WILLS, TRUSTS AND INHERITANCE TAX

The fundamental purpose of creating a Will is a thoughtful and responsible way to spare your family the emotional and financial burden of organising your Estate at the time they can least cope.

  • Make sure your assets pass to your loved ones.
  • Minimise your tax burden.
  • Designate guardians for minor children.
  • Keep your family wealth, within your family.

If you have no Will, the laws of intestacy apply and the courts could decide who and where your assets go.

Many people think that they are too young to write a Will, or it is too costly, but the vast majority simply just put it off.

We have devised a simple and effective structure so that no matter why you haven’t written one now, we can make sure you do not suffer the issues of your inheritance either going to the wrong person, or to the State through the laws of intestacy.

Current law creates the issue that without a Will;

  • If you are not married, your partner may not receive anything.
  • Your spouse/civil partner may not automatically inherit all of your Estate.
  • There could be lengthy delays for your beneficiaries and disputes.
  • Minor children could be taken into care whilst Guardians are appointed.
  • Previous spouses may be able to make a claim.

Whilst writing a Will is better than no planning at all, in our experience the majority of clients would benefit from Estate Planning to deal with concerns such as:

  • Inheritance Tax
  • Long Term Care
  • Divorce
  • Business/Agricultural Assets
  • Potential Family Disputes
  • Second Families

Inheritance Tax Liability

If you total up the value of your own and your partner’s assets, including insurance policies and death in service benefits, is the value above the nil rate band (currently £325k)?

Care Fees

Are you concerned that if you go into care your assets or home could be lost to pay for your care fees?

Divorce

Are you concerned that future divorce or separations in the family may dilute the assets which you leave for your children and further generations?
Remarriage After your death, if your surviving partner remarries, how can you ensure that your children receive what you intended?
If your children are involved in a divorce or separation, your existing planning may not be able to protect the inheritance they received.

Children

Would you prefer that the money you leave to your children is managed by members of your family rather than a local solicitor, or worse still the courts with associated costs?

Generational IHT

Are you concerned about the impact the inheritance you leave your beneficiaries will have on the size of their Estate and subsequently their own Inheritance Tax bill?

Creditors

If your partner or children are in debt or face bankruptcy, the inheritance you leave them may vanish.

Your business

How do you protect your share of a business and what’s the most tax efficient way of leaving it to your family or business partners?

If there is one thing I have experienced in my years as an adviser, it is the plain and simple fact that life does not always go according to plan.

I work with many clients who rely on family and friends to take them shopping, to the bank, organise bills etc.  It is no secret that not enough of us make a Will.  Therefore, it is even more unsurprising that even less of us make a Living Will.

Things to think about;

  • If you were incapacitated how would you manage your finances
  • If you could not sign something important….who would
  • If you were in hospital for a drawn-out period, how would you communicate with your bank, utility providers, benefits agencies, mortgage company………and so on
  • What if it was long-term – dementia, incapacity and the requirement of long-term care is more relevant now, more than ever.  You will need someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf

I recently provided guidance to a family, where their elderly Aunt had a fall and was in hospital for 9 weeks.  During this time, the household bills needed to be paid.  They needed to visit the Post Office to get her pension, deposit it with her bank, discuss her care and recovery with doctors and eventually work with the NHS to make changes to her home

The Health Professionals worked with the family and she was released from hospital to home, which was adapted to make sure she could finish her recovery at home with visits from local health and rehabilitation workers.

All of this was made easier and without worry, as previously they had put a Lasting Power of Attorney in place.

Often looking after someone is stressful enough, without dealing with red tape, organisations bound by Data Protection rules.

A Lasting Power of Attorney provides powers to your Attorneys, giving them the ability to act for you, in a specific manner dictated by you.

You can split the powers you give between Health & Welfare and Financial & Property needs

There is so much on this subject and we have information sheets for anyone who feels that it would be appropriate for them or, indeed, someone close to them

Gathering information

We have devised questionnaires you can complete via email to enable us to ascertain the issues and considerations we need to make.
Alternatively, we can arrange to meet or consult via telephone if you prefer a more in depth discussion initially.

Drafting recommendations

Everyone is unique and we apply our expertise to put your wishes in writing and identify any risks or issues that you might not be aware of and make recommendations to guide you.

We have found that by providing draft versions of the Will or Trusts or Powers of Attorney, you get to read and see how your wishes will be presented to your executors or Trustees.

In real terms, you are unlikely to be here to explain your wishes, so making sure it sounds understandable and makes sense is a really useful exercise
Providing original documents.
Once you are happy with the look, feel and grammar within your documents, we will create original Bound documents that cannot be changed or altered without obvious signs of tampering.

Keeping documents safe

You can keep your documents where you wish, or you can use a Deedstore service, which will keep your Will or Trust in a safe place, a code will be provided to your Trustees/Executors so that they can only retrieve the originals on your death.

  • Our News