Why All Doctors Should Have a Will
The primary objective of a Will is to ensure your estate is distributed to those you wish to inherit after your death. Some people assume this is not necessary as they expect everything will automatically go to their partner, or their children. It is worth looking at the rules of intestacy (someone who dies without a Will is said to die intestate) to see what would actually happen.
If you are married or in a civil partnership with no children, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren (or great-great-grandchildren etc!) your spouse or partner will inherit everything. However, if you have children or remoter issue your spouse or partner will inherit:
The children inherit the other half of the remaining estate in equal shares. If the children are not surviving their children (i.e. your grandchildren) inherit in their place.
You should note that transfers to your spouse or partner on your death are not subject to Inheritance Tax but transfers to anyone else, including your children, are if they exceed the Nil Rate Band (currently £325,000). If your Nil Rate Band is unused or not used in full the remainder passes to your spouse or civil partner, giving them a Nil Rate Band of up to £650,000 on their death. A secondary objective for writing a Will is therefore Inheritance Tax Planning. By controlling who the money goes to you can control and limit where possible the resulting Inheritance Tax liability. Note Inheritance Tax must be paid by the recipient of the inheritance. The current rate of tax is 40%.
If you are in a relationship but are not married or in a civil partnership it is particularly important to write a Will as your partner will not receive anything. Your whole estate will go to your children if you have any (or grandchildren in their place if the children are not surviving as above). If not, it will go to:
If you need to write or update a Will we can refer you to a local solicitor and also advise you on your Inheritance Tax Planning. Please contact Richard Higgs, Chartered Financial Planner, on 0117 966 5699 or firstname.lastname@example.org.