With news that the Inheritance Tax freeze is to remain in place until 2028, the conversation around the importance of writing a Will has again been highlighted. By planning your estate sooner rather than later, and getting your Will up to date, you may be able to avoid a larger than necessary tax liability for your loved ones, meaning that they will get to keep a decent share of their inheritance.
The Inheritance Tax threshold of £325,000 has been in place since 2009, unchanged regardless of the state of the economy. Scotland is still experiencing a rise in house prices, with the latest House Price Index showing the average price paid for a property in Scotland in September 2022 was up 7.3% on the same month in 2021. With the Inheritance Tax cap still frozen at £325,000, this means that your loved ones could end up being liable to pay a large sum of tax when inheriting your estate.
With this in mind, planning for what happens to your estate should be of high priority. A recent survey by Tower Street Finance has unearthed some interesting, yet pretty concerning, results to do with planning for what happens to your assets when you die. The survey revealed that, although 72% of the UK-based adults sampled plan to leave something for their loved ones when they die, 52% don’t actually have a Will in place. This is a staggering percentage of people who don’t have a plan in place for what happens to their estate.
A Will is a legally binding document that sets out your wishes for what happens to your stuff when you die. So, if you pass on without leaving a Will, it cannot be assured that the people that you want to inherit your assets actually do. In Scotland, Scots Law dictates what will happen to your assets in the event that you die without leaving a Will. Sorting out your estate can then turn out to be a stressful and expensive experience for your loved ones at what will already be a difficult time for them.
Unfortunately, no one can foresee exactly when they are going to die. So, by drafting a Will now, you can give yourself (and your loved ones!) peace of mind that your wishes will be granted. You can have a say in who gets the house, the car, the money – and what happens to your pets. You can also leave instructions for what you wish your funeral to be like, which can often help in avoiding unnecessary family disagreements!
If you think that you don’t need a Will – it may be time to rethink that. Keeping your Will up to date is important for anyone who has children and other dependents, or if you have financial savings or own a property. Kimberley Mackay, Head of Private Client Law at Watermans, had this to say about the importance of drafting a Will sooner rather than later;
“Your Will is your last love letter to your family making sure that those who are important to you are looked after when you are no longer here. If you do not leave a Will, the law will dictate who your beneficiaries are. Leaving things to chance is risky and more expensive for your loved ones.
With personal finances being talked about more than ever, now is the time to take advice to plan for your loved ones reaping the benefits of your hard-earned assets”
At Watermans, we offer single Will-writing services for £299 including VAT. And, if you book your Will or appointment with us before the 23rd of December, £50 of the fee will be donated to Cash for Kids! Cash for Kids is a grant-giving charity helping ill and disadvantaged children across the UK, so arrange your Will appointment today to do your bit for the charity! You can book your appointment using the form below, or by calling us on 0131 555 7055.