Bristol Wills & Estate Planning logo

bristol wills & estate planning

What is wrong with a basic Will?

A basic Will is similar to a small, basic car
Graham Southorn
19 September 2022

Because so much can go wrong in life, basic Wills put your family’s inheritance at risk.

First let’s clear up what we mean by the phrase “basic Will”.

By basic Will, we mean a simple Will. Basic Wills can be written for you Will Writer and solicitors and, because they’re the cheapest type of Will you can buy, many people get them.

That doesn’t sound too bad. So what is wrong with having a basic Will?

Basic Wills are “basic” because beneficiaries receive their inheritance directly. Those beneficiaries could include your spouse, children, and grandchildren.

They will get whatever you left them – money, property, possessions. But the point is that they immediately become the new owner.

This might sound good but it’s not because, in a word, life.

Things like:

1. Beneficiary divorces after your death, losing half their inheritance in a settlement.

2. Beneficiary goes bankrupt and creditors claim all their inheritance.

3. A spouse or partner remarries, revoking an existing Will and disinheriting children.

4. Claims against the estate for “reasonable financial provision” under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.

5. A vulnerable beneficiary cannot manage their finances.

6. Inheritance tax at 40% takes a bite out of the estate you pass on.

7. Probate delays a house sale for months or even years.

8. A beneficiary loses means-assessed state benefits.

9. You require nursing care, and care fees leave little for your beneficiaries to inherit.

All of the above are risks that could reduce the size of your estate. Trusts reduce some of these risks, and in some cases eliminate them entirely.

A Will with a Trust is like driving a car with an air bag. An air bag reduces the risk of a catastrophe occurring. Driving a car without one is leaving things to chance.

Don’t get me wrong. A basic Will is better than not having a Will at all. But Trusts are much better because they help preserve the assets you wish to pass on.

Request a callback using the button below and I will tell you if Trusts are suitable for your circumstances.

Related articles

Need advice on Wills or estate planning in Bristol? Request a callback within 48 hours.