Hopefully you already have a Will. If not, don’t worry – the government has one already made for you. It probably won’t be the one that you would choose to write yourself, and your family may not end up with all of your money, but – you have saved yourself £100 and 2 hours by not making one yourself!
Ok, that is a little harsh, but keeping your money in the family when you pass away really is a very simple matter of picking up the phone.
Here are some of the ways of keeping money in the family:
The threshold for inheritance tax is £325,000. If you are married, the threshold for you and your spouse is therefore £650,000. There are some other matters which may affect these figures, but keeping it simple, above this figure 40% of your estate will go to the government. By making use of the will and other trusts, it may be possible to reduce or even eliminate your inheritance tax bill.
If you are married and die without a will, your spouse will get a certain amount of your estate. If your spouse then remarries and dies without a will, their new spouse will inherit a certain amount of your spouse’s estate. This is now money that has passed from you to some future random person and has almost certainly not gone to your children. Using your will, you can take measures to prevent this disinheritance.
Your executors are the people that will administer your estate after your death. Who are your executors? If they are family members, will they need help to deal with estate agents, Inland Revenue, courts etc? Will they need to employ professional executors or have you actually appointed a company as executors? What are their fees? Many companies such as banks and solicitors charge a percentage of the estate to administer the will. How much will this be? Here is one example that I came across recently: Estate value: £450,000. Probate fee: 2.5%. Cost of probate: £11,250. Approximate time spent dealing with the estate: 16 hours!!! There are better options to keep the money in the family.
These and other means of keeping your money in your estate are all available to you. Call my receptionist and leave your details. I will get back to you and we can discuss your circumstances.