Wills & Financial Planning

23rd February 2011
Wills & Financial Planning image

Wills & Financial Planning

There are several aspects of financial planning that may be of importance when making a will.

1. Inheritance Tax
• this is a tax at 40% payable on the value of your assets when you die. Each individual can leave £325,000 free of Inheritance Tax (the Nil Rate Band) and a surviving spouse/civil partner can on his/her death use any amount of the deceased spouse’s/partner’s Unused Nil Rate Band. In effect therefore for most families there is £650,000 of relief before Inheritance Tax is payable.
• Gifts to Spouses/civil partners and Charities are also free from tax which means that in the vast majority of situations Inheritance Tax is not a major problem.
• Certain types of assets such as farmland and trading business assets are also normally free from Inheritance Tax but there are traps for the unwary.
• Like all taxes Inheritance Tax is complicated and there are many pitfalls and traps to be avoided so if you think your assets may be above the Nil Rate Band or if you own agricultural and/or business assets it is well worth taking advice as any excess will be charged at 40%

2. Income Tax/Capital Gains Tax

• Whilst neither of these taxes is actually payable as a result of dying they must be borne in mind when planning the ownership of assets for Inheritance Tax purposes
• There is a tax free revaluation for Capital Gains Tax purposes on death so it often makes more sense to retain assets than give them away for Capital Gains Tax purposes whereas for Inheritance Tax the opposite is usually true
• If the Income Tax burden is increased by moving assets between husband and wife or civil partners that may negate any benefits from saving Inheritance Tax
• This is why all cases must be considered on their own facts.

3. Residential Home Charges/State Benefits

• For many families this is a more important area than Inheritance Tax.
• It is increasingly difficult to take assets and in particular houses out of the reckoning in a way that is both safe and effective (see “I Don’t Want the State to Take my Home!” article here)
• It is however possible to make plans where for example on spouse/civil partner is likely to need residential care if the other dies
• Similarly careful use of trusts can enable disabled beneficiaries to be provided for without affecting any state benefits they may be getting

4. Other Factors

• The above are factors that should be borne in mind in appropriate circumstances but they should never override the prime reason for making a will which is to provide properly for those you wish to benefit
• Making proper financial provision for your dependants is what it is all about. If however you think any of the above may be relevant to you it is important that it is discussed and the solution that is right for you and your family is chosen. This is not a situation where “one size fits all” which is why it is important that your individual circumstances and wishes are discussed and the right provisions put in your will.

If you want advice on this subject then please contact a member of our Wills, Probate and Trust Team as follows:-

On 01775 722261, or email jane.mawer@maplessolicitors.com,
faye.blair@maplessolicitors.com or

Dementia Friends image

Dementia Friends

Maples Solicitors are proud to announce that they have now joined to become Dementia Friends which is an Alzheimer’s Society initiative.

The private client department of Maples Solicitors prepare Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney on a regular basis and this often involves dealing with clients who are suffering from dementia. The private client team pride themselves on spending as much time as is necessary to assist all of their clients, but those suffering from dementia often require additional assistance and time to ensure that they have fully understood the legal documentation that they are creating. The private client department are regularly complimented on the way they deal with such clients, whether this be explaining things to them in a clear and uncomplicated manner, spending time with them or putting them at ease.

It is a misconception that anyone suffering from dementia cannot make a Will or Lasting Power of Attorney. Only if someone lacks sufficient mental capacity are they unable to make such a document. It is therefore vitally important upon any diagnosis of dementia that legal advice is taken as soon as possible to make sure that your affairs are in order so that it is easier for your family to deal with your affairs if you are unable to do so yourself.

To become Dementia Friends, Maples Solicitors have pledged to develop their understanding of dementia and continue assisting clients suffering from dementia with their legal affairs in a respectful, friendly and efficient way that is not daunting making the process as easy as possible.

Read More


Gemma Mayer LLB

"I would highly recommend Maples Solicitors, especially Gemma Mayer, for any conveyancing work. The level of support and professionalism was excellent at all times. I also felt if I needed to ask or clarify anything that it was not an issue. Buying and selling a house is stressful enough, but Gemma helped me through it step by step."

Anita Toal LLB BA

"I think you are brilliant. You can use my comments above. You are efficient, friendly and quite clearly very good at what you do. Mainly you don’t leave people hanging around too long for." "So easy to talk to her and she understood what I wanted. She put me at ease and I cant thank her enough"

James Turner BA

James Turner was extremely helpful with our buying process. Everything went smoothly. We are very happy with the level of professionalism demonstrated by the office. Highly recommended solicitors. Will definitely do business with them again.

Daven Naghen LLB

"Daven provided an excellent service, from attending the first interview with me to the final court appearance. He filled me full of confidence that he would defend me to which he did and come out with an excellent outcome in view of my position that I had put myself in."

Faye Blair LLB

Faye was excellent, sensitive and acted very well to the time constraints we faced. Great service and dealt with compassion at such sad times made the process less painful very professional.

Jamie Dobbs GCILEx

Over the last forty years I have cause to deal with many law firms both in a personal and professional capacity, including some ‘top’ London Companies. In all of those dealings I have never found anyone as proactive and so willing to offer help and advice as Jamie Dobbs. During the last two years Jamie guided my parents through the completion of Lasting Powers of Attorney. Helped myself with the use of the LPA and recently dealing with Probate and Estate Administration following their death.

Mike Pepper MA

Mike Pepper gave us excellent advice. He was always most helpful and accommodating giving lucid explanations every step of the way. Thank you Mike.

Donna Sandison FCILEx

Donna has been helpful and professional every step of the way during the process. Always on hand to answer any queries and totally professional and friendly at all times.