Nobody likes to think about their own mortality but there is a great deal of comfort and peace of mind to be had when you know the people you love will be properly provided for.
We spend a lifetime making plans for the future and accumulating wealth. We worry about what will happen when we are no longer around to care for and provide for our loved ones. We want to know that our wishes are carried out when we have gone.
Family circumstances may not be straightforward. Divorce, second marriages and extended families make the decisions more difficult, and it is important to document your wishes correctly.
Planning can be complex and involves thinking about things we’d rather not have to contemplate. However, a little planning now can have huge benefits for you and your family a little further down the road.
Our Estate Planning Team make complex processes simple. We help you get the right legal documents in place, provide advice on making your affairs as tax efficient as possible and ensure your legacy is dealt with in the way you would want. All of our services are designed to help you to protect and preserve your wealth both now and into the future.
Whatever you decide to do we help you get things in order, so you heirs don’t have to worry about the financial details while they are coming to terms with losing you.
We won’t patronise you but we will make everything easy to understand and simple to arrange.
Building a picture of your circumstances
To help you get started and uncover planning opportunities, we need to assess what you have in place today. By creating an inventory that includes your current assets, liabilities and insurance policies, deeds of any trusts created, records of any gifts made, we put you in a position to set clear objectives.
Understanding your objectives and preferences
Most clients are very concerned about ensuring their wealth passes to the right people at the right time. Sometimes that can mean protecting them against their own poor choices. You may also have concerns about the amount of tax your estate will have to pay.
Implementation of the plan
We will implement a plan to achieve your objectives, arranging your assets to maximise the legacy to your loved ones whilst allowing you to continue enjoying your wealth in the meantime. There are often three main components of an estate plan: wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney, and trusts.
Keeping up to date
Once the plan is in place, it’s important to keep it up to date. The frequency will vary from client to client, but we suggest that you review your plan annually or when there is a significant life event such as a birth or death in the family, a business sale, taxation rule changes, or if your objectives and preferences have changed.
If you die without a valid will, your money and possessions may not go to the people you would like them to. The law will decide who inherits any property and possessions that you own. This is determined under what’s known as the rules of intestacy. These rules set out who should inherit according to a fixed set of rules with no concern for your wishes. If you have no relatives at all, then under the intestacy rules everything that you own goes to the Crown.
By creating a will, you can specify how you want your assets to be distributed, including items with both financial and sentimental value. Beyond that, in your will you can also:
A trust can be an effective way to pass on your money to your family while retaining control over how it is used – either during your lifetime or after your death. No matter how complex your family situation, trusts can help smooth out financial issues, clarify inheritance intentions and avoid disputes. Protection, flexibility and privacy are areas usually front of mind when people think about this, and Trusts can help you achieve all three.
Trusts have many benefits, including ease of transferring assets to heirs, the ability to exercise control over when your heirs receive assets, and helping to maximize the value of your estate by reducing taxes. Trusts are an important consideration in an overall estate plan.
Inheritance Tax, Legal services, Trusts, Will writing and Estate planning are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
The manner in which you own and hold your home is critical, for many people your home is more than a home, it’s your largest assets. Most people own theirs homes as Joint Tenants, this means you both own all of the property. When one of you dies the survivor becomes the sole owner automatically. It does not pass according to your Will. When the survivor dies the whole property falls into their estate for tax purposes.
Tenants in Common arrangement – fairly common with unmarried couples. This agreement means that each party owns a defined share of the property, and when one dies their share passes to their beneficiaries according to their Will. It is an effective arrangement for tax planning.
Speak to an adviser who will assess your objectives, current position, and help you plan a course of action. It’s also an opportunity for you to get to know us before deciding to engage our services. You can ask as many questions as you need. Your first meeting with us where we will discuss the ways in which we might help you is free of charge. Contact us today to book an appointment.
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