Changing your Will in Berkshire.

Recent legislation change and rising property values mean that your will could be out of date. Read on to find out what you should be doing.

If you live in Berkshire or Thames Valley, then increases in property values will almost certainly have raised concerns about the impact of inheritance Tax on your estate.

It may also have caused you to consider whether your will is drafted correctly, (it’s not), after all there may have been a change in your family situation, or as legislation has changed anyway that might have affected your will?

Recent changes in the Finance Act 2000 mean that any will over two years old is almost certainly out of date.

Most new lifetime interest in possession trusts and accumulation and maintenance trusts created since 22 March 2006 are now taxed in the same way as discretionary trusts for IHT purposes.

If the trust is created on death it will in any event be a chargeable transfer and it will now, depending on the values involved, give rise to a periodic charge (every 10 years) and exit charges when property leaves the trust or where an absolute interest in it is appointed.

There are four exceptions to this :-

  • Bereaved Minor’s Trust (BMT) – (not a popular choice)
  • An 18-to-25 trust – (neither is this)
  • A Disabled Person’s Interest (DPI) – (well known)
  • An IPDI (immediate post-death interest) trust – this type of trust is widely used these days.

To help you decide whether you need to change your will, this checklist may help :-

  • Do you want to make sure that only those you want to benefit, will do so?
  • Do you want to make provision for minor children or other vulnerable beneficiaries?
  • Do you want to spare your loved one’s hassle, possible arguments and extra cost after your death?
  • Would you prefer to decide the terms of any trusts that will come into effect on your death yourself or leave it to others?
  • Is there any transferable nil rate band available?
  • Do you know the potential IHT liabilities that may arise on your and your spouse’s death?

If you have decided that you should re-draft your will but are worried about the cost, why is this, as this is probably the most important document for your family. A Will is a high consequence transaction – both emotionally and financially for those you love the most.

If you want to get good value then why not consider a WILL FOR LIFE, O.K. it costs more than a normal Will and you pay £10 a year, but that payment covers not only the storage of your original will but also provides a full re-write of your will (as often as you require) for no additional charge.

Does that make sense to you ?

To find out more, contact us.