Shandip Shah is the Managing Director at UK-based Balance Consultancy Ltd, which specialises in writing wills, Trusts and Lasting Powers of Attorney. They are authorised by the professional body, the Society of Will Writers & Estate Planners.
iGlobal got in a discussion with the London-based estate planner to explore the important aspects and nuances around preparing a will for the iMoney Show at iGlobal Radio.
Here are some highlights from the discussion:
Does everyone actually need a will?
It really depends on the circumstances. So, first, if someone does not have a will, there is a law called ‘law of intestacy’. Revolves from the word ‘intestate’, which means you have passed away without a will. The law of intestacy is a very laid down rule of law in the government which says what happens to your estate if you were to pass away without a will.
If it’s just a married couple and there are no children, automatically it will go to the surviving spouse. The problem of what happens when you both die together, if you are unmarried, single then everything devolves to your parents. If that’s what you want, no problem.
All other scenarios really need to be covered in the will otherwise they will be dictated by the government’s law which may not be your particular wish of how you want your estate to go.
Why are wills an essential part of our financial planning?
Our financial planning, dealing with money all the time and wealth going up, particularly in a successful career. If we fail to plan, we are planning to fail.
Every financial planner in this country, generally, will say we look at the end first. The end first is death. Have you covered the scenario that if you were to pass away today, what happens? How does your estate devolve? From there onwards, everything then works backwards.
If you have not looked at the scenario of death, everything you have done so far could be undone if you don’t have the will. Hence, vitally important. A question that every financial planner and independent financial adviser will ask and insist on from their clients: Have you made a will? If you have made a will, at least they can do the planning. There is a certainty that there is some document in place where the estate of the person who has died, will devolve and it devolves in a tax efficient manner.