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Wellers Wealth is able to help you make the most of trust based structures to protect your estate and ensure that your estate goes to the people you would choose.
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 £270,000 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.
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.
Even if you already have a valid Will it may not be effective in reducing your burden of Inheritance Tax. With a typical Will (in which you and your partner leave everything to each other and then to the children), you will pay Inheritance Tax at 40% on your combined estates above £650,000, on the second death. This increases by up to £350,000 to £1 million if you are also leaving a home.
With the use of trusts, it is possible to pay no tax on the first death and substantially reduce tax on the second death. By careful management of the trusts and their investments and by making timely dispositions to your children directly or placed in trust for the children, it is possible to make adequate provision for the needs of a surviving spouse and to save significant Inheritance Tax. We advise that we are appointed executors of these trusts to ensure that all is done to facilitate these tax savings. We call this our Capital Protection Will.
What will happen after your death to your vulnerable spouse or child? If they inherit directly are they going to understand their inheritance and how best to use it or will they be likely to squander the money? Remember that their inheritance may mean they will lose their means tested benefits. How can this be prevented?
We offer Safeguarding Wills which put the assets intended for the vulnerable beneficiary on trust and appoint a trusted family member or in the absence of a suitable person or to avoid a conflict of interest where another child is competing for an inheritance, a professional trustee such as Wellers Law Group. If managed correctly, the vulnerable beneficiary can benefit from your money without prejudicing their means tested benefits.
As trustees we take our role very seriously and it is our policy where possible to act in a pseudo-parental role, looking after the financial needs of your family member. This may extend to welfare matters where there is a financial consideration e.g. taking them to the optician to purchase glasses and addressing some other welfare issues. Where the beneficiary lives in the community close to a Wellers office we will regularly visit them at home to ascertain their less obvious needs. If they live further afield we will visit them between one and three times per year as necessary and arrange for local support.
Whether it is a matter of personal wealth or structuring business assets and taking income you can talk to Wellers Wealth for practical, actionable legal solutions.
Whether you are a financial advisor, legal advisor, accountant or a member of the public, tax and trust law may well impact you and open up opportunities and possibly create risks. Our regular technical newsletters explain how existing legislation works and what any changes to it may mean. To keep in the loop, sign up to receive our newsletter.