In the first part of this insight we discussed two of the main life changes which can necessitate changes to your Will being marriage and divorce. We now consider other life changes which occur and can create situations which necessitate changes to your Will.
The death of a beneficiary. Generally speaking, where a beneficiary dies before you, the gift to them will lapse (fail). This is fine when the beneficiary may only have received a cash sum but if the death of a beneficiary leaves no-one to benefit under Will then the intestacy rules will apply.
Where a Will has been prepared by a professional, the death of a potential beneficiary is always considered and, if appropriate, suitable provisions are written into your Will. Therefore, your Will would provide for what is to happen if a named beneficiary dies in your lifetime, but it is always sensible to check the provisions of your Will following the death of a beneficiary.
Problems can arise where it is unclear as to what is to happen if a beneficiary dies and without clear wording in the Will, the Will may not pass your estate to your intended beneficiaries. This may also create the situation in your Will where a share of your estate does not pass to anyone because the Will did not stipulate what was to happen to that share and again that share may pass in accordance with the intestacy rules.
You may wish to consider including gifts to future generations in your Will so that they benefit on your death. Many grandparents like to make a gift to grandchildren or great-grandchildren so that they have funds to help with their future, i.e. towards the cost of a car, to help with education or as part of a deposit for a home.
When such beneficiaries are named specifically in the Will then the gifts to such beneficiaries will take place but if you have further grandchildren they would not benefit. Careful drafting of your Will can ensure that future generations can benefit if that is what you would intend to happen.
Inheritance or other windfall
If the value of your estate has increased then it is a good idea to review your Will. A Will can help reduce the amount of Inheritance Tax that might be payable on the value of the property and money you leave behind. A correctly drafted Will and appropriate advice can ensure that you do not pay more Inheritance Tax than is necessary. One of the many ways of reducing the Inheritance Tax on your death is to consider including a gifts to a Charity or Charities in your Will. Such a gift not only helps to reduce the tax liability but allows you to benefit a Charity close to our heart on your death. Read more on succession planning here.
How Tozers can help
You may have a good idea about what you want your Will to address, or you may not know where to start. Either way, we will discuss all the various considerations, and listen to your thoughts and concerns so you can feel confident your Will covers everything it needs to.