The short answer to the question above is: make a Will. This is by far the most important action that anyone can take to protect their loved ones and their family wealth after their death. If you do not make a Will, and the unexpected happens to you, your estate will pass according to the intestacy rules. This could lead to your partner receiving inadequate provision (especially if you are not married) or to your children becoming entitled to large sums of money, to spend as they wish, at the age of eighteen.
By comparison if you make a Will you will be able to ensure that all your family are taken care of, that the tax payable on your death is reduced as far as is possible and that your children are protected from receiving too much, too soon.
Your Will can also be drafted in such a way as to ensure you take maximum advantage of the new inheritance tax residence nil rate band due to start coming into force from April next year. It could also incorporate trusts protecting your family wealth from outside claims for generations to come.
This week is Dying Matters Awareness week, so join the 40% of the population who take the protection of their family wealth into the future seriously, and take the first step towards making a Will today.