Inheritance Tax

A client of ours, Terry, met and moved in with his partner Margaret, who had been married and had a daughter Helen, with whom he had a good fatherly, family relationship. Margaret owned the flat from the proceeds of the sale of the family home – had downsized and purchased a two-bedroom flat.

Margaret was diagnosed with cancer and died after six months. The family were devastated. Unfortunately Margaret had not made a will and died intestate.

The flat ownership was shared with the ex-husband and the daughter and Ted moved out into a flat he used to rent out.

We were invited to draft a will for Terry, as a result of what had happened with his partner Margaret, who had wanted her estate to pass 100% to her daughter Helen, rather than her ex-husband. Terry wanted to ensure his assets were distributed as per his wishes and his requirements which included Helen.

The will was drafted, signed and witnessed. We asked if he wished to keep a secure copy in safe storage at a cost of £37 per annum. Terry declined this on the basis he had a safe place for his will. Unfortunately, Terry died a year later. We were asked for a copy of the will, but whilst we held the draft copy, it had not been signed nor witnessed.
This meant that Terry died intestate and his estate was distributed under the Laws of Intestacy i.e. the state decided how his estate should be distributed after payment of the Inheritance Tax Liability was paid.

The security of a will, to be held in secure storage cannot be over emphasised. A catastrophe, such as damage through Fire or theft, burglary or any damage, or loss or put in a private place ( perhaps not telling anyone, where your will may be found ). If your will cannot be found or is damaged can make your will invalid – and the courts will decide on the distribution of your estate under Law. We recommend you hold your Will in secure storage, which can then be changed or amended as required with ease, and produced after death, when it comes into effect. Your will can be made available to your executors, to complete the service, and to provide you with peace of mind.

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