One of the main reasons for writing a will is to make sure that your home is protected and doesn’t end up in the hands of someone you don’t want it to when you’re no longer here.
Your home is more than likely going to be one of the most valuable assets you own, sentimentally as well as financially, so it is important to make sure that it is handed down to a preferred, trusted family member or loved one when you pass away.
Putting a property trust fund in a basic will lets you have control over who will have your property in the event of your death, and it also helps your family avoid any disputes during an already upsetting and difficult time.
A will guarantees to carry out your wishes after you die, but what happens if you don’t have one?
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To die intestate means that a person has passed away without ever having a will. In this situation, the decision as to who gets their property is left in the hands of the law – if the deceased person has no close relatives, it may be left to the government or Crown to decide what is done with your home.
Not having a will or any control over the inheritance of your house could mean:
- Your partner or spouse is not entitled to any assets (unless married or in a civil partnership).
- Your children are not entitled to anything (it may automatically be passed on to your husband or wife).
- Your family will need to pay a significant inheritance tax bill after your death.
- Your family and loved ones won’t get to enjoy the assets you’ve worked so hard for.
Your passing is no doubt going to be a difficult time for your family, and for them to have to worry about any financial liabilities they are left with is understandably going to make grieving even more difficult to deal with.
Give yourself and your family peace of mind by getting a property trust fund included in your will today to avoid any future family upsets, and rest easy in the knowledge that your requests will be carried out exactly as you wish. At Wills Services, we can help – simply contact us today, obligation-free.
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What is a property trust fund?
A trust fund is a legal agreement that can hold a number of assets (property, money, possessions, businesses, etc.) for a person and it is managed by a trustee, such as a solicitor or other neutral third party. The third party is responsible for making sure that your wishes are carried out exactly as stated on your will.
The two main advantages of putting your property in a trust are:
- It secures the asset (your home) for your selected beneficiaries
- It helps your loved ones avoid losing a lot of money on the house due to high inheritance tax
With a property trust fund, your beneficiaries are entitled to remain living in your property and continue receiving any income from rent (if this applies) without the added burden of high inheritance tax bills. Without a trust, they would have to pay this no matter what.
What is inheritance tax and how much is it?
Inheritance tax is a lump sum of money that has to be paid to the government in the event of your death. This only occurs if your assets are worth a total amount of £325,000 (known as the Nil Rate Band threshold) or more – if the value is below this then your loved ones will not have to pay the tax.
The current inheritance tax rate is 40% (correct at the time of writing – Dec 2019).
For example, if your estate is worth £450,000, it is £125,000 over the NRB threshold, so your family would have to pay 40% tax on this difference, which works out as £50,000.
If you do not want your family to have to pay such a amount of tax, it is vital that you put a plan in place to protect them from this huge financial hit.
Can I avoid or reduce inheritance tax?
In the UK, there is a way to avoid paying this ‘death tax’ and that is to legally leave your home to your spouse (wife, husband, civil partner, etc.) in your will. If it is legally left to them, they will not have to pay tax on the property.
If you do not have anyone that you’d like to leave your home to, it is possible to pass on your home to a charity of your choice. The charity would also be exempt from paying any inheritance tax on your property.
If you aren’t married but own your home and want to leave it to your children, it’s possible that the tax-free threshold could increase to £450,000. This reduces the amount of tax needed to be paid by your children, but it does not mean they are exempt from paying it – unless, of course, the value of your estate is less than £450,000.
Protect your home now with Wills Services
Talking about what happens to your assets if you need to go into a care home or even after you pass away is never easy, but at Wills Services, we’re here to listen to your needs and help explain your options in a simple manner, so that you know exactly how to financially protect your loved ones and your valued assets.
If you’re concerned about where your assets will go and what will happen to them in the event of your death, remove the worry today with our experienced team and see how they can help you get peace of mind, knowing that your wishes will be carried out exactly how you want them to.