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c) If you are married with children you might assume that your spouse would receive everything. This is not always case, as brothers and sisters and often your children will also have a claim.
d) If you are a parent, you might assume that if anything were to happen to you that your closest relatives would be responsible for care of your children. However, matter will need to be taken to Courts for them decide who should have custody, a process which can be very drawn out and distressing to parties involved. This particular consequence is of vital importance if you are a single parent or unmarried couple with children. Making a Will is invaluable by appointing Guardians to be responsible for care of your children.
Failing to make a Will leaves control over distribution of YOUR possessions and assets in hands of State. Making a Will puts control back in YOUR hands.
3. Inheritance Tax
The family home is often main asset and with increase in property values more and more people have been caught in Inheritance Tax net. Failing to make a Will will result in rules of Intestacy being applied and these will only provide for minimum Inheritance Tax avoidance.
The UK legislation provides that assets up to value of £275,000 are exempt from Inheritance Tax and anything over this threshold will be taxed at 40%. When you add up everything you own – including personal items etc – you may find you are worth a substantial amount of money. In addition, you might be dismayed to discover that you also be liable to pay inheritance tax!
As an example, if your estate is worth £300,000, £25,000 of that will be taxable at rate of 40% which will result in £10,000 worth of tax being payable!
Making a Will is one of best tax avoidance tools you can employ – in addition to others and utilising exemptions which are available.
Making a Will is probably one of last – and most important – undertakings you can do for benefit of your family and those you love…failure to make one can have far reaching and dire consequences.
JsByrne LLB (Hons) LPc. www.Draft-Your-Will.com
Miss JsByrne holds a Bachelor of Law degree with Honours & a post-graduate diploma in Legal Practice. Also gained qualification in Wills Writing & is the owner/author of www.Draft-Your-Will.com and DYW Wills & Estate Planning Newsletter