The residuary estate is the property that remains in a deceased person’s estate after all specific gifts have been made and all debts, taxes, administrative fees, probate costs and court costs have been paid. Often, the residuary estate will be left to the spouse on first death, and then to the children on second death. However, family arrangements are becoming ever more complex in modern society and so this simple distribution is not necessarily relevant.
In the case of children from previous relationships, we are able to offer a variety of Trusts to protect a client’s inheritance so that it passes to their own children, but still give the survivor a Life Interest to live in the property.
It is also important to consider substitution of issue (if a beneficiary passes away, do you wish this gift to pass to their children/grandchildren/etc.)? This is an area of the law that we are able to advise on and clients should always consider this carefully when making a Will. Client should also carefully consider whether and how much they wish to leave to a charity, as whilst this can have positive tax consequences, it can also have serious unintended negative tax consequences if not drafted correctly; Goodwills is able to advise on the tax consequences of leaving part of your Estate to charity.