It is absolutely imperative for you to have a Will whether you run your Financial Affairs in a Trust or in your own personal name.
If you have a Trust then it is imperative that your Will dovetails the Trust so as to achieve the maximum tax benefit as well as to be able to achieve your desired financial objectives on your death.
Benefits of a Will
1. You will not die intestate (without a Will) allowing you to decide on how your assets are to be bequeathed (given to ) and under what circumstances.
2. It allows for a quicker Winding up of your Estate
3. The chances of family infighting are substantially reduced
4. It will provide a mechanism via a Testamentary Trust, a Trust formed only on your death, to look after minor children or a disabled child, sibling or parent.
Disadvantages of a Will
1. Your Estate is frozen on your death creating practical difficulties for your Beneficiaries
2. A Will in no way prevents or Limits that amount of Estate Duty or Capital Gains Tax being payable on your death.
3. A Will cannot protect your Estate from Creditors
4. It takes a long time to wind up your Estate via a Will and though quicker than dying Intestate it will take on average 2 years to wind up your Estate. This is not to say that it cannot be done quicker but it is unfair for someone to say that it can be wound up in six months where in reality it cannot.
5. Only what is left after paying all Death Bed Expenses like Estate Duty, Capital Gains Tax, Bonds, Overdrafts, Medical expenses etc can be placed into a Testamentary Trust. Thus there is no prevention or limiting of these Death Bed Expenses via a Will.
6. Anybody has the right to inspect or read your Will