Having a Will in place can help reduce your inheritance Tax liability

What is a Will?

A Will is a document that states what you want to happen to your estate when you die. Your possessions, property and money are all part of your estate.

Why do I need 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.

Reviewing and amending an existing Will

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.

What happens if I die without a Will?

A Will is in place to protect your assets, If you die without a Will (known as dying intestate), there are certain rules that dictate how your assets are allocated and who they go to.

This means that your assets are unlikely to be divided how you intended.

Dying without a Will often causes delays and unnecessary stress and costs for your family as they have to trace all of your assets and possessions in order to determine the total value of your estate.

Your next of kin is typically appointed as the executor of your estate and is responsible for arranging the payment of any Inheritance Tax liability, however they may not be the best person to be the executor.

Read our full guide on what you need to know about making a Will

What our clients say

59% of UK adults have not written a Will*

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.

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.

An executor is the person(s) who you appoint to carry out the instructions in your Will after you die.

The role of an executor can be complex and time consuming. They are responsible for carrying out your wishes as well as making sure the right amount of Inheritance Tax, Capital Gains Tax and Income Tax is paid. It is common to have more than one executor. The executor should be someone you trust such as a close friend or family member. If you do not want your friends/family to have the burden, you could appoint a solicitor to be your executor.

If you think you have an Inheritance Tax liability, before you draft a Will, speak to a Financial Adviser at Four Wealth Management to determine legal ways you can plan in advance to reduce the liability when dividing your assets in your Will.

It is important to make a Will no matter how old you are and even if you do not think you have many assets. Having a Will in place will reduce stress and unnecessary costs for your family and give them peace of mind knowing your wishes are being fulfilled. If you have any children, a Will can also dictate who you want to look after them.

Please note that Wills are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

*Source: Moneywise, ‘More than half of UK adults don’t have a will’, 2016

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