Brand new in-house Wills and Trusts service
Today we are delighted to launch our brand new, in-house Wills and Trusts service.
HAVE YOU GOT A WILL?
Having reflected on many client meetings over the past couple of years, it has become clear that Wills are an important but often neglected task that can remain overlooked.
One of our most important roles at Kennedy Black is to make our clients’ lives easier. Hence, we are delighted to announce that we now offer an in-house Wills and Trusts service.
We hope this frees up our clients’ time and lets them tick one more item off their to-do lists.
FREE WILL REVIEW
A handful of our readers may be reading this and thinking, “I have a Will.” In which case, we salute you.
However, if your Will is a simple “100% to spouse and then the children,” then please pay careful attention to the following.
We are therefore offering a FREE Will review to highlight whether your Wills are set up effectively and, if not, what can be done about it.
WHAT ARE THE FIVE THREATS TO YOUR HARD-EARNED WEALTH?
A ‘simple’ Will passes assets absolutely. That means the donor loses all control, leaving the assets open to various threats. The following sets out the five main threats, where there is a significant risk that someone else could get their hands on your hard-earned wealth.
When a husband dies, it is typical for everything to pass to his widow.
However, if she re-marries, the new husband stands to benefit. And if they subsequently divorce, he could walk away with half of the deceased husband’s wealth.
Long Term Care
If the husband dies and the widow goes into Long Term Care, then the whole estate is assessed for care cost purposes. This could see the estate deplete rapidly instead of being passed to the intended next of kin.
Children getting divorced
If children inherit assets absolutely then their share is at threat from gold-digging spouses. A divorce could see half disappear.
If a spouse or child were to go bankrupt, then the inheritance is also at risk.
If children turn out to be successful in their own right, then their inheritance (which could be subject to Inheritance Tax) will simply inflate their estate further and create a second charge to Inheritance Tax when they eventually pass the assets on to their grandchildren.
Effective estate planning is not just about minimising Inheritance Tax. It is about ensuring that wealth passes to the right people in a manner that offers protection and control.
WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT IT?
The first, obvious step towards effective estate planning is a Will. A Will can ensure that assets are distributed in line with your wishes. Failing to draft a Will, as Rik Mayall’s family recently found out, creates unnecessary heartache, risks incurring unnecessary tax and leaves you at the mercy of the clumsy Rules of Intestacy as to who will ultimately benefit.
The next step is to ensure that the assets are distributed in the most effective manner. We have already highlighted the limitations of giving assets absolutely. An alternative may be to pass the assets into a family trust.
Assets in a trust are legally owned by the trustees but for the ultimate benefit of someone else (the beneficiary/ies).
It is sensible to appoint trustees you can trust (e.g. family members and/or a professional trustee) so that you can be confident that your wishes will be borne out.
As long as the trust is drafted properly, then the beneficiaries (e.g. the spouse and children) can benefit from the use of the assets without ever actually owning them. For example, a trust can extend loans on completely negotiable terms.
And because the assets remain ring-fenced, they are protected for the next generation.
Get in touch if you would like us to review your family’s circumstances and advise on the most effective generational planning. The review is free, so what have you got to lose?