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Protecting the Estates of Married Couples

Generally, relatively few married couples or those in legal spouseships receive adequate advice on the protection and inter-generational tax planning of their estate, be it pensions, Death in Service (DIS) benefits, life cover, property assets, savings and investments or lifetime inter-generational transfers.


Integrated financial planning and effective legal planning are essential in delivering guaranteed outcomes for the distribution and protection of your estates. If you do not have Wills, you may be unaware of the complexities and misdirection of wealth that can occur under intestacy rules. If you, like so many couples, have simple Wills directing your estate to each other and then to your chosen Beneficiaries in equal shares you should achieve your desired distribution.  However, you may be missing an opportunity to protect the surviving spouse’s interests, you may be missing tax planning opportunities and you will not provide inter-generational benefits to your chosen Beneficiaries.

The unpredictability of life requires us to be prepared, but you ought to take action now to address the shortfalls of the most common estate planning arrangements. On the death of the first of you, protective and tax efficient planning can be put in place, and similarly protection, flexibility and inter-generational tax planning can be delivered to the ultimate Beneficiaries of your estate when both of you have deceased.

Mature Couple Showing Affection

A customised plan for your family can address any number of concerns such as:

  • If your spouse enters into a new relationship after you die, your share of the estate will be protected for your spouse and ultimately guaranteed for your chosen Beneficiaries.

  • If your spouse is in poor health or requires care fees in the future, your share of the estate can be ring-fenced following your death. It should avoid any chance of a claim being made by a local authority. This is more robust and less intrusive than some of the care fees avoidance schemes that are marketed.

  • If you have an estate that may creep into the realms of IHT when the second of you deceases, a Beneficiary Protection Plan may help to reduce the tax burden for your primary Beneficiaries.

  • As hard as it is to accept, if you have two children, statistically, one of them may be unfortunate enough to experience a relationship failure. Without protection, a risk to their inheritance exists and may mean their children inherit less.

  • If your chosen Beneficiaries are independently wealthy, your generous legacy could be caught unnecessarily by inter-generational taxation.


If you look ahead, you will see the potential threats that may arise in the future and consider more robust and tax efficient planning.

Many of the protection and tax issues can be addressed effectively with enhanced planning and advice using a Beneficiary Protection Plan.

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