Britons warned forgetting ‘key document’ could cost thousands in inheritance tax

  • Improper assumptions on the part of the Testator – e.g. assuming that a partner (not married) will automatically inherit.
  • Insufficient care in dealing with assets (for example missing assets)
  • Lack of clarity and proper provision for costs (e.g. how IHT should be paid)
  • Unequal distribution without commentary or warning, which can give rise to conflict among beneficiaries.

Mr Sisson added: “DIY Wills do have a place, but only if a person’s affairs are quite simple and there is going to be no contention about how they have left their money following their death.

“There has been a substantial increase in disputed Wills of late – one report estimated that there were 10,000 cases of Will disputes in 2021, a 37 percent increase compared with 2019.”

Professionals such as a Will writer or solicitor can, in addition to helping a person get a Will worked up, offer or source additional advice regarding Estate Planning.

They can also minimise tax burdens after death and/or provide advice on Trusts to deal with younger or vulnerable beneficiaries. Forward planning is essential as in some cases, it takes seven years for financial gifts that are made to leave one’s estate.