Family and legacy wills are a way to control the passing of your estate to family members, often to more than one generation. An easy example is when a couple own their property and wish to ensure that their chosen beneficiaries receive the benefit where they predecease the other. The property will normally be divided between the couple in divisible interests. On first death, their share of the property would be held on trust for beneficiaries although subject to the surviving partner/spouse having a right to live in the property during their lifetime. On second death the trust comes to an end and the property passes absolutely to the surviving beneficiaries. This arrangement may be particularly attractive for couples with children to protect assets when a surviving partner/spouse may remarry.
The same concept can apply to many other gifts included within the will. Often, the trust is created during their lifetime and is used for periodic gifts. Whilst planning like family and legacy wills in the event of death is important, it shouldn’t, in our view, be the only planning. It is important to consider lifetime estate and inheritance tax planning as well as what happens upon death.