Consider the following facts for the tax year 2017-2018
The average bill in the UK for Inheritance tax was £180,000.
Inheritance tax must be paid by the end of the sixth month after the person has died.
54% of adults in the Uk do not currently have a will.
50% of people over the age of 45 have not yet made out a will!
It gets worse by location…73% of people in Liverpool do not have a will!
What are the potential problems of not having a will in place?
if you die without a will you will effectively be dying “Intestate” .In effect this means that a court must decide who will receive your estate. A friend or relative can apply for probate
or a “grant of letters of administration”.
Clearly if there is no will in place the whole process will take much longer. If there are no surviving relatives the whole estate passes to the Crown and it is left to the treasury to decide who gets what.
Better under such circumstances to instruct an experienced probate solicitor to help you. Even better is to think about this before anything happens and make sure that you have a will that is kept up to date with your wishes.
You have probably spent most of your life working to accumulate wealth and assets to support your family.
It is therfore perhaps amazing in the UK that most people spend little or no time thinking or planning what should happen to their property and assets when they will no longer be here.
It is never too early to think about and to write your will but where is the best place to start?
- Find a lawyer:Ideally one that specialises in preparing wills.Speak to friends or aquaintances for a recommendation but also ensure the lawyer is licensed by the Solicitors Regulation Authority or Law Society.
- Website will writers : many of the sites that advertise a will writing service online may not be regulated.If they are not qualified lawyers establish whether they are a member of the Institute of Professional Willwriters.
- Charities: Even a simple Will could cost around £150 -£200 but several charities do offer a free will writing service if you decide to include something for the charity in your will although this isn’t obligatory. Also there is a scheme called Free Wills Month, available to those aged over 55 which is supported by several charities https://freewillsmonth.org.uk/
- Banks: Some banks also offer will-writing services and advice about estate planning but often there is a charge for this service.
- Make your own will: You of course write your own will, there are many templates available on Google, however you should get advice if your will isn’t straightforward. You need to get your will formally witnessed and signed to make it legally valid. More useful information on this Government website.https://www.gov.uk/make-will