One of our directors recently got married to her partner of 12 years. Which led to a number of conversations in the office about what details and information they may need to change or update. One of which was, should they review their Wills? Not particularly the most romantic topic to discuss with your new spouse! But did you know when you get married any existing will is automatically revoked unless it was written in contemplation of the marriage?
You are likely to hear professionals (lawyers and financial advisers) say married couples are better off from an Inheritance Tax perspective, again not exactly the most romantic reason for tying the knot. This is true though, especially considering unmarried couples have no automatic rights to the other’s property on death. Hence the importance of having a will and keeping it updated. Surprisingly more than half of adults in the UK don’t.
Many clients we speak to are surprised to know whether you’ve received money or not from the estate of someone who has died, the Inheritance Tax is payable within six months of their death. Sometimes this can be a very large amount of money that a family need to find. However this is where the rights protection can help save a lot of problems. Life insurance policies that are written into trust can provide funds to loved ones as soon as a person dies, easing stress and pressure for families, at a time which is already likely to be difficult.
The next step would be to consider what happens to the estate once both partners have died. Most of us want to minimise the amount of tax our next generations have to pay. Inheritance Tax rules, allowances and limits aren’t always easy to understand, our Youtube videos could help, as well as our IHT blog. Most importantly you need to plan effectively to help ensure the right people receive what is due to them when the time comes.
Your own mortality isn’t always an easy subject to contemplate, but as Benjamin Franklin once said, “There are only two things certain in life: death and taxes!”
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