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Myfordman

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I've realised that my will is way out of date - not been reviewed for 20 years, beneficiaries have died, my son is in his 30s not approaching teenage and no longer in need of guardians etc etc.
I'm in the process of working out in my mind what I want a new will to do before contacting my solicitor with a proposal.
One thing I would want to is to make a modest cash bequest (~2% of my estate) and for it to be paid out almost immediately ie well before grant of probate which always seems to take longer than desired.
I know we have one or two legally astute members here and so I wonder if there is a way that my executors would be allowed to make an early payment.
My google foo has not helped me so far.
TIA
 

RogerS

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Not a legal expert but this was my experience when I did the probate on my mothers' estate.

1) Her banks were quite happy for us to access her bank and savings accounts. I thought that they weren't supposed to but apparently it depends on the individual banks. So no guarantee that what happened then will happen today. They chop and change their policies.

2) Depending on the value of her estate, probate can be granted surprisingly quickly. We were granted probate in just under three weeks. Certainly not much longer. We were able to use the tax allowance that was left over from when my Dad dies. So her estate was below the IHT threshold. Of course, your estate will probably involve IHT !

3) How will you liquidate the 2% ? Could you not hive it off into something that was easily realisable into cash by, say, your son.

4) Power of Attorney...have you got that set up as well..
 

Myfordman

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Thanks Roger,
3&4 with some sort of expression of wishes lodged with my son (also executor) but as I understand it not legally binding, would be a fallback if it can't be done via a will clause.

Bank access that you have experienced is a pleasant surprise. when my father died, my stepmother - a joint account holder with him could not acess money for sometime and I had to bail her out.
 

Terry - Somerset

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Getting probate can be lengthy as it will depend on the size and complexity of the estate - eg: shares in private companies, property, tax affairs outstanding etc. And the rules regarding probate are likely to be more rigorously enforced if you have a large estate on which inheritance tax may be paid.

One option to look at may be a life insurance policy with named beneficiaries. The payout can be made on production of a death certificate. You need to be careful to ensure you have the right policy so that the proceeds do not form part of your estate. Any decent financial advisor or insurance company should be able to advise.
 

Myfordman

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Terry - Somerset":5g7n8vof said:
Getting probate can be lengthy as it will depend on the size and complexity of the estate - eg: shares in private companies, property, tax affairs outstanding etc. And the rules regarding probate are likely to be more rigorously enforced if you have a large estate on which inheritance tax may be paid.
Absolutely Terry my estate will be complicated and hence the desire to do something quickly for this beneficiary.

Terry - Somerset":5g7n8vof said:
One option to look at may be a life insurance policy with named beneficiaries. The payout can be made on production of a death certificate. You need to be careful to ensure you have the right policy so that the proceeds do not form part of your estate. Any decent financial advisor or insurance company should be able to advise.
I have a bit of an aversion to insurance other than when compulsory (driving) or when consequences would be huge (property cover)
I would also only want the bequest to be made to the person involved not beneficiaries for their will if they have passed.
 

RogerS

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Terry - Somerset":k1y7v83n said:
....
One option to look at may be a life insurance policy with named beneficiaries....
Life cover starts to get very expensive (a) the older you get and (b) the more things you have wrong with you.
 

marcros

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you would need to check whether it would work, but my first thought is to declare now that you are holding it in trust for them. That means that it is no longer your money (but would be considered for IHT, lifetime gifts, etc), but that it stays in your bank account until you die. With the trust document, the executors should then be able to identify that the money isn't yours and pay out accordingly.
 

Blackswanwood

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Much depends upon the complexity and size of your estate.

Obtaining Grant of Probate usually only takes a couple of weeks. Banks have changed their processes in recent years in response to feedback and up to a limit (commonly £50 or £100k) will act in accordance with the personal representative’s instructions without sight of the GOP. If the personal representative is a solicitor they will often have a much higher limit.

Rorschachs comment isn’t necessarily correct. It depends on the values involved as to whether IHT may be applicable.

For what it is worth in my opinion which comes on the back of nearly 40 years professional experience taking advice from a solicitor when arranging a will as you are doing is in most cases money well spent.
 

Myfordman

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Blackswanwood":ntgcdokn said:
For what it is worth in my opinion which comes on the back of nearly 40 years professional experience taking advice from a solicitor when arranging a will as you are doing is in most cases money well spent.
Yes I will certainly use a solicitor. Mine has been very good and quite creative in the past for some special agreements etc.
I just like to turn up with some plausible ideas to put to him out of personal pride!
 

