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Q&A: Writing your Will

As part of our two-series blog posts on writing your Will (you can write part one here), we have answered a selection of questions that come to mind when writing a Will or organising your trust.

What happens if my children are under 18?
If you have children under the age of 18, your Will should give directions for the care of those children and how they will be provided for. The Will must state who is to have custody and guardianship if both spouses/partners die.

What is the difference between a Guardian and a Trustee?
A guardian is the person you select to take over your role as parent in rearing your children under 18 years of age. A Trustee is the person you appoint to look after the assets in your estate. Your will should give your Trustee enough power to allow them to be flexible in deciding what maintenance and other payments should be made for the beneficiaries who are under 18 years of age.

What is a Discretionary Trust?
A discretionary trust provides your trustees with full power to apply capital and income at their discretion for the benefit of your beneficiaries (e.g. your children). This may mean that some beneficiaries will receive more than others – this is up to the Trustees to decide.

Is their tax on Discretionary Trusts?
At present, discretionary trusts are liable to a once off tax of 6% on the death of the person creating the trust, once his/her spouse, and all their children are over the age of 21. There is a refund of 3% if the trust is distributed fully within 5 years. There is a further payment of 1% due on the 1st of January in each succeeding year each year following the year in which the payment of 6% is made.

What If I have no cash assets?
If your only asset is a house, business or farm and you do not have sufficient cash, you can leave the house to a particular beneficiary on condition that he/she arranges for legacies to be paid to other beneficiaries. In the case of an elderly relative, you could consider leaving the house, business or farm to them for their lifetime and state in your Will that you want done with the property after their death.

We can answer more of your questions! To get in touch with a query regarding your Will or an inheritance, feel free to get in touch with us here.


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