Is A Will Really Necessary?
The simple answer is yes.
Unless all your assets are held in joint names and/or you are happy to rely on the arrangements for your family that the intestacy laws will provide, then it is imperative you make a Will. Without a Will an Estate with a value of more than £250,000 will not all pass to the spouse and may mean that the full Inheritance Tax Exemption may not be due.
A Lasting Power of Attorney should also be considered alongside the Will. The Power allows the person appointed (the attorney) to make decisions during the lifetime of the person appointing them, in the event that that person (the donor) becomes unable to make those decisions. There are two separate Powers, one to cover property and financial matters and another which covers health and welfare issues.
It is worth bearing in mind that unless your accounts and assets are in joint names, a bank will not generally consent to a person dealing with a spouse’s own accounts without a property and financial affairs LPA.
Professional advice should be sought in most cases when preparing a Will to ensure that it not only reflects your wishes but is also prepared in a tax efficient matter.
Should you require any further information please contact Green & Co.
Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.