It never ceases to amaze me, as someone who helps those administering an estate, how often estates can end up with estranged relatives who may never even have met the person who has died. If only the deceased had either got round to making a will or had updated the will they had made many years ago, this would have ensured the people they most wanted to benefit actually received the funds.
Having said that, a recent survey published by the Office for National Statistics revealed that between 2008 and 2010, some 160,000 people received an inheritance of more than £125,000 and approximately 3.6% of the adult population received legacies from wills of at least £1,000.
The survey however also revealed that increasingly, wealth is given away during a person’s lifetime as they seek to reduce the inheritance tax liability on their death. It is reassuring to know that more people are planning to leave a legacy to their chosen beneficiaries.
If you want to ensure that your assets end up with those you would like to benefit, this is a salutary reminder to review your affairs, consider the effect of any lifetime gifting and ensure your will is kept up-to-date on a regular basis.
For further information on creating or amending a will, please contact Helen Gowin in our estate administration and probate team on 01260 282351.