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inheritance tax planning trusts

How to Estate Plan When You Have No Living Family

Do you have no family but don’t want all your estate to go to the state? Here are some ideas for estate planning when you have no next of kin

Having a family is something many of us take for granted. That said, not everyone has next of kin to leave all their worldly possessions to. So, in this case, how do you plan for your demise?

A Hadlow, Henley, or Hounslow family lawyers will be able to help you decide what to do with your estate, and carry these wishes out for you. The question is, what do you ned to consider, and how should you distribute your Will without a family?

In this article, we’ll be answering these questions, giving you some food for thought. Take a look

The Practical Parts of Estate Planning with No Family

If you suddenly die with no living relatives without a Will, your estate passes back to the crown, otherwise known as a Bona Vacantia. That said, not everyone wants this to happen. Many people want to leave some sort of legacy behind, without dying in relative silence.

So, if you want to ensure this doesn’t happen, it’s important that you consider the following:

Write a Will declaring where your assets should go.

Consider who you want your Executors to be – the people who carry out your wishes. This should be someone you trust, so perhaps consider a solicitor for this.

Make it clear where you’d like your assets to go.

Don’t forget to suggest some funeral wishes in your Will too

Ultimately, you should always write a Will if you don’t want your estate to end up in the hands of the state. Be sure to seek the legal advice of a solicitor to get this done right.

What are the alternatives to property protection trust? If after assessing the pros and cons of a property will trust, you decide they are not the right option for you to maintain family wealth, you may want to consider the alternative estate management options. These include: Lifetime trusts, which you can get income off while you are alive. A discretionary trust will for vulnerable or mentally incapable individuals. Transfer the property into your children’s names as a gift. However, this is likely to have inheritance tax consequences, and there are risks to the estate, such as if a child faces bankruptcy or divorce. Therefore, you could also look at an inheritance tax planning trust. Family protection trust.

6 Different Ideas for Leaving Your Estate Behind with No Family

If you have no family to give to, there are plenty of fun and charitable ways to leave your estate behind. Who knows, you may even leave a legacy along the way. Here are six ideas to do just that…

Donate to a Charity

Donating your estate to a charity – including all your savings and even your property – has many benefits. Whether it be an environmental charity, a health cause, an animal shelter, or multiple charities at a time, it could be extremely comforting to know that you’ve done your bit.

On top of this, leaving your entire estate to charity has significant implications on

your Inheritance Tax liability. The “charitable legacy” you leave behind won’t count towards the taxable value of your estate. So, this will cut the Inheritance Tax rate on the rest of your estate by 4 percent (from 40 to 36 percent).

Giving to the Community

If you want to leave a sum of money to your community, you can do so by leaving it all to something that the general public can all enjoy. For example, some people may choose to leave their estate to the National Trust, helping to look after the natural beauty and conservation of their local area.

Alternatively, donating to historical or even medical finds could be a great way to help as many people as possible. Whether it be through saving a life, or by simply providing a bit of mental stimulation for history nerds, there’s plenty to offer. Preserving educational feats is certainly something admirable to pay towards.

Setting Up a Foundation

If you want to leave a legacy behind through something a bit more philanthropic, you could always set up a foundation. This can be done whilst you’re alive, and all your worldly possessions and estate can be donated to the running of the foundation upon your death.

Leave to Your Pet

Leaving your entire estate to your pet is not entirely unheard of! Celebrities and members of the general public alike have done just that, for example, Michael Jackson left $2 million to his chimp Bubbles. There are hundreds more stories where that came from, so you wouldn’t be alone in this quirky use of your money.

Leaving it to Your Friends

If you don’t have any family, but plenty of friends, you could always leave your Will to someone you love who’s made a difference to your life. Whether this be a friend, employee, or carer, it’s really up to you. You could truly make a difference in their lives.

A Canadian lawyer named Charles Vance Millar had a bit of fun with this. He left his Jamaican holiday home to three friends who hated each other, with one caveat; in order to reap the rewards of this home, the three had to live together. This was the first prank amidst a few other hilarious items in his will.

Sharing Your Estate with Strangers

There are also stories of lucky people being plucked out of thin air to receive a huge sum of money from complete strangers!

A Portuguese man named Luis Carlos did just that, picking 70 random people from the phone book to distribute his estate equally amongst. No surprise, these people thought it was a scam! But, lo and behold, these lucky people ended up with a few extra thousand in their back pocket.

Ready to Plan your Estate with No Family?

As you can see, once you’ve got all the practical stuff out of the way, estate planning without a family can be a lot of fun. Get creative, and perhaps change some lives along the way! It’s certainly a way to exit in style.