WILLS ARE A WAY TO KEEP CONTROL

 


Homeowners will be reminded of the importance of making a will and keeping it up to date when National Will Week begins next Sunday. Incredibly, 60 per cent of adults fail to make a will even though this leaves them open to the risk of their assets not being passed on to their loved ones after their death.

Lawpack, which publishes a self-help book about writing wills, is sponsoring Will Week. It says dying without one -known as intestate - means that rules dictate how your assets are divided and this may not be as you intended.

Matt Pitcher, of independent financial adviser Towry Law JS&P in Bracknell, Berkshire, says: 'Many people overlook the importance of a will. It is a vital first step ahead of any inheritance tax planning. Get professional help and remember that a will and any tax planning should be regularly reviewed.' It is possible to write your own will using a pack available from a stationer for about £30.

But if you think you are likely to have an IHT problem it is best to get your will drawn up by a solicitor, which will cost about £500.

Roger Needs, 50, an electrical engineer, and his wife Gillian, 51, a secretary, are planning to visit a solicitor and financial adviser this week to redraft their wills.
The couple, who live in .Port Talbot, South Wales, with their son Michael, 21, an electrician, have had their wills for more than ten years. But as their home has increased in value and they are in the process of building a second property in Pembrokeshire, they have decided to take steps to reduce their IHT liability and must update their wills.

'The home we built in 1999 is now worth about £400,000 and so we have a significant IHT issue says Roger. 'Originally Gillian and I just wrote our own wills using a pack I bought on the internet, but now we need professional advice. We hope to set up trusts within our wills so we can pass on assets after the first death for the benefit of our son.'