Phil Pascoe

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My wife was advised to go to one particular professional will writer rather than any solicitor, as he knew more about wills than any of them. Biased advice? Maybe ........... but the woman who gave it had worked alongside her for many years and was actually the will writer for a major bank
 

Myfordman

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I've heard pluses and minuses for will writing firms. Experience/sole business Vs not regulated.
As I have a trusted solicitor used over many years, I'm minded to go back to him to be honest.
Trouble its none of us will be here to see it if goes **** up when it matters most!
 

Woody2Shoes

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Myfordman":84l0j25m said:
I've realised that my will is way out of date - not been reviewed for 20 years, beneficiaries have died, my son is in his 30s not approaching teenage and no longer in need of guardians etc etc.
I'm in the process of working out in my mind what I want a new will to do before contacting my solicitor with a proposal.
One thing I would want to is to make a modest cash bequest (~2% of my estate) and for it to be paid out almost immediately ie well before grant of probate which always seems to take longer than desired.
I know we have one or two legally astute members here and so I wonder if there is a way that my executors would be allowed to make an early payment.
My google foo has not helped me so far.
TIA
I am not a lawyer, but one possible way to make such a payment might be to make a formally documented loan to the beneficiary - but not give them any money yet - an IUO effectively. Outstanding personal debts can be settled out of the estate by the executors - before probate and excluded from the IHT calculation (but tax advantages may depend on whether the beneficiary is a "connected" person taxwise and any other lifetime gifts or bequests involving them). As everyone else has so sensibly said - your lawyer is the best person (especially if they're a member of STEP) to advise.
https://www.step.org/
 

Rorschach

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Blackswanwood":2v23gqld said:
Rorschachs comment isn’t necessarily correct. It depends on the values involved as to whether IHT may be applicable.
True, mostly depends on how long he lives though, if it is more than 7 years than the value is irrelevant.
 

Blackswanwood

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rafezetter":235cfyhc said:
Myfordman":235cfyhc said:
Absolutely Terry my estate will be complicated and hence the desire to do something quickly for this beneficiary.
Having worked in financial services, both on my own and as part of my fathers Financial Advisor practise (both him his wife) - I have to ask - is the "complicated" by choice or the much more common "I've got a little bit of everything, spread all over the place, because policies, savign and investments were done ad hoc".

If it's the latter you might wish to take this opportunity to look at the whole thing, and streamline it, to make it easier for probate and to ensure your estate isn't paying any more charges than it has to. If you've not visited your Will in 20 years I'd hazard you've not looked at how your estate is organsied either, and there have been lots of changes in 20 years that could save you and your estate taxes and admininstration charges such as selling shares etc.

Your executor will thank you as well :)

Someone here lost a relative last year who's sizable estate was as above - "all over the place" and by all accounts quite a task to sort out.

Yes you very likely will have to pay fees - but a quality "tied agent" FA or an IFA (usually) only take commission on business and not on the advice given beforehand.

If they want to charge you upfront regardless - find a better one for two reasons:

- companies that charge up front for FA are less about how good the advise is, and more about how many they can advise.

- secondly, if they are working commission only, they will have to ENSURE that the advice they give is sound and not to your detriment based on the facts you give in a fact find, because if they give poor / wrong advice the FSA will have thier nuts in a sling and possibly revoke their licence, and here's an important caveat - THERE IS NO STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS ON THIS. None. - If an FA or IFA gives advice that proves to be detrimental to your estate in years to come, you or your estate can make a legal challenge for damages, right up to the point of that advisors death. (certain circumstances apply ofc but that's the general idea - bad advice WILL come back to bite you as an FA / IFA).

Sorry that went on a bit, but the importance of good sound financial advice and estate organisation cannot be underestimated.

Personally I would recommend St James' Place Fund Management (formerly J. Rothschild Assurance when I was there) if your estate is of reasonable value - 7 figures at least.

Banks can be fine for nickel and dime but if you are saying "it's complicated", get a seasoned professional.
Sorry but this is scarily wrong. Since 2013 Financial Advisers whether independent or tied are all paid by fees not commission. There are a limited number of exceptions (such as life and health cover).
 
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