Many of you will have heard about or seen TV advertisements for, so-called Bloodline Wills.
The theme is that you want your estate to go to your immediate family whom you know, with no risk of it being diverted to your daughter’s ex-boyfriends, people whom your children owe money to, future step-parents to a grandchild, and so on. Your grandchildren could be specifically named in your Will but end up with nothing at all. It is even possible that your wishes could be bypassed if you own a buy-to-let property as well as a family home.
There is nothing new about making your directions clear in your Will except that modern cohabiting relationships can create unexpected legal consequences.
You might think your existing Will provides protection for your family assets but it is likely that your grandchildren will only inherit if their mother or father dies before them. Your grandchildren may never benefit from your estate.
The solution may be placing funds into a specialist Trust whose sole beneficiaries are within your family. These funds can be used at any time for the named persons’ personal benefit but cannot be accessed by outside third parties.
Without such a Trust, you could find that your money wends its way to former partners (married or not) of your sons and daughters, their stepchildren, people who claim money from your descendants and so on.
A thoughtfully drawn up Will is the first step. If you die without one, your estate may not be distributed in the way you would have intended, and it might cause real problems for your family. The issue is of particular concern to buy-to-let investors, who own flats and houses in addition to their family home. If you do not have a Will in Scotland, your estate is divided according to the rules of intestacy.
After your spouse (probably) gets the family home, any other houses and land you own (including your buy-to-let properties), and all the cash remaining may go to relatives whom you have never met. Known in Germany as Laughing Heirs whose relationship to the deceased is so distant they suffer no sense of bereavement but are happy to receive an unexpected financial windfall.
Potential care home fees are another area where we can offer advice to protect your assets.
‘Bloodline’ Will Trusts are not for everyone. Annual costs are involved as accounts have to be created and tax returns made. We can help put a Plan together and quote you a Fixed Price for doing it.
Please call Janice now to have a talk about it. Ring 0131 556 4044 or send us a message via our website.