Island Life Magazine Ltd February/March 2007 - Page 18

life - PROPERTY Have you got your hard earned assets taken care of? I have been preparing Wills for clients in varied forms for a period in excess of forty years and almost without exception they have required considerable time, care and consideration. Many lawyers refrain from this specialisation as there are very many factors that are required for consideration before a Will is finally completed and unless a robust charging view is taken then often they are not considered a viable income to a law practice. This effectively means that the client either pays for a Will on a tim e costed basis or a set fee however long it takes to conclude the same. I have always maintained the principle as my law tutor forty years ago impressed upon me that Wills are either taken very seriously and treated as goodwill to the client of the Practice or not undertaken at all. From a practitioners point of view it is not only accommodating individual clients requirements but giving good advice in the best interest of a client as to taxation implications and where possible avoidance of payment of 18 Photo - Terence Willey unnecessary tax that may arise upon death. At the present time the Inheritance tax limit is set at £285,000 which is due to be increased in 2007 to £300,000 effectively meaning that if you leave an estate with a value in excess of this figure then tax will arise at the rate of 40% on the excess over this figure payable to the Government. At the present time there remains a total exemption for tax between husband and wife but it is the “roll over” to the second death that creates the tax liability. Therefore consideration can be given to creating Trusts on the first death to named individual beneficiaries or charities thus reducing the value of the estate passing to the survivor. I would stress that this is only possible to create if you are married and both alive as the benefit to discretion into Trust will not be Island Life -