Wills and Will Trusts

Writing a Will is both a personal and private thing to do.

You want to be sure your future wishes are in safe hands, and that’s exactly what you can expect when you work with us to plan your estate.

At every step of the Will writing process, we’ll treat you sensitively and with respect, ensuring the information you provide to us is handled confidentially. Our recommendations are personalised to you and are tailored to meet your circumstances and wishes.

Writing a Will

When it comes to writing your Will and any associated estate planning, there are four different options available:

1. If I don’t write a Will
If you don’t write a Will, the Laws of Intestacy will automatically apply when you die. Intestacy tries to balance the rights of your spouse and children, but inheritance is fixed in terms of how much each party receives, so someone always loses out. Whilst you will avoid the costs of writing a Will, there are many disadvantages:

  • The law writes your Will for you, meaning you have no control over the distribution of your estate
  • It will almost certainly not reflect your wishes; your spouse’s inheritance is limited, partners get nothing, children inherit at 18, and you can’t make any monetary gifts or specific gifts of sentimental items
  • Winding up your estate will likely be an expensive process, making it difficult for those left behind

This is not an appropriate option for most people.

2. Writing a basic Will
A basic Will leaves everything to your spouse or partner, or directly to named beneficiaries if you’re single and distributes what is left, but only after you have passed away. You avoid the Intestacy process and your wishes are made known, but the disadvantages of a basic Will are that it:

  • Does NOT protect your estate against lifetime disinheritance threats, namely sideways disinheritance and long-term care fees
  • Does NOT avoid Probate fees or delays
  • Does NOT protect your beneficiaries’ against long-term disinheritance threats

This is not an appropriate option for most people.

3. Open a Will Trust
Opening a Will Trust protects some of your estate against some of the losses inflicted by inheritance threats. By combining the way that you own your property with the use of Will Trusts, you can:

  • Protect your spouse or partner, or other beneficiaries if you’re single
  • Mitigate the impact of sideways disinheritance as well as the effect of long-term care fees on your beneficiaries’ inheritance, to maximise bloodline inheritance

Basic estate planning is a good place to start but does have several disadvantages:

  • The Will Trust needs to be set up after the first death
  • Probate is still needed, so fees will still be incurred at an average cost of £9,000 and will still experience delays of least 9-12 weeks
  • Only half the property is protected against sideways disinheritance and care fees

This is an appropriate option for anyone wanting to mitigate some risk and improve loved ones’ inheritance.

4. Open a Lifetime Trust
Opening a Lifetime Trust protects your estate against all loss of inheritance threats. By setting up a Lifetime Trust and placing assets within its protective wrapper, you can:

  • Avoid the cost of creating the Will Trust after the first death
  • Avoid Probate fees, saving thousands
  • Make it much easier for loved ones by avoiding the stress and delay of Probate
  • Protect the whole property and other assets from sideways disinheritance
  • Provide complete protection of each beneficiary’s inheritance from sideways disinheritance, marriage and divorce, financial issues and insolvency, Inheritance Tax and the loss of means-tested benefits

This is an appropriate option for anyone looking to maximise inheritance for loved ones and protect their inheritance in the long-term.

Before you can decide which option is the right option for you and your loved ones, you’ll need to assess your current circumstances as well as your short-term and long-term estate planning objectives.

For most people, this includes some – and often all – of the following:

  • Retaining control and making life easier for loved ones
  • Most couples want to protect each other in the first instance
  • Maximising inheritance for loved ones

At Estate Planning Solutions, we ensure the right people inherit as much as possible, at the right time and in the right way.

We’re are on hand to support you with expert Will writing services and Will Trusts.

Get in touch to find out more

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