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Last Will and Testament – Why People Make One And What To Do

Updated on April 20, 2012

This is one of a series of articles focusing on issues associated with death. In this hub we focus on making a will and why it is important to do this. The Last Will and Testament is important for the next of Kin in organising all sorts of problems associated with estates, funeral and your expressed wishes. There is one thing for sure in life - death and taxes. You need to be informed of how you might be able to avoid death taxes. Tax free inheritance would be a real bonus, but how would you avoid this after the event of death? This is an impossible task, so be informed so you can plan and live your life now, rather than give your hard earned assets to the Government.

This article has been designed in conjunction with others to help you. Here are the links for you to click on for further reading:

Why Make A Will?

In making a will, you will have peace of mind knowing that you have planned where and whom you want your money and things to go to.  You have held these things dear in your life and much of it can be costly as well as sentimental. You will no longer worry about the future once you have gone because this will have been individually written.

If you are a couple, a very simple ‘mirror’ will will be effective. This generally states that the first to die will leave everything to the other partner and then to the children when both have died. It can still be individualised stating the desire to leave specific items to specific people.

Inheritance Tax Paying?... AVOID! Probate?... AVOID!

Having a Will will help with inheritance tax avoidance and further avoids the problems associated with death intestate – death where a will has not be made. When an estate goes into probate, this causes all sorts of problems. For more on probate, you can contact the UK Government Website:

Writing a will can avoid family disputes. The will sets out firm boundaries as to who gets what and when. There is no argument over this issue. The old saying ‘Where there’s a will, there’s relations’ doesn’t come without reason. This is one reason why a will is a necessary document.

Gifting to Beneficiaries in the present can help avoid inheritance tax in the future
Gifting to Beneficiaries in the present can help avoid inheritance tax in the future

Give Now to Beneficiaries - DON'T PAY LATER! Reduce Inheritance Tax Liabilities

Pleasing beneficiaries now rather than after your death is a good way to reduce any potential inheritance tax liabilities. If you want to do this it might be of benefit to check the legalities on certain objects or estates. By writing a will, however, will ensure that the right person gets the right object that you might hold dear. Objects, for example, like wedding rings and heirlooms that might have been handed down in the family.

Inhertiance Tax - Rules and Obligations

Inheritance tax is subject to certain criteria and threshold. Not all people reach the threshold and are liable. It is worth considering these rules and obligations when making a will and making certain gifts whilst you are alive in order to avoid this tax. Here are some excemptions:

These ARE NOT Subject to Inheritance Tax!

  • Spouse or civil partner exemption – If their permanent home is in the UK, there is nothing owed for the estate or gifts made to them.
  • UK charity exemption – Gifting to a UK registered charity is exempt.
  • Potentially exempt transfers – Survive seven years or more after gifting no matter what the value is exempt.
  • Annual exemption – Gifting up to £3,000 per year in total is exempt.
  • Small gift exemption – This is tax-free gifting of up to £250 to as many people as you like.
  • Wedding and civil partnership gifts are exempt up to a certain amount.
  • Business, Woodland, Heritage and Farm Relief business has some relief on Inheritance Tax should the deceased owned a business like this.

Source: Inland Revenue UK

Why do you need a will?

A Will Will Act As A Guide For The Next Of Kin..

A will can guide the next of kin to your wishes. It will help them with funeral arrangements and help you to express what you want to happen to your body once deceased.

Why make a will?

  • For peace of mind
  • Avoid Family Disputes
  • Pleasing the beneficiaries
  • A Way of Saving on Inheritance Tax
  • To express wishes to funeral arrangements and what you wish to happen to your body once deceased.

© This work is covered under Creative Commons License

The video above is a useful visual summary, but please forgive the promotional stuff at the end - I have no affliate with his promotion.

Last Will and Testament Products For You To Look At!

Now Amazon are always very good with their prices on all items.  Here I can recommend a selection of products that contain templates and all you need to make a will - do it youself style!  All these have great reviews so don't believe me - see what the others customers have to say!

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      Lost Heirs 6 years ago

      This article might contain some valuable information