wills & trusts
Why Do I Need A Will?
67% of UK adults don't have a valid Will and for those who do - many are considered out of date if older than 4 years as they may not take into account changes in personal circumstances.
Wills aren't just for the elderly or the wealthy.
Your Will allows you to instruct your executors on how to distribute your estate upon your death.
Silvergate's estate planners are professionally and regularly trained as qualified members of The Society of Will Writers.
Using an expert to write your Will or assist with your estate planning will provide both you and your family with peace of mind.
The ONLY way to ensure that your wishes are met after your death is to make an up to date Will. Without one, your property will pass by the Law of Intestacy and will likely cost more and take more time than if a Will had been made.
Dying without a Will leaves your finances, home, possessions and possibly children to the laws of Intestacy to govern their allocation.
Making a Will ensures that you can specify who will handle your estate upon your death - by naming them as executors - they will pay taxes, debts and distribute the estate as the Will directs.
If your current Will was made a long time ago or your circumstances have changed then updating your Will to include or exclude executors/beneficiaries may be vital to ensure your last wishes are met. You can name guardians within your Will for any children you leave under the age of 18 at the time of both parents' deaths. If no person is named then the courts will decide who should look after your children instead. You can also state whether you wish for your children to inherit from your estate at a later age than the standard of 18 years.
Should you wish to leave a gift to a charity, you can do so in your Will.
Larger estates may also benefit from a reduced rate of Inheritance Tax if a minimum of 10% of the net estate is left to charity.
There are many different types of Wills, finding the one you need can be quite time consuming and confusing, which is why our expert estate planners are on hand to advise you of how best to protect your last wishes.
Typically, if your final estate administration is expected to be quite straight forward, you are acting alone and know exactly (to the percentage) how you would like to distribute your estate, then a single Will may be enough to protect your last wishes. For couples in agreement of how they wish to distribute their estate upon their death, then a Mirror Will is usually advised.
Do not assume that your spouse will get everything. under the Law of Intestacy, your children can have a right to a part of your Estate if it is large enough. Even if a Will was made prior to your marriage, the marriage may have actually revoked the document unless otherwise stated.
Unfortunately, unmarried couples do not have the same legal rights as those who are married. Under the Law of Intestacy, your partner wouldn't receive anything from your Estate. It is common for a person to wish that their current spouse will benefit from their Will as well as ensuring that their own children eventually benefit.
Should you wish to state your preferences for your end of life care, you will most likely be advised to organise an Advanced Directive. This document allows you to state whether or not you would like life support machines to be used, amongst other important factors in your end of life care plan. This ensures that your family is not left with the concern or question of what they think you would want to happen.
A Will can include certain Trusts which allow for a spouse to live in a property for the rest of their life and then the property will pass to the children afterwards. Rather than directly giving your Assets to a person, they can be placed into a Trust. There are many reasons to add a Trust in your Will, such as property protection for your children, to provide for disabled beneficiaries and to allow flexibility for trustees to adapt to a beneficiary's change of circumstances.