Estate planning: issues to consider for your family's future

Patricia Milner, Withers LLP, talks about factors that should be considered before drafting a will and a list of essentials that should be included.


Patricia Milner, Partner, Withers LLP

Whilst most people understand the importance of having both a will and estate plan to safeguard their family’s future, all too often, making a will remains on the ‘too difficult’ pile. Estate planning requires an up-to-date, tax-efficient will which reflects your wishes and consideration of a number of related matters, such as ensuring your pensions and your life insurances are held in the most tax-efficient way, and making provision for the consequences of a possible future loss of mental capacity.

It is crucial to obtain good quality advice in this area. To best utilise the advice you are given, it is also vital to think through the issues concerning your family and decide on your priorities.

Most of these issues can be addressed with a properly drafted will. If you die without making a will, UK intestacy rules come into play. In a situation where you die and are survived by a spouse/partner and children, your spouse receives only the first £250,000 plus half of the remainder. The other half passes to the children equally, at the age of 18.

These rules are very unlikely to reflect your wishes, and may easily give rise to a significant and quite unnecessary tax bill – which, in the event of your unexpected death, could fall at the worst possible time.

Common concerns to consider before drafting a will

Preparing a will

Inheritance Tax, Pensions and Lasting Powers of Attorney



Patricia Milner, Partner, Withers LLP

Patricia is co-head of Withers LLP Wealth Planning department in Europe. She focuses on tax, trust and estate planning for both UK and non-UK resident and domiciled individuals and their families. Patricia has significant experience in advising family businesses and landed estates on succession and capital tax issues.

She also advises on governance issues as well as succession and education matters for families. She has been instrumental in the establishment of new family offices as well as providing ongoing strategic advice to families with long established Family Offices.

Patricia is a member of STEP, and works closely with the Institute for Family Business and the Family Firm Institute.

This article is issued by Cazenove Capital which is part of the Schroders Group and a trading name of Schroder & Co. Limited, 1 London Wall Place, London EC2Y 5AU. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. 

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