Will: business and value to nil rate band gifted separately

This will is suitable for someone who owns shares in a private company or who is a partner in a business partnership, and who wishes to have a straightforward will. After specific gifts have been made, business interests are gifted to one person or party such as a sibling or adult child. The remainder is further divided with assets with a value up to the nil rate band at the time of death gifted to one set of beneficiaries (such as children), and the rest gifted to another (such as a spouse or partner). There is provision for gift over if that person does not survive you. As in other Net Lawman will templates, you can set trust provisions in detail, giving you control of how the trustees should invest and manage your estate. Also included with the template are guidance notes, explaining clearly how to edit the template and how to sign the will correctly, and a short example letter of intent to your executors or trustees.
Suitable for use in: England & Wales
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About this document

This will is suitable for someone who wants to gift their shares in a private company or their interest in a business partnership separately to the rest of the estate.

The residuary estate, after specific bequests and legacies, is divided two ways:

Firstly, assets valued to the maximum of either the nil rate band for inheritance tax or an amount specified by you are gifted to one group of beneficiaries immediately (most likely your children, or a group of people that does not include your spouse or civil partner - to whom transfers are likely to be exempt of tax);

Secondly, the residuary is gifted to another beneficiary (most likely your husband, wife or civil partner so that no inheritance tax is chargeable on this portion of the estate);

You have three options if your spouse does not survive you: either your residual estate is distributed immediately (to your adult children), or it is placed in a standard trust, or it is placed into a discretionary trust fund.

Who should use this template?

This template is most likely to be used by someone who:

  • is married or in a civil partnership;
  • has a share in a business that trades through a private limited company or partnership structure (such as a family business).

This template is suitable for a man or for a woman - it isn't gender specific. We follow normal, modern legal convention of using the masculine form of a word (e.g. testator) regardless of the gender of the person.

This template can be used for basic inheritance tax planning (largely as illustrated by HM Revenue and Customs), but we do not provide guidance on the subject. If the value of your estate could exceed the nil rate band (£325,000 in the current year), then we suggest that you seek advice from a qualified tax specialist before signing your will.

Note that the NRB increases by £100,000 if the estate includes a home, and that property is given to a direct descendant. This extra band increases futher by an additional £25,000 each year to 2020/21.

The law in this will

The law on wills is varied but precise. This will provides flexibility within that precise legal framework. The Net Lawman trust powers in this document free the trustees from some of the bonds of the Trustee Act 2001 that are unsuitable for trusts managed within your family and by professional advisers.

The law on wills can seem complicated. We have prepared a number of short articles to explain the more difficult legal concepts. You may like to read some of our articles on writing your will by yourself.

When to use this will

You can write a will at any time in your life. Most people consider a new will when their financial circumstances change, or when relationships change. The Law Society advise that you review you will every five years, and that you make a new will after a major life change such as having a child, marriage, separation or divorce. It is possible to change a will without making a new one, but a new one is usually the preferable option.

Document features and contents

  • Revocation of all earlier wills
  • Appointment of executors and trustees
  • Appointment of guardians for children
  • Legacies (gifts of money)
  • Bequests (gifts of possessions)
  • Option to deal with private company shares
  • Option to deal with business partnership interest
  • Instruction to executors to gather in assets
  • Gift of inheritance tax nil rate band
  • Gift of the residual estate to one 'primary' beneficiary
  • Option for gift over to trust or discretionary trust for another group of beneficiaries if the primary beneficiary does not survive you by more than a given time
  • Options for small bequests and legacies to children without involving a trust
  • Option to treat past gifts as included or excluded
  • Payments to executor(s)
  • Warning to executors on valuations
  • Alternative wishes for burial / cremation / use of your body for advancement of science
  • Signatures and witnesses
  • Example letter of intent

This document was written by a solicitor for Net Lawman. It complies with current English law.

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