The coronavirus pandemic has understandably caused many Watford residents to review their wills, to check all is in order should the worst happen.

For a surprisingly large number of families, the wills should not pass wealth straight into the hands of the next generation. Here are six examples of where you should avoid leaving everything to your spouse/partner, and then onto the children.

A grandchild with autism

If any family member would find it difficult or stressful to manage funds, trusted friends or family should hold the inheritance, releasing funds to meet needs as they arise.

A spouse with Alzheimer's or dementia

It may not be helpful for funds to pass directly to a spouse with Alzheimer's/dementia. If your will creates a trust, a 'letter of wishes' can explain where you would wish assets to pass in different circumstances.

A business venture

Passing funds straight to an entrepreneurial child may result in them being lost to creditors. If your estate passes to trustees, they can decide the best way forward.

A rocky marriage

If divorce is possible, a discretionary trust will can provide some protection against assets being lost.

Means-tested benefits

Passing funds to a discretionary trust ensures that means-tested benefits will not be unnecessarily lost.

Inheritance tax to pay

We cannot be certain what the tax rules will be on your death. A discretionary trust will allows your trustees to divide your estate tax-efficiently, in light of your family's needs, and the tax rules in place, at the time.

Even in the midst of a global pandemic, make sure your will is not counter-productive to the needs of your family.

  • Megan Seabourne is a partner at award-winning law firm VWV, which has offices in Clarendon Road, Watford