A Will can be used effectively to make provision for vulnerable people after you have died for example:
- The care of young children so that the money is not squandered;
- Looking after seniors without adding value to their estate for inheritance tax purposes or even to be used up for care;
- Those who have family issues such as divorce, remarriage, bankruptcy;
- Family members who are unable to manage their own funds or who are in receipt of benefits;
- Preservation of wealth for future generations in the event of a change of circumstances.
By incorporating a Trust into your Will, you can provide for individuals with the knowledge that the funds will be used for their intended purpose and not wasted. Trusts created in your Will only take effect on your death and therefore, whilst you are alive, you are free to use your assets. The Trust will only take effect on the assets which remain in your estate at the time of your death and will not limit your resources should you need them yourself.
For estate planning purposes, any assets which you own jointly will pass automatically on first death to the survivor. The asset will not form part of your estate (if you are the first to die) and will not be distributed in accordance with the terms of your Will. If you wish for assets to form part of your estate, you may wish to change ownership of such assets to either hold your respective shares in your sole names or in a different form of joint ownership. For property, you can either own it as ‘beneficial joint tenants’ or as ‘tenants in common’. If you own your property as beneficial joint tenants, then it will automatically pass to the survivor on first death and will not be affected by the terms of your Will. However, if you own the property as tenants in common, then you each own a distinct share of the property which forms part of your estate on death and can be dealt with by your Will.
For more information about provision for care of children and seniors, please contact a member of our Wills & Wealth Planning team.