Gordon Ramsay recently claimed that he has no intention of leaving his vast fortune to his children in his Will. Many parents share this view; this may be because, such as in Ramsay’s case, they don’t want to spoil their children, or they may not have a good relationship with them. Excluding beneficiaries from your Will is certainly possible, but isn’t always as simple as you may think.
Making your intentions clear
We all know how important it is to make a Will in the first place, and it is equally important to be exceptionally clear in your wording. Exclusions are often done using a separate document, in which you must state the person you’d like to exclude from the Will and your reasons for doing so. Try to ensure your reasons are valid and do not appear to be trivial; this can be used against the Will when the time comes to award an inheritance to the person you’ve excluded.
Does it always work?
If done correctly by an experienced provider, exclusions will usually be successful. However, if proper care is not taken, the excluded beneficiaries may be able to make a claim against your Will. For example, Heather Ilott was excluded from her mother’s Will, but was eventually awarded £50,000 from the estate under the 1975 Inheritance Act. This is why it is vitally important to speak to professionals when drafting your Will.
How can I make sure my exclusions are successful?
If you have specific requests or more complex circumstances, a Will may not be enough to accommodate your wishes. In this case, it may be beneficial to consider creating a Trust; this is, in essence, a safety deposit box for your assets. Trusts allow you to appoint Trustees to hold your assets for your beneficiaries, in order to pass them on at a time you decide. This is much safer than a Will alone, and may be an option better suited to your needs.
How can I get help with my Will?
Accord Legal Services are a specialist estate planning provider. Our legal experts have drafted thousands of Wills, and would be happy to help you with your situation. We offer free home consultations, where you’d be under no obligation; whether you’ve made a Will before and want to update it, or if you’ve never made a Will before and would like some guidance, Accord are here to help.
Give us a call today, on 01744 807048.