Will drafting—planning the Will
Will drafting—planning the Will

The following Wills & Probate guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Will drafting—planning the Will
  • Absolute versus life interests
  • Inheritance tax
  • The residence problem
  • Survivorship clauses
  • Further considerations
  • Gifts to beneficiaries
  • Class closing
  • Lapse, its consequences and remedies
  • The gift of assets
  • more

By this stage, the draftsperson will have met the client to take instructions and obtained all the relevant information regarding their circumstances. Armed with this and an idea of what the client wants to do, the general format of the Will can be planned. However, it will almost certainly be necessary to determine which of a number of options that will be open in the drafting are applicable to the client.

The Wills of married couples/civil partners will likely be similar, although certain specific individual circumstances of each may dictate differing terms. However, whatever the similarities or differences, they should be made at the same time.

It is therefore time for the practitioner to go through their list of possibilities.

Absolute versus life interests

In determining which of these should apply, the practitioner needs to consider their respective merits and disadvantages but always with the client's wishes paramount in their mind. The principal considerations are:

  1. if a surviving spouse is to have a limited ability to deal with the capital, a life interest may be more sensible

  2. if it is a matter of concern, a life interest can protect assets in the event of a survivor remarrying or cohabiting but a termination in such circumstances may have a capital gains tax (CGT) disadvantage

  3. in the case of a second marriage it may