When was the last time you looked at your Will? People often make their Will and then forget all about it. By the time it is needed, however, their circumstances may have changed dramatically and their Will may no longer reflect their wishes.
What happened in your life last year? Did you get married, or divorced? Maybe you had a child or your first grandchild? Did you receive money or perhaps purchase a property? These are all times when you should look to review your Will. Changes to your circumstances can mean that your wishes change, your Will is no longer appropriate or in some cases (such as marriage) your Will can even be cancelled.
Even if your circumstances have not changed since you made your Will, the law may have. Changes in the law can be particularly important when it comes to Inheritance Tax planning. Although the Nil Rate Band (the amount which everyone can leave free of Inheritance Tax on their death) has been frozen for a number of years now, other Inheritance Tax rules can and do change frequently and on occasion without warning.
Changes are due to come into force in April 2016 relating to the nil rate band, when a person owns or has owned a property and that property or the proceeds of sale are passed to children or grandchildren. The rules are complex and in order to qualify for the relief it is important that your Will is drafted correctly. Inheritance Tax is charged at 40% and in certain circumstances the new rules can allow you to leave up to an additional £175,000.00 free of Inheritance Tax. This is a potential tax saving of £70,000.00 so it is well worth getting right.
January is the ideal time to assess your circumstances and put plans in place to get your affairs in order. If you would like to review your current will, or have one drafted, please get in touch.