Planning for death - forum discussion

edited 16 October 2012 at 1:44PM in Deaths, Funerals & Probate
105 replies 38.6K views


  • Yorkshireman99Yorkshireman99 Forumite
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    Exactly. It's an idea from a very narrow portion of society, where primogeniture was regarded as right and proper. Houses were passed down the line of first-born males, with ad hoc solutions when there were no direct male heirs, and everyone else just lumped it. And this applied to a minute number of people, loosely the "upper classes". As home ownership developed before (for the middle classes) and after (for everyone else) the war, there were other social changes which meant that primogeniture wasn't a plausible solution. And without primogeniture, what do people want: progressively smaller and smaller shares of houses as children, grandchildren and greatgrandchildren further sub-divide your former house? What?
    I would add that since the wholesale change in property laws in 1925 and 1926 the concept of a family home has just disappeared in many cases. The removal of estates entailed means that continuity is much more difficult to achieve though complex trusts offer a possible solution. However as SG has said it only ever really was applicable to large and very wealthy estates of the upper classes.
  • edited 18 January 2017 at 5:27PM
    securityguysecurityguy Forumite
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    edited 18 January 2017 at 5:27PM
    "The removal of estates entailed means that continuity is much more difficult to achieve"

    And the rise in higher education, marriage outside local communities and job mobility means that it's also much more difficult to see the point.

    Country estates had moral, if not legal, obligations to staff and tenants, obligations which the majority of the landed gentry took seriously. If mad cousin Mad McMad sold the estate and spent the proceeds on drugs, it wasn't just the family that were affected. Large estates also provided housing for spinster aunts, the infirm, the elderly and so on. They housed art collections, large libraries, furniture: they were a cultural storehouse.

    Little of that is true of your three-bed semi in Pinner.
  • MSE_SarahMSE_Sarah MSE Staff
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    Thanks so much for all your feedback so far. Please keep adding to this thread to share your experiences and tips.

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  • BazulcatBazulcat Forumite
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    Hello, I'm in the throes of very much 'planning for my death' and thought that others may well find it helpful to learn from my experience although it requires considerable patience and dedication as a considerable undertaking, given that not to do so, can prove extremely costly if your estate is likely to be whatever degree above the present Inheritance Tax threshold of £325,000 (See later). If your estate satisfies a lesser figure and doesn't stray into the 'supplementary' schedules, then life is very much simpler....

    This is perhaps quite a long exposition but ignore the principle - at your peril!

    As an older single man, I've made of point of regularly reviewing my Will for more than 20 years although I should have started much earlier and both my daughters have been persuaded to start theirs, with good reason, not least because together with one other, they're my executors!

    The May 2017 budget potentially propelled people unwittingly into the higher IHT bracket where homes have increased significantly in value and now present a major trap for the unwary unless steps are taken in advance to pre-empt both a large bill from both HMRC and the Probate  lawyers.

    In apprising readers very briefly of what I’ve done, some of it will not be for the faint hearted, but in short, I’ve recently nominated my daughters in my will as the beneficiaries of my house which has immediately increased the IHT threshold from £325,000 to £500,000 from 06/04/2020 because they are my descendants and meet the criteria. It’s known as the ‘nil rate band’. For couples each, given their circumstances can enjoy twice this amount, ie £1m!

    This is the easy part and may suffice for some.

    However there is a price to pay, which is that HMRC will require the completion of one or more ‘Supplementary’ Sheets depending upon your personal situation.

    It so happens that mine requires quite a lot of supplementary forms which I’ve chosen to complete myself as drafts with detailed instructions for my daughters to follow as and when.

    In the absence of taking these steps, my estate although much less than £500,000, would otherwise attract a tax bill of perhaps £40,000 and a probate lawyers bill (depending upon how and what can be negotiated) of perhaps up to £25,000 + £5,000 VAT ie a total of £60,000!

    The good news is (and I have absolutely nothing personal to gain) by suggesting that by chance I became aware ‘Which’ magazine offers an outstanding ‘in house’ legal service which includes pretty well unlimited Probate advice, for the princely sum of £9-00 per month! I’ve not only given my daughters’ a link to this particular section of MSE but suggested they also subscribe to ‘Which’ legal – which is a ‘no brainer’. Probate lawyers won’t like it, but…….do what you have to do!

  • PennyForThem_2PennyForThem_2 Forumite
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    I too have been thinking of death being of the age where Covid is a ....risk.  I have laid out in a document all the stuff my children (executors) should think about and who to contact i.e. www link to bereavement depts for various banks, what to do with my stuff, what to do for funneral, what to do with my remains. This document is supplementry to my will - though not a legal appendum more like a guidance (which, no, will not updated but happy with).
    Umm, I was advised by my solicitor when husband died (2011) that I could do it myself (unusual????) which I did.  Very straightforward.  Bit daunting but went smoothly.
    My sons' dilemma is IHT.  Which will be owed - possibly - depends when I die.  Personally I would advise anybody to avoid lawyers as executors unless your estate is really complicated.I would advise an Independent Financial Advisor if you think your estate will attract inheritance tax  ...  whether you take their advice is up to you but at least you will be informed.  This will apply to few people but those in London may wish to think about their house value linked to any savings they will pass on in their estate.
    However Covid and the resulting economy may change an estate's potential value......

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