Wills for Single People with No Children
If you’re single, whether you’re divorced or have never been married, the law discriminates against you for inheritance tax purposes.
You can’t benefit from the transferable Inheritance Tax Nil-rate band which widows or widowers can, and the appalling and confusing Inheritance Tax Residence Nil-rate Band is of no interest to you, because if you have no children or grandchildren you can’t claim it. So this means that on your death all your assets over the basic inheritance tax nil-rate band will be
taxed at 40%, unless left to exempt beneficiaries such as U.K. registered charities or recognised political parties (strangely enough, we come across very few of the latter!).
Because you probably have no idea when you will die and little idea exactly whom at that time you will wish to benefit from your Estate, it may appear that having a Will drawn becomes up a difficult task, because you’re unsure to whom you want to leave all that you own. So people put it off – and, clearly, that is not a good idea.
Will your parents still be alive? Will your brothers and sisters need the money or will this simply add to their eventual tax burden, in which case it may be preferable to leave their share to their own children (your nephews and nieces).
What if your nephews and nieces are still fairly young, and might be irresponsible with the money if they were to come into a potentially large inheritance?
We believe it’s because of some or all these unknowns that so many single or divorced people frequently put off making their Will and, sadly, often leave it until it’s too late.
But by carefully discussing your particular situation, and how you envisage your assets passing, we’re able to prepare a Will that can truly reflect your wishes.
This flexibility will take into account any concerns you may have, while maintaining the flexibility to tailor the disposition of your assets according to the situation at your eventual death, whenever that might be.
By placing some or all of what you own into a discretionary trust, your assets can be distributed in accordance with your wishes while protecting the funds from tax or care fees.
The potential beneficiaries in the trust might be your parents, your brothers and sisters, your nephews and nieces or any other people you might choose.
If your parents are still alive the Trustees can use whatever funds are needed to provide for them, while not inflating the size of your parents’ estates by giving them more than they need.
If on your death they have already died, or are in care or any gift would affect their means-tested benefits, then the Trustees would perhaps look at the situation of your surviving brothers and sisters.
Perhaps you have a sister who could use extra funds but a wealthy, independent brother who wouldn’t need them.
In such a situation the Trustees would ensure your sister is provided for but might make a distribution from the trust to your brother’s children, rather than increase the value of his estate unnecessarily by giving him a potential inheritance tax problem on his death.
Similarly, any funds which might otherwise go to your nephews and nieces could be retained until they are old or mature enough, or perhaps the funds could be used to buy a flat for them rather than giving them the cash.
By drawing up a Will with the use of such a trust we can ensure total flexibility, potential future inheritance tax savings, protection from your parents’ possible care fees or the reckless spending of your nephews and nieces, and the ability to distribute or retain your assets in the optimum manner when the time comes.
All that’s required is for you to explain your intentions and for the Trustees to be guided by these wishes. So, don’t put off this essential task any longer. Get in touch with us now, and we’ll happily answer any queries you might have.