S: So, Mr A, you would like to make a Will. I see you have completed our Will questionnaire. This confirms:
- you are married with three young children;
- your estate comprises a house in your name valued at £250,000 and you have savings of £75,000; and
- you want to leave everything to your children.
Mr A: Correct. All to my children.
S: How will your wife manage and where will she live if you predecease her?
Mr A: She will be OK – she will find somewhere.
S: Do you realise that she will be able to make a claim against your estate – as you have not provided for her?
Mr A: Oh! I thought she would benefit under the Intestacy Rules.
S: Sorry, but these Rules ONLY apply if you die leaving NO Will.
Mr A: I wish to leave all to my children but do not want my wife to make a claim. So what would you advise?
S: Apart from the potential claim your wife could make, you will need to establish a trust for your children. They are all under 18 (infants) and therefore legally your executors have to look after the children’s entitlement to your estate until they are 18 – or whatever age you specify.
Mr A: I do not want to set up a Trust now – I am here to do a Will. In any case, what is a trust?
S: I am not advising setting up a Trust now, but under the terms of your Will. The trust will only come into existence following your death.
Mr A: I have no intention of dying now.
S: I quite understand, and I was not suggesting this.
Mr A: I still want to do a Will so what do you advise?
S: I believe the way forward would be me to draft a Will which provides for your estate to be held on discretionary trusts for beneficiaries which will include your wife and children. By including your wife your executors would avoid a claim from her and the children’s entitlement would be looked after by your executors until they reach 18.
Being a discretionary trust your executors have a discretion in the way they act as guided by a separate Letter of Wishes which you would sign which would reflect your wishes.
Mr A: This sounds sensible and yes, could you draft a Will along the lines you have advised. I will need help with the Letter of Wishes.
S: Not a problem. I will draft a Will and Letter of Wishes based on our discussion for your approval.
If you need advice about your Will or estate planning, please contact Michael Catchpole on 01258 840507.