Rise in set conditions in Wills
I'll leave you my money but only if…how set conditions can ensure your Will does what you want it to
An increasing number of Wills are being fine-tuned to give the Will-maker greater control over their inheritance from beyond the grave.
There has been a significant rise in the use of trust clauses in which certain, specific stipulations are attached to how or when a chosen beneficiary receives their inheritance.
Some of these conditions are conventional, others not so, with examples including:
- Spouses specifying that their husband or wife is only able to inherit if money is repaid to the estate should they remarry or move in with someone else;
- Parents setting an age limit for their children to inherit - often 21 or 25 but sometimes into middle age;
- Will-makers trying to ensure their beneficiaries use any inheritance wisely - for instance, making it conditional on buying a home with the money, setting up a business or having a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement to protect the testator's wealth;
- Grandparents making provisos for inheritance - one even made it dependant on his four grandchildren being baptised.
What is behind this rise in Will trust clauses?
Soaring property prices combined with people living longer and an increase in second and third marriages and blended families are all contributing factors.
Also, suggests some data, the rise in the use of DIY Wills, particularly during lockdowns, has played a part.
As well as ensuring a beneficiary does what is required to inherit, it is also possible to specifically state that someone is left out of a Will. Most often this is estranged children but can also stretch to current husbands and wives.
How do I make sure my Will does what I want it to?
When you write or review your Will, whether starting from scratch or following divorce or business changes, you are allowed by law to leave anything you own outright to any person or organisation you desire.
This includes stipulating that the beneficiary must satisfy certain criteria in to order to receive assets.
Any Will can end up being challenged or contested if someone thinks they have not been left what they were promised, but a properly and professionally drawn Will by a solicitor is likely to be far easier to defend.
It's also an inexpensive way to avoid difficulties for your relatives and friends when you die and brings peace of mind by putting you in control of the final destination of your estate.
Get in touch
Wards Solicitors' team of specialist Wills and Probate lawyers can:
- Help you make a Will which safely does what you want it to;
- Check over and review your Will, including any you may have made with an unregulated provider, free of charge;
- Advise you how to amend it if necessary to protect your wishes;
- Ensure your Will is as robust as possible, just in case it's challenged in the future;
- Explain wealth preservation steps you can take to minimise your liability for Inheritance Tax and maximise tax relief.
Wards Solicitors is ranked as a leading firm in the South West in the 2022 edition of Legal 500 with our Wills, Probate and Mental Capacity team highly recommended and head of the team and managing partner, Jenny Pierce, named as a key lawyer.