With inheritance tax featuring largely in the headlines at the moment, amid the ongoing cost of living crisis, saving money is at the forefront of many of our minds. In this article, we’re sharing 4 ways a wills and probate solicitor can help you to save money for yourself and your loved ones.
In Great Britain, a great many people are welcoming the news that the government may, potentially, take another look at our inheritance tax laws. UK wills & probate specialists may see that a considerable number of people are unaware of the ways in which they can save money for themselves and their loved ones.
In this article, we’re sharing four ways that a wills and probate solicitor can help you to save money.
What is a wills and probate solicitor?
This is a specialist lawyer whose expertise is focused on helping people to make the most of their assets before and after their death. A wills and probate solicitor is also responsible for ensuring that your wishes are carried out after your death according to your Last Will and Testament; a document which outlines who should get what after you’re gone.
4 ways a wills and probate solicitor can help you to save money
1. Making a will
Regardless of how much you own in terms of cash and assets, it’s important to make a will (Last will & Testament) as early as possible in order to detail how your assets should be distributed, and to leave instructions regarding your funeral.
A wills and probate solicitor can help you to draw up your will as well as keeping a copy on file for you. While it is possible to draw up a simple will for yourself, it’s recommended that you hire the services of a solicitor who will be able to make sure that it is clear and free of loopholes.
This is particularly important if you have significant assets or specific instructions. For example, you may want, for whatever reason, to exclude somebody from your will. A wills and probate solicitor can help you to make your intentions clear – and legally binding – to prevent confusion following your death which can otherwise lead to long and expensive legal wrangles and family fall outs.
2. Estate planning
A little more complex than just making a will, estate planning is the act of laying out comprehensive instructions for what should happen once you’re gone. As well as detailing your assets and how they should be divvied up, an estate plan will also include asset management and responsibilities.
For example, there may be detailed instructions as to how your business should be managed or special considerations for a dependent who may require ongoing financial support and / or care. A wills and probate solicitor will assist you in your estate planning by analysing your assets and your wishes and suggesting appropriate clauses in your estate plan. Your solicitor will also be able to advise on the proper filing and storing of your documents to help safeguard your wishes.
3. Inheritance tax
Under UK law, the beneficiaries of your will are required to pay inheritance tax on any assets that you leave which are above the legal tax-free threshold of £325,000. Inheritance tax is charged at 40% in the UK and this is a legal obligation.
However, your wills and probate solicitor may be able to help you to reduce the amount of inheritance tax that your loved ones will need to pay. Your solicitor will also be able to handle the payment of inheritance tax from your estate, as well as distributing any tax-free allowances to your spouse or civil partner.
Nothing to do with your furry friends (although their care should be included in your will), PETS – or Potentially Exempt Transfers – are assets which you may be permitted to give or transfer to a spouse or other beneficiary while you are still alive. These gifts can be of unlimited value, but there is a caveat: if you survive for seven years after bequeathing the gift then all good but, if not, this may become chargeable.
Your wills and probate solicitor can help you to navigate this somewhat complicated action which could ultimately save you and your loved ones a considerable amount of money. This is often known as a ‘lifetime gift’ which, again, could become chargeable in the event of your death if you aren’t aware of the rules and regulations and the ways in which this can