It is still true today that many people do not bother to make a Will before they die dealing with who they wish to leave their money or home to. This can often leave uncertainty and chaos for their friends and family when they die. You can avoid this very simply by making a Will and it can be a lot less expensive than you may think. We offer a standard single Will for as little as £270 including VAT, and £390 including VAT for joint Wills. If you require inheritance tax advice then this is not generally included in the fixed fee Wills but a separate quote will be provided.
Advantages of making a Will
You can leave your property, money and other assets to people you want.
You can protect your unmarried partner or unregistered civil partner who could, under the current state of the law, end up with nothing if you do not make a Will.
A Will is vital if you have children or dependents who are unable to care for themselves. If there is no Will, there could be uncertainty about who will look after them or provide for them if you die.
You can be sure you maximise the assets that are to be passed to any friends and family thus ensuring that you are tax efficient.
You can set out details of any other wishes which you may desire to put into effect upon your death such as organ donation or burial and funeral arrangements.
Disadvantages of not making a Will
If you die without making a Will, you are declared to be ‘intestate’. In such circumstances there are rules that dictate how your money and property and any other assets will be divided up. This may not be the way that you would wish such items to be divided.
Unmarried partners and partners who have not registered a civil partnership currently do not automatically inherit from each other, unless there is a Will. In those circumstances, serious financial problems could be created for the survivor upon the death of their partner.
Many costly and painful family disputes regrettably arise from the confusion and distress which is caused when people die without making a Will.
Will I need to consider inheritance tax?
If you leave your estate to your spouse (husband or wife) or civil partner an exemption means that usually there will not be any inheritance tax to pay when the first of you dies. However, you should bear in mind that the estate of the surviving spouse will then be worth more.
Inheritance tax is currently levied on a party’s estate and it is raised on all assets over and above the inheritance tax threshold (currently £325,000). Inheritance tax is charged at 40%. In the case of married couples or civil partners, if the first person dies without using their £325,000 allowance, the surviving partner may use both allowances upon their death and inheritance tax will only be paid on assets over and above £650,000.
It will be necessary for you, when asking Stantons to prepare your Will, to provide full details of your finances so that we will be able, if necessary, to provide any advice on potential inheritance tax liability.
Our lawyers can also advise on other areas of non-contentious work including the following: