It’s a hard subject to discuss, but death and will-writing are facts of life. So, this in mind, you should get your affairs in order as soon as possible. You could put your family at financial risk if you pass away without a will, so take the necessary steps to get in shape.
If you’re about to begin the will-writing process, you’re in the right place. In order to protect your family, you’ll need all the advice you can get! So, here are some top will-related tips that can help you secure the financial future of your loved ones.
Tip 1: Don’t leave it too late
It goes without saying, but you should write your will as soon as possible. If you die without one, your estate can be seized by the government. It could then be distributed as they see fit, and your wishes will not be heeded.
It’s understandable to not want to think about writing a will, or be worried about the cost. But you have to quash both these thoughts and think of your family. They could be strapped for cash if you die without any legal documents in place. They may not get what is rightfully theirs. They may not be able to pay off any bills or debts, if the bank chooses to lock off your money. They could be evicted from their home if unable to keep up mortgage repayments.
Tip 2: Get legal advice
A will is such an important document and there are many possible loopholes you could succumb to. Talking about death and planning for death can be an uncomfortable subject, so be sure to enlist the proper help to aid you effectively.
Talk to a firm that specialises in this area of law, such as Bannister Preston, and you’ll be more well-equipped. Our friends and family are great at a time like this, but they can only offer us so much help and advice. You may have written a will, but it may not line up with the law and there may be some things you have missed.
If you pass away with a poorly written will, it’s not like you can jump back and rectify it, so have it checked for accuracy from the start.
Tip 3: Distribute your assets fairly
If a relative or family member feels they have been mistreated in your will, they have the power to dispute it. A disputed will can lead to a long, arduous legal battle for all those involved, and this can drain money to boot. It can also leave some people with nothing, and the power to stop this happening is in your hands.
If you were the main breadwinner, this legal battle could see your family spiral into debt. It can be hard to deal with a financial situation like this, even at the best of times. And having just lost the major breadwinner is most definitely not the best of times.
So, to make things easier on those involved, be sure to treat everyone fairly. Don’t favourite one child over another, unless you discussed this before your passing. Avoid angering any parties by being 100 percent clear in your will about the direction any of your assets will go.
A good thing to do would be to talk to each individual person before your passing. This way, they know what to expect when the will is read and won’t receive any unwelcome surprises. This can calm what may otherwise be an angry situation, as everyone will be aware of your intentions.
Tip 4: Reduce inheritance tax
The only things that are certain in life are death, and taxes. It should come as no surprise then that there’s a subject that touches on both these inevitabilities. Inheritance tax is the tax is the tax the government will deduct from the value of your assets. It’s 40 percent on anything above the £325,000 threshold, and is reduced to 36 percent if you leave 10 percent to charity.
This tax can be reduced in a number of ways. One, as just mentioned, you could leave 10 percent of your estate to charity for a 4 percent reduction. Or, if you’re married, anything left to your partner is exempt from this tax.
Money given away before you die is also subject to this tax. This is only if you die within 7 years of giving the gift, however. So, to beat the taxman, plan ahead! If you give someone money, then die nine years later, that money is tax-free. Be sure to organise your affairs as soon as possible to reduce the taxable amount.
Did these tips help you in any way? Thanks for reading!