In this recent interview, we ask our private client specialist Kai Khunsaen-Jones what tips she can give us about making a will and how this will affect both us and our families.
1. Why do I need a will?
Making a will provides for your assets to pass to those whom you wish to benefit. It is also a practical way to potentially mitigate the effects of inheritance tax. If you have assets abroad, having a will may avoid potential jurisdiction problems.
2. Can I appoint a guardian for my children in my will?
Yes, you can appoint guardians for your children who are under the age of 18. You can also choose the age at which you wish your children to inherit (otherwise the law provides that they would do so at 18).
3. What if I don’t want to make a will?
This means you will have died ‘intestate’. Letters of administration will need to be applied for, and the intestacy rules will apply to your estate. This can be a complicated process and may mean that your estate does not pass in accordance with your wishes.
4. Do I need to review my will?
It is always a good idea to review your will every five years as the law or your circumstances may have changed. Wills containing nil rate band trusts should be reviewed when the law changes in April 2017, as they may require amendment.
5. What is the ‘family home allowance’?
In the summer budget, the Chancellor introduced an additional nil rate band for deaths on or after 6th April 2017 where on death, a residential property is passed to the deceased’s children or grandchildren.
6. How will this affect me?
This will increase your inheritance tax threshold to £500,000 by 2020. This potentially means an inheritance tax relief of up to £1million for married couples and civil partners.
7. What if I downsize?
If you sell your residential home, the family home allowance will apply to the net proceeds of sale.
Kai Khunsaen-Jones has experience in all areas of private client services including creation of new and amending existing wills. You can reach her on 020 8944 5290.