If you are one of the 46% of UK adults that have been sensible enough to put a Will in place you have taken the most important step to help secure the financial future of your loved ones.
However, we can’t underline enough, the need for a ‘proper’ conversation with your family to talk about your Will, your wishes and the full extent of your estate – to include the location and accessibility of assets and accounts.
Putting a Will in place does not negate the important need to discuss your Wills contents, the beneficiary details, your exacting wishes and details about all your accounts, within a collective family discussion. To not do so could give rise to family disputes and the possibility of your Will being contested. Furthermore, it can lead to family and loved ones missing out with a lack of clarity regarding details to where certain funds, accounts and investments are located.
To put this in perspective, £15 billion worth of inheritance remains unclaimed. A good percentage of this unclaimed inheritance will have been left by individuals who maybe had Wills BUT failed to update them and didn’t offer the degree of clarification necessary to distribute the full extent of their estate.
According to a recent survey around 7 million people a year, in the UK, suffer emotional distress fearing that they didn’t manage their loved one’s assets as well as they would have liked due to a lack of prior discussion. Parents not discussing their estates with their families and similarly, children failing to have a meaningful conversation on such matters with their parent’s, accounts for a third of the UK population!
Here are 6 steps to Estate and Will clarification:
- Make a Will but also have a family group discussion about your Will, its contents and your exact wishes and make sure that your Will and subsequent family discussion includes: Who you want to receive your wealth and details of the beneficiaries. State clearly your wishes. For example, conditions and undertakings to any beneficiaries
- How much you are likely to be passing down and in what form.
- Details on ‘Gifts’ – what they are and who they should go to (It’s surprising how many disputes can arise from who gets a car, watch or piece of furniture, particularly if they’re valuable items!)
- Clear information on where all accounts are held, along with details of funds, account names, numbers and passwords.
- Plans to minimise IHT. This will ensure you leave as much of your estate as possible to family, loved ones and charities rather than the chancellor!
- After 5 years, review your Will and have a further family meeting. (After 5 years, property values and investments will undoubtedly have changed. It might also be the case that the law has changed.)
For planning and writing a truly effective, detailed Will – one which can be easily updated, go to ‘mylastwill.co.uk;’ there will be live help and advice from our experienced Will writing experts.