Saving Money By Making Or Reviewing A Will28th Oct 2022
Will Your Family Fall Victim To Hidden Costs?
Saving money has never been more important. With inflation soaring, every penny counts these days.
That means ‘make do and mend’. And the best way to do that is by taking swift action – ‘a stitch in time saves nine’, as the old saying goes.
You’ve probably found lots of canny ways to save money already. Lots of quick wins and low-hanging fruit. But what about ways to save that are harder to spot? What about things you never think about – even when times are good?
That’s where we can help…
Beware The Dangers Of Inheritance Tax
Nobody likes Inheritance Tax (IHT) – except possibly the Chancellor, HM Revenue & Customs and the Treasury. Many people view IHT as an unfair tax. You work hard all your life, pay tax on those earnings, save diligently (paying more tax on the interest)…and then the government tries to grab a slice when you die and leave everything to your loved ones.
That’s one way of looking at it. Here’s another…
Some insiders see IHT as a voluntary tax, an apathy levy paid mostly by people who haven’t planned ahead – either because they were too busy or didn’t know how.
The reality is that HMRC is surprisingly generous when it comes to IHT. Although the main IHT threshold hasn’t risen since 6 April 2009 (and won’t be reviewed until 5 April 2026), HMRC offers lots of other allowances. So many in fact, that most people would probably struggle to take advantage of all of them.
But if you’re going to do so, you’ll need to make or review your will…
Don’t Let Apathy Cost You A Fortune
The statistics are terrifying: 31 million UK adults don’t have a will – and the consequences of dying without one can be extremely serious.
Aside from the risk of your property and other assets going to the ‘wrong’ people, there’s also the threat that HMRC will take 40% of everything you leave over £325,000. Admittedly, Britain’s tax coffers are important…but you’re probably more concerned about your family’s finances.
Sadly, too many people forget about wills until it’s too late. They’re too busy dealing with life’s immediate trials and tribulations to worry about what will happen when they die. Does that scenario sound familiar?
If so, you could be storing up a whole heap of financial trouble for your loved ones when they’re least able to deal with it – when you’re dead and they’re grieving.
And that brings us to another group of busy people: the ones with a dusty old will locked away somewhere, unseen in years…because they haven’t had time to review it.
Family Circumstances Change, Tax Rules Change…Are You Keeping Up?
Times and family circumstances change rapidly. Tax rules change even faster. So elements of a will made even a few years ago may already be out of date.
It’s good practice to review your will every three years. And if you don’t have one, then get one. Don’t just think about it: do it – for the sake of your loved ones.
It doesn’t take long (we do all the hard work). And it doesn’t cost much – certainly not compared with the 40% IHT you could lose from your estate to HMRC. Nor does it have to be morbid; you’re simply planning the best way to give your family a better life when the time comes.
Beware DIY/Template Wills And Unregulated Will Writers
Okay, so you’ve finally decided to make or review your will. And harking back to the start of this blog post, you’re probably thinking about the cheapest way to get it done.
You may have checked the internet to look for will template downloads. Or perhaps you’ve popped into a certain High Street store to see if they still sell DIY will kits. Maybe you’ve considered a will writer you’ve never heard of because they looked like a cheap deal.
Beware! All three of these options are dangerous false economies. They could cost your family thousands of pounds in Inheritance Tax because someone – either you or an unregulated will writer – missed an opportunity or left an unfortunate legal loophole in your will.
Only a legally qualified solicitor who specialises in wills and probate can look at your family and financial circumstances and suggest the best ways to reduce your IHT liability and save money.
We offer a free 30 minutes in person to anyone who wants to review their existing will.
- How Millionaires (And You) Can Avoid Paying Inheritance Tax. Read more…
- Inheritance Tax Exemptions: Save 4% By Giving To Charity. Read more…
- How Does Equity Release Work? Read more…
- How Can A STEP Wills And Probate Solicitor Help Me? Read more…
- Do All Wills Have To Go Through Probate? Read more…
- Will My Partner Automatically Inherit My Estate When I Die? Read more…
Get Expert Legal Advice
Need more information? Contact Coles Miller Partner Anthony Weber, Head of Wills and Probate.
Anthony specialises in wills, probate, powers of attorney, living wills, administration of estates, and equity release. He is accredited by Solicitors for the Elderly, helping elderly or vulnerable people to manage their affairs.
His work includes dealing with the Office of the Public Guardian and the appointment of deputies to manage the affairs of those who have lost mental capacity. Anthony is based at our Fleetsbridge office.