Can children under 18 inherit?

Children cannot inherit until they reach the age of 18; below this age, the funds are held in Trust. If you think 18 is too young for your children to inherit a large sum of money, within a Will you can specify that they do not receive the capital sum until a later age. They will, however, be entitled to receive any income from the trust fund as soon as they reach 18. Apart from this, the Trustees decide what income and/or capital can be used for the benefit of the children e.g. school fees.

I'm divorced—what will happen with my existing will?

Getting divorced does not invalidate a Will, but a gift to a divorced spouse lapses, unless a contrary intention appears in the Will. We strongly recommend that you review your Will if your circumstances change

Can I make my own will?

Yes, you can. However there are so many things that can go wrong and you will not be around to sort them out. You may overlook some important aspects rendering the Will invalid. From the wording of the document, to the required formalities of how it must be signed and witnessed before it can be valid. An unclear Will is open to challenge and your wishes may be overruled.

Can an executor be a beneficiary?

Yes. Often the main beneficiary is one of the executors.

Do I need a professional to act as executor.

No, but it is wise to appoint a professional alongside a friend or relative. The burden of the work can be shared and you will benefit from a professional’s advice. It also ensures that, if the executor is unable to carry out their duties for any reason, the professional is there to.

Do I need to nominate guardians in my will?

You do not have to, however, without a nominated guardian the courts will decide who will look after a child if the worst should happen and both parents die. If your child is under the age of 18 years, we recommend that you appoint a guardian in your Will.

What happens if I die with no will?

Many people erroneously think that their Estate will go to their partner when they die. This is not necessarily the case. For example, an unmarried partner will be entitled to nothing. Even a spouse may not receive the entire Estate, and worryingly, may not receive enough to maintain their current lifestyle.

Will I incur Inheritance Tax (IHT)?

If your estate is worth more than £325,000 (twice this for couples), it will be subject to the rules governing IHT. The first £325,000 of a single person’s estate will pass free of IHT. This is known as the Nil Rate Band personal tax allowance. The remainder will be taxed at 40% (e.g. if you have an estate worth £425,000, you will pay tax on £100,000 (£40,000 tax). A married couple with assets over the nil rate band can save tax by both setting up a Discretionary Trust in their Wills. The Discretionary Trusts will be a sum of money equivalent to the Nil Rate Band personal tax allowance, in favour of their spouse and children.

Importantly, gifts to a registered charity are also tax-free. There are other tax allowances for gifts of agricultural or business interests, but they are beyond the scope of these notes.

Do married couples need two Wills?

Both of you need to make a Will. A pair of similar Wills are called ‘Mirror Wills.’ Getting married or remarried cancels a previous Will unless the Will expressly states otherwise.

How much will I have to pay?

We currently charge £99 for a single will and £149 for mirror wills.

What is Probate?

The legal procedure to establish that a Will and codicil are genuine and valid, and is evidence that executors have the authority to carry out the terms of the Will.”

Probate is an official form that gives the executors of the Will the right to deal with your assets and property. It acts as proof that your executors have the authority they need to handle your estate. Please read our Probate and Estate Administration information page within our Services

Contact us today to arrange your FREE no obligation consultation with one of our highly trained Will Consultants.