Wills & Estates

A Will is a legal document, that states how you wish your estate to be divided after your death. The estate is administered by executors who distribute it to the people or organisations named in the will, known as beneficiaries. Who is affected? Everyone who has an estate is affected in some way because they will have possessions that will endure after their death and which will pass to succeeding generations. The only requirement for a person to make a will, subject to certain exceptions, is that he or she must be mentally capable and 18 years of age or over. What happens if I don’t make a will? If a person dies without a will, then they die intestate. This means that the estate is divided up according to specific rules that are set out in UK law. The distribution of the estate unde... »

Discretionary Trust, Wills & Inheritance Tax

Although any unused nil rate band is transferred to a surviving spouse or civil partner, making provision for a discretionary trust in your will could still be worthwhile. How do the inheritance tax rules work? The first slice of any individual’s estate, including gifts that they have made in the last seven years, is generally free of inheritance tax. This slice, referred to as the ‘nil rate band’, was increased to £325,000 from 6th April 2012. Inheritance tax is charged at 40% on the amount that exceeds the nil rate band. Any unused nil rate band can now be transferred to a surviving spouse or civil partner. This means that where the second death occurs on or after 9th October 2007, the benefit of any unused nil rate band on the death of the first spouse is transfe... »