A properly drafted Will is one of the most important things to have in place when planning for the future. You want to be sure your wishes are known about who gets what after you've gone. But how can you guarantee that what you want to happen actually does happen? And how can you protect your home and assets so that all you've worked hard for is still there to be passed on to your loved ones? A Will alone is often not enough.
There are many future circumstances that could put your assets at risk or mean that loved ones endure costly legal fees. If you are not prepared then you could be passing on a lot less than you hoped to. The good news is there are steps you can put in place now that can protect your assets.
A Trust, in particular, can offer this protection. It is designed to safeguard your assets and ensure your wishes are met as stated in your Will. It is also there to help your children or beneficiaries inherit more quickly and without issue. Here are some circumstances that can be avoided with the help of a Trust.
Winding up your Estate
Confirmation, as it is known in Scotland, is the legal term for applying for the right to deal with a person's affairs after their death - paying off any debts and distributing inheritance. If a person's property and savings is worth more than £36,000 then it is considered a 'large Estate' and more often than not a solicitor or specialist is required to help with it. This can be both very costly and time consuming.
The fee is usually calculated between 1% to 5% of the total Estate value*, making the average UK fee up to £16,000** and potentially much more in complex circumstances. This is often deducted from the value of the Estate to cover the cost.
With a Family Protection Trust from Golden Charter, there is no Confirmation for any assets included in the Trust meaning no costly fees or delay in inheriting.
Your Will could be contested
No matter what you have stated in your Will, it can be contested by anyone. Children, for example, can claim a third of their parents' moveable Estate (investments, cash, bank accounts and personal possessions) after the first parent's death. They can claim half when the second parent dies. Family dynamics can be complex, and if you only want certain people to inherit from your Estate then you should consider a Trust to protect your wishes.
You could unintentionally disinherit your children
When married partners own a home together and one passes away, their share of the home passes to the other. If they were to then get remarried, and predecease their new partner, the property passes to that partner, cutting out children from the first marriage. This is known as sideways disinheritance and is usually unforeseeable. There are a couple of different options for couples wishing to avoid this with Golden Charter.
Your children could inherit during a difficult time
If your children or beneficiariesare going through a difficult time such as divorce or bankruptcy, this would not be a good time for them to receive their inheritance. This could mean the inheritance is at risk of being used as part of a divorce settlement or could even end up with creditors. A Trust can allow assets to remain in place until beneficiaries are in circumstances better suited to receiving them.
You could pass on an inheritance tax issue
If the inheritance you leave your loved ones adds significantly to their wealth, it could leave them liable to inheritance tax (IHT). If that inheritance is left in the Trust, however, it doesn't form part of their Estate, which means you avoid passing on an IHT problem. Your children can still access and use the assets or money you leave them, or they can invest it within the Trust.