Welcome to Great British Wills
The core principle which is applied in everything we do at Great British Wills is to treat others as we would wish to be treated ourselves. With respect, dignity and transparency.
Expatriates have a different outlook on life. We are less inhibited by international borders. We have a wider understanding of different cultures. Our needs are different to those who remain in their home country.
The core principle which is applied in everything we do is to treat others as we would wish to be treated ourselves. With respect, dignity and transparency.
By specialising in a segment of the Expatriate community we are able to offer a higher standard of service to our clients in this important area of planning.
Few Financial Advisers offer Will writing services and fewer still are qualified to do so. We are happy to work in partnership with your regulated financial adviser in UAE.
10 Reasons Why You Should Have A Will
The advantages of having a correctly drafted Will fall into 2 broad categories: Control and Tax. The following only applies to those from England and Wales or who have assets within England & Wales:
- If you have no Will you give up control of all of your possessions on death. The State will impose the provisions of a law written in 1925. This law has not been fully updated to accommodate modern families such as unmarried couples, those married to non-UK nationals and children of partners from previous relationships.
- Where you are married with children, half of your assets will go to your spouse and the balance be distributed equally to your children, this can create problems where the main asset is the family home and the children want to inherit their share.
- Where you are married but do not have any children your spouse will receive everything, if you have former partners or friends who you wish to receive a sum of money or item of remembrance, there are no provisions for this in the intestacy rules.
- Where you have no spouse or children your parents will receive your Estate after deduction of tax. Depending on their circumstances, this can result in problems with their own Estate planning.
- There is no provision for bequests to any charity which you may feel is a better recipient of your hard earn money than the UK government.
- UK expatriates often forget about Inheritance Tax which applies regardless of where they live. This is a capital transfer tax. On death the tax is charged at a flat rate of 40%.
- For UK expatriates the whole of their Estate is subject to Inheritance Tax. That is all of their worldwide assets after allowances and exemptions.
- The State imposed Will does not attempt to reduce this tax or how it is paid. A Will can provide you with an opportunity to minimise and control this tax.
- Even Non-UK nationals who hold assets in UK are subject to UK Inheritance Tax on their assets, such as property, held within UK.
- Former Finance Ministers have referred to Inheritance Tax as a ‘voluntary’ tax and one that is only paid by those ‘who trust the Government more than their family’. Whilst this may be an exaggeration there is an element of truth in these statements.
All adult residents in Dubai should have a Will. Failure to have a statement of your wishes to be enacted on your death adds considerable stress to an already difficult situation.
What To Consider When Writing Your Will
Writing your Will is not to be undertaken lightly and therefore you will need to give some thought to your wishes before drafting your last Will and Testament.
Some hard decisions need to be taken and some unlikely but uncomfortable scenarios considered to avoid intestacy (dying without a valid Will) or where a Will already exists outdated wishes being applied to your Estate.
- Have you written a Will before? If so, your draftsman will need to see a copy.
- Who will be your Executors and Trustees of your Estate? These people are the people who will obtain Probate for your Estate from the court and administer your Estate in the event of your death. Their appointment should only be done with their consent as this is a time consuming process. (If you appoint your spouse you should also appoint 2 others).
- Who will be the guardians of your children? Do discuss this with them first as this is a big responsibility and one they need to agree to before putting it in a legal document. Do you have any specific instructions for the guardians on raising your children (schooling, religion etc.), what financial arrangements will be in place to cover the cost of raising them?
- Who you want to benefit from your Estate if your first and second choices die before you;
- Do you have any specific items or sums of money you want to bequeath to individuals or charities? If so, how much, to whom and where you are making a Will with your spouse when would you like them to be made, on the first or second of you to die?
- What age would you want your children to inherit under your Will if you were to die when they were young? 18, 21 or 25 or a later date?
- Are there any special circumstances to consider for the protection of your children/beneficiaries (bankruptcy, divorce, financial imprudence, mental or physical disability, substance abuse)?
- Are you deliberately excluding anyone who is or has been financially dependent on you from your Will?
- Are you subject to any legal arrangements such as spousal/child maintenance what does the financial order say about arrangements on your death?
- Are you a party to any type of Trust arrangement? If so, your draftsman will require details.
- What you would want to happen to your Estate if your spouse survives you and were to remarry following your death, this is especially relevant if you have children;
- Would you want your spouse to have the right to continue to live in the former matrimonial home after your death?
- Do you have any business interests? If so, what are the arrangements between the owners in the event of death to ensure the deceased’s wishes are carried out?
- How do you want your digital assets managed after your death? Social networking websites, photos, videos held online or on computer.
- What do you want to happen to your body when you die? Have you any wishes such as cremation/burial? Use of your body for therapeutic purposes or research.
- If you have pets, what arrangements would you like made for them in the event of your death
- What and where are your assets and liabilities?
- Have you made or received any financial gifts/assets valued at over £3,000 in the last 7 years? If so, when, what / how much and to/from whom?
- Do you require a power of attorney? This is a legal document telling others your wishes and appoints a person to act on your behalf if you are unable to. One type appoints a person to be responsible for your health and welfare and another relates to your finances. These are separate documents from your Will.
As you can see there is a lot to consider but by spending time working through the above, the resulting Will will more accurately reflect your wishes and you will not make sudden decisions in a meeting which you may wish to change later.
"I'd always put off writing my Will as it was a subject I did not want to think about and I did not think it was really necessary. Then I read about the problems expatriates families can experience on their death without a valid will and I realised I had to take action. Stuart made the process simple and helped me get my thoughts down on paper. It was a lot less hassle than I thought it would be."J
"We have lived in Dubai for many years and had not given our wills too much thought since we wrote them in the mid 90's. Our circumstances have changed so much over the last 20 years that the Wills were really out of date. Great British Wills gave us a convenient way of updating our Wills to reflect our current circumstances."John & Caroline Coleman
"When my wife told me we were expecting our first baby, I knew I had to make sure my new family would be taken care of if the worst was to happen to me. Part of this was making a Will for the first time. I have known Stuart for about 10 years and so Great British Wills was a natural choice. Stuart was able to answer my questions and guide me through the process with no fuss."JP