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Treating your Children equally after death

Most parents like to treat their children equally both before and after death.  However, care must be taken when the Will is made if it is intended to give specific assets to the children.  For example, if there are three children and the parents own three properties being their own home, a holiday home and an investment property all worth roughly the same amount, the parents may be tempted (on the death of the second of them) to leave a property to each of the children.  The principal place of residence, if sold within two years of the date of death, will be exempt from capital gains tax.  The holiday home, if sold and if purchased after September 1985, will be subject to capital gains tax.  The deductions to be taken into consideration will vary depending upon whether the property has been holiday let or not.  The investment property will also be subject to capital gains tax.  If the investment property has been depreciated, it can happen that the deductions for depreciation are added back for the purpose of calculating capital gains tax.  It can create a dilemma for parents particularly if one child would really like to receive the holiday home and another child would really like to receive the principal place of residence.  There are ways of drafting the Will to avoid any inequality occurring.  A similar situation can arise of leaving shares in listed companies to one child and a property to another.  It is important to receive detailed and well thought out legal advice to ensure the Will maker’s wishes are satisfied when making a Will.

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