Speaking about your will—don’t be one of the 93%

A National Savings and Investments (NS&I) survey has revealed only 7% of people have talked to their parents about inheritance. One of the key parts of planning to leave an inheritance is to speak about it. This is clearly not an easy subject and it may be a good idea to set aside some specific family time to have this conversation. This might help side-step any family disputes before and after you’re gone.

The most effective way to prepare for this discussion is planning. Take some time to consider your priorities for your money after you’re gone. This might incorporate things like making sure your partner or spouse is provided for, caring for a family member that is ill or has a disability, ensuring your grandchildren have the best possible opportunity of a good education, or donating to a charity that is important to you. It may help to write down these priorities so that you have a basic draft of the will you want to leave. This will help a discussion with your family go more easily than if you don’t have a clear idea of what you’re looking to achieve.

Keep in mind that your inheritance wishes are solely your decision and no one else can tell you what to put in your will. During the meeting with your loved ones, try to summarise what you want to achieve and your reasons, rather than the precise figures involved. This will help your family appreciate your specific goals and could diminish any potential conflict. They may also have some important input into the management of your estate and it is worth taking on board their feelings and expectations with regard to your assets and belongings.

You can also reassure them that nothing is set in stone as many things could happen between this conversation and the end of your life, and you can change your will to reflect this. This discussion can give you the basis to adequately prepare your will knowing you have taken your loved ones’ expectations and wishes on board.

As part of your inheritance planning, make sure you talk to your financial planner about Inheritance Tax (IHT) mitigation. Mitigation ensures you have done everything you can lawfully to pay the least amount of tax. There are several ways of reducing tax on your inheritance which comprise making a gift to your partner or giving money to your friends and family. There are also options like leaving money to charity or trusts which can reduce the eventual impact of IHT on your heirs.

But still the most significant part of this challenging subject is to a have an open, honest dialogue with the people that are important to you to help prepare them as best you can for the future after you’re gone.

If you’d like to contact us about this or any other matter, please feel free to give us a call today on 01789 263888 or email hello@charterswealth.co.uk.

The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate Wills or Inheritance Tax Planning. Levels, bases of and reliefs from taxation may be subject to change and their value depends on the individual circumstances of the investor.