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Janice Fergusson
by on December 18, 2019
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Many of you will have heard about or seen TV advertisements for, so-called Bloodline Wills.

Solicitors write Bloodline Wills for their clients with the aim of keeping their estate in the family. The theme is that you want your estate to go to your immediate family whom you know, with no risk of it being diverted to your daughter’s ex-boyfriends, people whom your children owe money to, or future step-parents, and so on.

Your grandchildren could be specifically named in your Will but end up with nothing at all. It is even possible that your wishes could be bypassed if you own a buy-to-let property as well as a family home.

There is nothing new about making your directions clear in your Will except that modern cohabiting relationships can create unexpected legal consequences. You might think your existing Will provides protection for your family assets but it is likely that your grandchildren will only inherit if their mother or father dies before them. Your grandchildren may never benefit from your estate.

BLOODLINE TRUSTS
A Bloodline Trust may be the solution to ensuring that the people you want to benefit from your Estate actually do. They are often used for the benefit of grandchildren. You can place funds into a specialist Bloodline Trust with the sole beneficiaries being within your family. These funds can be used at any time for the named persons’ personal benefit but cannot be accessed by outside third parties. This means you can be assured that your grandchildren will receive the assets that you have put in Trust for them.

Without such a Trust, you could find that your money wends its way to former partners (married or not) of your sons and daughters, their stepchildren, people who claim money from your descendants and so on.

A thoughtfully drawn up Will is the first step. If you die without one, your estate may not be distributed in the way you would have intended, and it might cause real problems for your family. The issue is of particular concern to buy-to-let investors, who own flats and houses in addition to their family home. If you do not have a Will in Scotland, your estate is divided according to the rules of intestacy.

After your spouse (probably) gets the family home, any other houses and land you own (including your buy-to-let properties), and all the cash remaining may go to relatives whom you have never met. Known in Germany as Laughing Heirs whose relationship to the deceased is so distant they suffer no sense of bereavement but are happy to receive an unexpected financial windfall.

‘Bloodline’ Will Trusts are not for everyone. Although they are the perfect tool to ensure family such as your grandchildren benefit from your estate, there are annual costs as accounts have to be created and tax returns made.

The private client solicitors at Fergusson Law can provide expert advice on Bloodline Wills and help put a plan together. We will quote you a Fixed Price for doing it.

Potential care home fees are another area where we can offer advice to protect your assets.
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