2020 has been a year which will go down in history – the global pandemic, Brexit and the fall out from these events has had a significant impact on many areas of our lives. These events may have far reaching implications for your finances, your relationships and your business interests. As a result, the new year could be an excellent time to write a Will or to review your existing Will. In this blog, we will take a look at some of the things you should consider.
Have you made a Will?
Where there is a Will your Executors have the legal power to distribute the estate according to the instructions in the Will. If you have not made a Will, the rules of intestacy mean that only certain individuals can automatically inherit. To avoid the sometimes unfortunate and unpleasant rules of intestacy making a Will is particularly important.
Does I need to update my Will?
If your circumstances have changed since you made your Will, you should update your Will to reflect these changes. Perhaps you have moved home, got married or divorced, or welcomed a new baby into the family. In any of these circumstances, you should update your Will to ensure that it is reflective of your current situation.
Do I need to change my Executors?
Executors of the Will are the individuals who ensure that the terms of the Will are carried out precisely and in accordance with your written wishes. Perhaps you have outlived Executors or maybe the relationship has deteriorated. In this case you need to replace them in your Will to avoid complications in the event of your death.
Do I need to change the beneficiaries of my Will?
Many people need to change the people that are named in their Will for a variety of reasons. Again, the circumstances of your beneficiaries may have changed or maybe the relationship has deteriorated. Again, you need to consider replacing them in your Will to avoid complications in the event of your death.
What about Inheritance Tax (IHT) planning?
The Inheritance Tax rules are not straightforward and specialist advice on your specific circumstances is always recommended on how to legally avoid IHT or minimise the amount of IHT payable on your death.
Reviewing your affairs can be a great way to start the year. This allows you to understand where you are financially and to effectively make plans for the future, knowing that your Will is up to date.