A Simple Will does not suit all clients, especially in the modern day where family and financial arrangements can be more complicated.
You may wish to consider a more complex Will in the following situations: -
Where you have a ‘blended family’ i.e. second/third marriage.
Simple Wills can become difficult for those on second marriage with children from their first marriage and stepchildren. A Simple Will that leaves the whole estate to the spouse could effectively disinherit the children from the first marriage if careful consideration is not given to relationships and potential issues.
Where any of the proposed beneficiaries have issues with alcoholism/drug addiction or are disabled or in receipt of means tested benefits.
Simple Wills are not suitable in cases where beneficiaries may fritter away funds and harm themselves. In these cases, or in cases of vulnerable or disabled beneficiaries, funds should be placed in trust to protect the estate. In cases where beneficiaries are in receipt of means tested benefits care should be taken to consider the impact of a large sum of money been given to them outright rather than in a trust instrument.
Where your estate is valuable or high net worth, and you want to protect this for future generations.
A Simple Will usually gives funds absolutely and therefore may not be suitable if you are concerned the beneficiaries could spend all of the funds without making provision for future generations. This may be particularly important if you have accumulated family wealth or a family business. Trust instruments and more complex Wills can assist to protect and preserve wealth for years to come.
Where you require protection from third party claims or inheritance tax planning
If you wish to undertake estate planning to protect your estate from third party claims and undertake care home fee planning or inheritance tax mitigation planning, then a Simple Will may not be sufficient to achieve these aims. You may require more complex Will and advice.
Where you have complex assets, assets abroad or live abroad.
Whilst in some cases these issues can be covered by a Simple Will, it may be that more specialist advice is required to ensure domicile and taxation issues are explored and that your Will applicability in separate jurisdictions is understood and dealt with.