“We’re all going on a summer holiday…”
It’s that time of year again. Sun, sea and sand… it’s holiday time.
Multi-generational travel has increased markedly over the past few years. No longer is it simply mum, dad and the children jetting off abroad, it is now mum, dad, the grandparents, the grandchildren etc. Whilst family time on those long summer days is on everyone’s mind, it is also important to consider “what if something happened to all of us? Do I need a failsafe beneficiary?”
The importance of a Will
Having a Will in place means that you can outline what you wish to happen to your assets in the event of your death. Ensuring you have a Will in place also provides peace of mind and comfort for your family to know that your affairs will be in order when you die. Without a Will, the law dictates who should inherit your estate and there is a strict line of succession which requires to be followed.
Your Will can be a very simple affair or it can include more complex clauses – it is very much dependent upon your family circumstances. For instance, if you have very young children, you may wish to consider the inclusion of a Trust provision to ensure that they do not inherit large sums of money at a very young age. Similarly, you can choose to appoint a Guardian who would look after any children you had who were under the age of 16 at your date of death. Older clients may wish to consider Inheritance Tax planning within their Wills. There is no “one size fits all” approach to Will writing.
It is common for married couples to leave their estates to each other in the first instance, with their children appointed as substitute beneficiaries. In theory, there is nothing wrong with this as you have made provision for the next generation. However, what would happen if you all went on holiday for instance and you all were to die in an accident of some kind? Who then inherits your estate?
This is where it becomes important to consider the inclusion of what is known as a failsafe beneficiary. This stipulates who is to inherit your estate in the event that all of the named beneficiaries in your Will were to die. For instance, your spouse, children and grandchildren may all be named in your Will as your beneficiaries, but if you regularly go on holiday together, it is worthwhile considering a further failsafe beneficiary to ensure your estate can be passed on accordingly. This may well be a particular charity you wish to inherit or your nieces and nephews, cousins or friends.
Having a failsafe beneficiary ensures that you have future proofed your Will in the event that the unthinkable happens.
Should you wish to discuss putting a Will in place or indeed, reviewing your existing Will, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our Private Client team who would be pleased to assist.