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Intestacy

By | Intestacy | No Comments

Intestacy will occur when a person has not left a valid will, or if their will does not dispose of all of their estate (for example if all of the residuary beneficiaries had predeceased). Any assets that would not pass into the estate will not pass via intestacy. See our previous newsletter for more information on this. The exact distribution under the intestacy rules is set out in S46 Administration of Estates Act 1925. The distribution will vary depending on the value of the estate and what members of family survive. Beneficiaries will inherit the estate after any debts, funeral expenses, taxes and other liabilities have been paid. Spouse is alive – Intestate leaves no issue If the intestate’s spouse survives by 28 days, and there are no surviving issue of the intestate, the surviving spouse will receive the entire estate. Spouse is alive – Intestate leaves issue If the…

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Revoking a Will

Revoking a Will

By | Drafting, Wills | No Comments

There are four ways that a will may be revoked. Marriage/Civil Partnership As a general rule, a marriage or formation of a civil partnership revokes any will that a testator made before the marriage or civil partnership under S18 and S18B Wills Act 1837 respectively. There are however some exceptions to this rule. If it appears from the will that at the time the will was made the testator was expecting to be married to, or from a civil partnership, with a particular person and the testator intended that the will should not be revoked by that marriage or civil partnership, the will would not be revoked. It is currently unclear whether a will can be written to be in anticipation of either a marriage or civil partnership to a particular person, for example for a same sex couple who wish to formalise their relationship but currently have not decided…

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What Cannot be Gifted by a Will

What Cannot be Gifted by a Will

By | Gifting, Wills | One Comment

A person’s will can deal with most property that they own at the time of their death. However, there are a number of assets that would not pass into a person’s estate at their death. Life policy proceeds Life policy proceeds may form part of a deceased’s estate and can be gifted by their will. However it is relatively common for these to be placed into trust so that they do not form part of the deceased’s estate. The intentions behind this are: As the proceeds are outside of the estate, they do not need to pass through probate and therefore the beneficiaries can receive the proceeds sooner. By placing the proceeds in trust, those proceeds will not be taken into account when inheritance tax is calculated (unless it is in trust to pay off a mortgage). If life policy proceeds are in trust, clients should contact their policy providers…

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IPDI vs FLIT

By | Trusts | No Comments

Complex families often come with complex requirements to meet their long-term goals, and matters can be made more difficult when each testator has separate goals or concerns in mind. These goals usually revolve around the inheritance the children are to ultimately receive and when they receive it, and it certain cases, if they inherit at all. Using a Life Interest of the Residuary Estate can cater for most family needs for a number of reasons; On first death, the surviving spouse will be the Life Tenant. They will be entitled to all income generated by the trust and the trust can allow them access to the use of capital at the Trustees’ discretion if desired; All Life Interest Trusts allow the use of the Transferrable Nil-Rate Band (TNRB) between spouses; Each testator can appoint separate beneficiaries from each other; If the Trustees are given the power to advance capital, it…

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Powers to Carry on a Business

By | Business | No Comments

Clause 4.8 of the STEP Provisions (second edition) contain limited powers to allow the trustees to carry on the trading of any business interests which the testator may have at death. Where the testator was a sole trader, through these provisions the trustees have an implied power to continue the business in order that it is then sold. This power is only limited to realising the value of the business and through the implied power; this cannot continue indefinitely. Generally, the trustees running the business would be liable for any debts which they may sustain. If the business is only being carried on to realise the value then through the STEP Provisions the trustees have the right to an indemnity from the estate, which gives precedence to the testators creditors and also the beneficiaries. For this reason, it is recommended to include the Powers to Carry on a business clause…

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Mutual Wills

By | Wills | No Comments

Mutual wills are wills made between multiple parties in which they are making some mutual benefit to the other parties and the parties involved agree that the wills cannot be revoked without the consent of the others. On the death of any of the parties the survivors will be bound by the terms of the mutual wills. Mutual wills are most commonly made between spouses, gifting assets to each other on first death and then over to children on the death of the second. Whilst all parties are alive, they can change their minds at any time and revoke the mutual wills. Once one party to this agreement dies and the others accept their benefit from the deceased’s Will, the agreement not to revoke becomes binding on the other parties. On the face of it, this seems beneficial, however mutual wills have numerous issues. There is no flexibility for the…

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Second Death Gifts

By | Gifting, Inheritance, Wills | No Comments

Many couples making Wills wish to leave bequests of particular items, sums of money, or a share of their estate, but only when both testators have passed away. So how can we ensure this happens? The way to ensure that a gift is only made on second death is to place the gift(s) in both Wills, and ensure there is a condition that states the gift should only be made should the partner/spouse has predeceased the testator. For example, ‘If my wife Susan Smith has predeceased me, I give…’. When making a second death gift, the testator is giving this gift to their partner/spouse on their death as part of the Residue of their estate, therefore on the death of the survivor, the gift is made payable from the survivor’s estate. If the clients have requested a second death gift in their Will, but it has only been placed in…

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Discretionary Trusts

By | Property, Trustees, Trusts | No Comments

The Discretionary Trust is a common Trust for a Testator to use for their children to ensure that they do not inherit directly from their estate. The reasons for this can vary, for example, protecting assets from potential divorce, drinking or gambling issues, or the testators may wish that their assets are distributed in a particular manner or at certain points in their children’s lives that are outside the capabilities of the Will itself. This type of trust is effective because the assets are held and managed by the Trustees to distribute to the beneficiaries at their own discretion, hence the name of the trust and just because a beneficiary is named under the trust does not mean that they are absolutely entitled to any assets – useful where the Trustees may have concerns over how the money may be used.  Where beneficiaries are named under the Trust; this can…

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Disabled/Vulnerable Person’s Discretionary Trusts

By | Guardianship, Inheritance, Legal, Trustees, Trusts, Wills | 2 Comments

The Disabled/Vulnerable Person’s Discretionary Trusts These are useful trusts to use when your client has a child or another relative with a disability and who needs constant support. If this person inherits from a Will directly, this may affect what disability benefits they may receive. We can put the assets into a Discretionary Trust with the disabled beneficiary as the Principal Beneficiary. As with any other Discretionary Trust, there must be more than 1 appointed beneficiary. The main reason for this is because whenever a person in receipt of disability benefits receives an inheritance, the Local Authority will want to assess them. This means if they hold over a certain threshold (this can vary) the Local Authority can cut the benefits that person receives. If the estate of the testator is due to pay any IHT. This will need paying before the assets are passed into the Trust, at 40%…

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