Frequently Asked Questions

Children

Q: Can children under 18 inherit?

A: Children cannot inherit until they reach the age of 18; below this age, the funds are held in Trust. If you think 18 is too young for your children to inherit a large sum of money, within a Will, you can specify that they not receive the capital sum until a later age, this however, may be subject to additional taxation that would not take place if they inherit at 18. They will, however, be entitled to receive any income from the trust fund as soon as they reach 18. Apart from this, the Trustees decide what income and/or capital can be used for the benefit of the children e.g. school fees.

Divorce

Q: I’m divorced — what will happen with my existing will? A: Getting divorced does not cancel a Will, but a gift to a divorced spouse lapses, unless a contrary intention appears in the Will, it is advisable to re-write your Will following a divorce.

DIY wills

Q: Can I make my own will?

A: Yes, you can. But there are significant risks in doing so — which you will not be around to sort out. It could mean substantial legal fees to put things right — quite apart from the upset and confusion it could cause those you leave behind. You should consider: A Will that is not clear under the law is open to challenge and your wishes may be overruled. A Will not made under the correct procedures can be rendered invalid. When making your own Will you may overlook some possibilities and unforeseen changes in circumstances.

Executors

Q: Can an executor be a beneficiary?

A: Yes. Often the main beneficiary is one of the executors.

Q: Do I need a solicitor to act as executor.

A: No, but if you think your executors might need help then we can act as an executor in a professional capacity along side them. This enables the burden of the work to be shared with a professional who can advise. It also ensures that, if the executor is unable to carry out their duties for any reason, there is the support that is needed. Any professional charges made for advice and work will come out of your Estate.

Guardians

Q: Do I need to nominate guardians in my will?

A: If you have children under 18 then it is advisable to nominate Guardians in your Will. Without nominated guardians, the courts will decide who will look after your children.

Intestacy

Q: What happens if I die without a will?

A: Many people erroneously think that their Estate will go to their partner when they die. This isn’t necessarily the case. For Example, an unmarried partner will be entitled to nothing. Even a spouse may not receive the entire Estate and worryingly, may not receive enough to maintain their current lifestyle.

Inheritance Tax

Q: What is Inheritance Tax (IHT)?

A: Inheritance Tax is due when a person’s estate (their property and possessions) is worth more than £325,000 when they die. This is called the ‘Inheritance Tax threshold’.

Marriage

Q: Do married couples need two Wills?

A: Both of you need to make a Will. A pair of similar Wills are called ‘mirror Wills’ or ‘joint wills’. Getting married or remarried cancels a previous Will unless the Will expressly states otherwise.