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  • With careful drafting, it should be possible to reduce the amount of tax payable on your death.
  • You can decide how your assets are shared out if you do not make a Will, then the law decides how your Estate is to be distributed.
  • Unmarried partners, or partners who have not registered a Civil Partnership, cannot inherit from each other, unless there is a Will. In the absence of a Will, the death of one partner may create serious financial problems for the surviving partner.
  • You can chose guardians for your children. Your childrens future is protected if you chose a legal guardian to be responsible for their upbringing in the event of death. If you do not specify anyone, it will be left to the surviving relatives, or possibly the Court, to decide who looks after your children. In exceptional circumstances, the Court might even appoint someone who you would never have chosen yourself.
  • Even if you have a Will, unless it has been made recently, your circumstances will almost certainly have changed. A new Will ensures that your money and possessions are distributed according to your current wishes. For instance, Decimus Fearon are regularly asked to advise in circumstances where a clients relationship has ended, and the provisions for an ex-partner need to be changed.
  • Unless an express provision was made in the Will, most clients forget that on a subsequent marriage, or on entering into a registered Civil Partnership, the original Will becomes invalid which may lead to an intestacy.

Foreign Assets

  • If you have assets in more than one country. If you live in the UK but own property abroad, you need to consider how that property will be treated if you die. In countries with forced heirship ie most European countries, the property will devolve in accordance with the law of that country. Decimus Fearon are often asked to liaise with solicitors in that country, or indeed based in London with sufficient experience to ensure that the necessary provisions are either made through a local Will, or the UK Will deals with this potential problem.
  • You should always consider the potential inheritance tax/death duty liability in the foreign country where the property is situated. You will need to establish whether the property could possibly suffer tax both in the UK and in that country. Not all countries have double tax treatment allowances so as to enable the asset to be taxed in only one country.

For more information, contact Faiza Lone on
and 020 7823 0450