Wills and Trusts for today's complex inheritance issues

Families are far more varied in their size and shape than the traditional nuclear family structure. Many families now include parents who have been married before, step children and children with very different ages whilst other family groups have decided on cohabitation rather than marriage.

More than one marriage

What do you do if this is your second marriage and you have children from your first marriage? If you do not have a Will, under the intestacy rules, your second spouse will inherit your possessions, the first £250,000 of your estate and half the remainder of your estate and your children will receive the balance.

Under the intestacy rules, your children from your first marriage are not entitled to inherit from your second spouse. After your death your second spouse is free to make a new Will and leave the assets they inherited from you to whoever they wish.

If your second spouse inherits your assets and then subsequently remarries, the intestacy rules on their subsequent death will leave all or most of their assets to their new spouse and not your children.

Our Solution

By using trusts it is possible to benefit your spouse both as to income and some capital (as needed) whilst ring fencing all or the majority of your capital for your children on your second spouse’s death. We call this our Complex Family Will.

Cohabiting couples

If you and your partner are not married or in a civil partnership, and your partner is not included in a Will, they have no automatic right to inherit from your estate. This applies even if you have lived together for a long time or have children together. Your partner will receive nothing unless you include them in your Will.

The options open to them are limited and expensive. They could make a claim against your estate, but the legal costs of such an action could be as high as £100,000 and that is usually payable from your estate if your partner is successful. If your Will gifts everything to your partner directly, your estate is taxed at 40% above the nil rate band, currently £325,000. It is then added to your partner’s estate and taxed again on their death. This can mean that before the value of your assets is passed to your children (for example) after your partner’s death, it has suffered up to 80% tax. This is because partners are treated less favourably than spouses.

Our Solution

We have a solution to this problem that can double the tax relief available to your combined estates with the use of trusts in your Wills, delivering a tax saving of up to £130,000. We call this our Living Together Will.

Wellers Hedleys will be able to tailor your Will to your specific circumstances. Please download our Will writing service brochure.

For more information on how to protect your dependents through your Will please contact our private client legal teams to arrange an initial, no obligation consultation. Please call Levina Khanna or Karen Ball on 01483 284567 to find out more about our Will writing service.