessarily Inheritance Tax efficient nor will those rules consider the nature of your assets, including business assets.

In many instances where there is a surviving spouse and children Inheritance tax will be paid earlier than need be if there had been a Will in place. Additionally, some surviving spouses could be disadvantaged.

Matters get even worse when couples are not married or in a civil partnership.

Other benefits of you making a Will include:

Having made your Will you need to recognise that it is a living document and as your assets and circumstances change so will your wishes on the distribution of them on your death. Regular review is sensible and we would recommend every three to five years.

You also need to bear in mind too that a Will can never be irrevocable. When does revocation take place?

If you wish to make minor amendments to a Will these can be made by what is known as a Codicil.  Such a document makes the required changes and usually confirms the rest of the Will.

Foreign Property such as overseas holiday homes can give rise to additional problems as they will be subject to the rules of that country.  It may, therefore, be necessary to make a Will in that country specifically dealing with that asset which will not be subject to the laws in England and Wales.

As a complimentary service Aston Shaw provides Will writing through an intermediary who is experienced at understanding your personal and tax planning requirements. For further information on Wills and Intestacy please contact us.

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