“Inheritance planning has two clear objectives: to fulfil the wishes of the person making a will and to avoid conflicts among the beneficiaries.”
Death is a fact of life that no one can escape; but still the concept of death or dying can cause such an emotional response that many people are reluctant to make a will and they die without having their last wishes clearly determined. This can result in any number of conflicts occurring between family members and beneficiaries to the point that those personal relationships completely break down, simply because someone died without leaving instructions for the distribution of their estate.
Adequate planning in life on the destination of assets and distribution to beneficiaries can avoid the majority of these problems. Today separations and divorces are part of everyday life and it’s not uncommon for a divorced person to start a new family. With the birth of new children or the appearance of new in-laws, the lack of proper inheritance planning can cause assets to pass to people who are not the intended recipients. There are countless conflicts arising from this kind of situation, yet to avoid them requires only a few hours work.
The rights of a surviving spouse
The rights of a surviving spouse is worth a special mention with regard to state pensions and life insurance. Whether the writer of a will foresees a future separation or not, they should be fully informed of the rights of their surviving spouse in order to make adequate preparations.
One of the most important legal figures, although seldom used, is the executor. The executor’s task, essentially, is to enforce the will of the deceased person by participating in the distribution of the inheritance when necessary. This is precisely one of the services we perform on behalf of clients – they trust us and name us as their executor.
Besides avoiding problems with the distribution of wealth and assets, inheritance planning can represent an important financial saving in countries and regions where inheritance tax is applied.