WILLS AND TRUSTS
Help ensure that your family are financially secure
Making a Will
A Will is vital in Inheritance Tax (IHT) planning and it is important to ensure it is planned correctly and well written to avoid ambiguity. Mistakes in your Will could leave your relatives with high legal fees. A Will can help your heirs plan for Inheritance Tax appropriately and the amount of taxes payable could be reduced by making the most of the tax reliefs available, and ensuring your assets go where you want them to.
By putting in place some simple arrangements you can make clear your wishes, which, should the worst happen, can offer reassurance to your loved ones who are faced with making difficult decisions on your behalf. If you die without a Will, there are certain rules that dictate how your money, property or possessions will be allocated which is unlikely to reflect your intentions.
It is important that you regularly review your Will and ensure it reflects any changes in circumstances or legislation. An adviser can help ensure that your arrangement is flexible as you may need to make changes due to changes in your personal finances, adding additional beneficiaries or if new legislation comes into place.
Please note that the writing of a Will involves the referral to a service that is separate and distinct from St. James’s Place.
When planning to leave an inheritance you want to ensure the right people inherit your wealth according to your wishes and to minimise inheritance tax. You can reduce the size of your estate by making gifts during your lifetime, but an adviser may recommend also using a trust.
A trust is a legal arrangement in which a ‘trustee’ (one or more individuals or a company) keeps assets for the benefit of a ‘beneficiary’ (one or more individuals).
Trusts provide flexibility and can be tailored to meet your needs and requirements. You may want the beneficiaries to inherit the trust as soon as you die or to access it at a certain age. Alternatively, the assets can be held indefinitely to provide them with a certain benefit, such as a place to live.
Trusts can be an essential part of estate planning as they can help ensure that your estate is passed to the right people at the right time. They also provide financial security for your family and give you peace of mind.
Trusts are often used when the beneficiary is not able to manage the assets themselves
Placing assets into a trust will also ensure that they are reserved for that particular beneficiary, rather than being spent.
Another benefit of using a trust is that they can reduce inheritance tax. When you place assets into a trust, you are no longer their owner. The assets are therefore not part of your estate, and so will not be subject to inheritance tax when you die.
You can set up a trust at any time, or write one into your Will. Trusts set up as part of a Will may have the executor as trustee, but you can choose another trustee if you wish.
Tax implications surrounding trusts is complex and our advisers can help you understand if a trust is the best option for you. We will also help your trustees in understanding their roles in passing on your assets.
Frequently asked questions
The actual cost will depend on your own personal requirements and therefore the complexity of the Will that you require. At Four Wealth Management, we will refer you to a suitably qualified third-party provider. The service provided is separate and distinct to the services provided by St. James’s Place. Please note that Wills are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
For a Will to be valid in England & Wales:
- The Will must have been entered into by someone over the age of 18.
- The Will must have been entered into a person who is (a) of sound mind (b) drafts the Will voluntarily and without duress.
- The Will must be in writing.
- The Will must be signed in the presence of two witnesses. If either witness is a beneficiary of the Will, or married to a beneficiary of the Will, that witness cannot subsequently inherit.
The rules for a valid Will are different under Scottish Law.
A trust is created by a settlor, who transfers some or all of their property title to a trustee, who then holds title to that property for the benefit of the beneficiaries. Trusts are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.