Let’s talk about about disasters. When you make a Will, you make it for a number of circumstances. If you’re the first to die, quite often your wealth will go to your spouse or your partner, either directly or through some sort of Trust arrangement. If you’re the second to die, your Will will normally deal with that, meaning that your wealth will go on to your children or other members of the family.
Quite often there’s a third level of what we call the residue of the estate, which deals with what happens when your children die before you. That could mean money going to grandchildren, siblings. It could mean money going to charities. But the final clause in the will is always the disaster clause, the ultimate gift-over clause. It’s been really in the media recently because a Director of a large company died alongside his family in an airplane crash in Australia and Oxfam and received their biggest ever donation from the Will because the gentleman’s Will gave his disaster clause to Oxfam.
A Disaster Clause stops your money from going to the government when there’s nobody else in the family line to inherit. You need a disaster clause, it can be charities, it can be friends, but it’s important it doesn’t happen very often. On the rare occasion it happens, it’s newsworthy and should always be included.
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