Considerations for the over 55’s when making a will
- If you are in a new relationship, with children from a previous relationship
You may want to provide for your current partner by leaving them a life interest in your share of the home i.e. a right to live in it during their lifetime, but when they die, provide that your share will pass to your children. This ensures that both are provided for and you can be sure that your children inherit ultimately. There may be other appropriate provisions to cater for complex family situations.
- Gifts to grandchildren
You may want to leave a token gift direct to your grandchildren or perhaps leave assets to them, in place of your children, particularly if the children are quite wealthy in their own right. This can be effective tax planning.
- If you have been widowed and have remarried
You need to ensure that your will is structured to make maximum use of the nil rate band allowances that may be available to your estate as it is possible that if a second spouse dies before you, there are potentially two nil rate bands that are available to your estate, as well as your own, but only one additional nil rate band is allowed.
- Providing for family where there is a family business
One of your children may be working with you in a family business – while others are not. Your interest in the business may be the major asset in your estate. How can you provide fairly for other family/children to ensure that everyone is treated equally?
- Provisions for elderly parents
You may be supporting elderly parents by providing funds for them or they may be living with you. How can you ensure that they are looked after when you are gone?
- Residence Nil Rate Band
You may want to ensure that your assets and your will are structured in such a way that full use can be made of the new residence nil rate band that will provide an additional relief for deaths on or after 6th April 2017.
- Holiday homes abroad
Consideration needs to be given to what will happen to a foreign holiday home (or other property) and whether this is covered by the law of that country or whether it is preferable or advisable to deal with this in your English will.
- Lasting Powers of Attorney
While making a will, you may also want to think about signing an LPA (which can deal with property and financial or health and welfare issues) to appoint people who would be able to make decisions relating to those matters on your behalf if you lacked capacity at some time in the future. An LPA is separate from your will and unlike your will, would apply at a time when you are still alive, but may not be able to deal with your financial or healthcare issues.