Ensuring your loved ones receive what is rightfully theirs in the future is the most common reason for making a Will. Imagine if, despite setting out your wishes in a Will, your heirs could still lose their inheritance. This can, and does, happen. We explain how and what you can do to make a truly formidable estate plan.
Making a Will brings peace of mind that your loved ones will receive the inheritance you wish to give them when you are gone. However, a Will alone doesn’t always protect your heirs against certain unexpected yet common events that could lead to their inheritance being directed elsewhere.
To build a truly formidable estate plan – and be certain your loved ones’ inheritance is protected – it’s worth considering using a Trust alongside a Will.
Why use a Trust as well as a Will?
Using a Trust or Trusts alongside a Will can:
- Prevent ‘Sideways Disinheritance’ – when assets end up with someone you did not intend to give them to
- Ensure loved ones receive their inheritance at the right time
- Prevent a successful challenge of your wishes
- Avoid the costs and delays of Probate
- Reduce the burden of Inheritance Tax.
Preventing ‘Sideways Disinheritance’
Common life events that can lead to assets not ending up where you intended include:
When a widowed spouse remarries
Assets jointly owned or inherited by the surviving spouse would commonly be shared with their new partner. So if your surviving spouse remarried, their new partner is entitled to half your assets – or all of them if their new spouse outlives them.
When a beneficiary gets divorced
Assets left to a person in a Will form part of their estate and will therefore be included in any financial divorce settlement with their husband or wife. Perhaps more surprisingly, whilst you are still alive, the inheritance a beneficiary is set to receive in the future can also be taken into account as part of a settlement.
When a beneficiary is in financial hardship
Any inheritance could be seized to repay their debts.
When a beneficiary dies prematurely (with young children)
As an example, if your adult child were to pass away and their widowed spouse remarries, assets inherited by your child would normally be shared with the new partner. This would dilute any inheritance intended for your grandchildren. If the new partner also has children they may be at risk of complete disinheritance.
It is possible to avoid all these outcomes and protect your loved ones’ inheritance by placing property and/or assets into a Trust.
Does your Will do enough to protect your loved ones?
RfM Legal Services Customer Relationship Manager, Sharon Rigden, will be happy to review an existing Will to ensure it is structured in the best way for your circumstances.
Arrange a free consultation to review an existing Will, or to discuss making a new Will or putting assets into a Trust. Call Sharon on 01772 431233 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Your free consultation will be a relaxed, informal session at a time to suit you. Due to the current restrictions, we are providing all our consultations remotely via the telephone or video call on Skype or Zoom. Please be reassured that you are under no obligation to take any action based on Sharon’s recommendations.