WILLS AND TRUSTS

It’s often the last thing that anyone wants to think about, but securing your family and loved ones’ financial future by making a Will and putting in place long term planning to do what you can in order to deal with any Inheritance Tax liabilities in the most efficient way will help to ensure that the people you care about most are protected as best as possible, regardless of the circumstances.

Sounds daunting and costly? It needn’t be. Our trusted business partners are here to help change uncertainty into certainty and provide peace of mind, and are able to guide you through the process to ensure that all of your property and wealth planning requirements are taken care of, professionally and sensitively.

MAKING A WILL

There are many good reasons to make a will; documenting your wishes formally is the only way to ensure that your savings and possessions (your estate) are distributed in the way you wish to the people and causes you care about.

You may be able to reduce the amount of inheritance tax that the beneficiaries may be liable to pay. It’s also the only way you can appoint legal guardians for your children. For example, if you don’t have a will and stipulate within it who you would want to look after your children in the event that you and your partner died, your children may be taken into foster care whilst the courts decide which of your remaining family members are the most appropriate to care for your children.

Making a will is very important if you co-habit with a partner but aren’t married, as you don’t have the same legal rights over each other’s assets as a married couple. Unfortunately, accidents and illness can occur at any age, and with so much potentially at stake, surely it’s worth spending a few hundred pounds to ensure that you can protect your family’s future in the event that you no longer can? Making a will doesn’t have to be onerous or expensive, and our business partners are here to assist you every step of the way. To find out just how simple it is, why not contact us for an initial informal discussion.

POWERS OF ATTORNEY

Should you lose mental capacity, for example through illness or an accident, no family member has the legal right to make decisions on your behalf unless you have made a Lasting Power of Attorney.

There is a widely-held misconception that a husband, wife or child over the age of 18 can make decisions regarding finances or welfare if their parent or spouse is unable, but that’s not the case unless you’ve appointed them legally. If a Power of Attorney hasn’t been put in place, it can take many months to be given “deputyship”, which is decided by the Office of the Public Guardian, meaning that a spouse or family member acting on your behalf will have to deal with a costly and time-consuming legal process, often at a time which is already stressful and upsetting.

This can be avoided by appointing someone that you trust to hold Lasting Power of Attorney over your affairs. There are two different types of Power of Attorney; the first, Property and Financial, relates to your finances whilst the second, Health and Welfare, enables the holder to make decisions regarding medical treatment and care.

Drawing up a Lasting Power of Attorney needn’t be a daunting or costly process, and our trusted business partners are here to guide you through the process. To find out more, why not contact us for an informal discussion.

Many people assume that only those with significant wealth can benefit from setting up a Trust, but that’s certainly not the case.

For many, a Trust is a cost effective and legal way of protecting assets against the potential expense of care in later life. For example, if you own a property you may be able to afford the cost of private care, should this become a necessity. However, you can structure your affairs to enable you to get the most financial support possible. Trusts can also help to protect assets for children in the event of remarriage following divorce or separation, to avoid the potential of ‘sideways disinheritance’.

It needn’t be complicated or costly to arrange a Trust to protect your assets, and our trusted business partners are here to advise an appropriate course of action for your specific circumstances. To find out more, why not contact us for an initial informal discussion.

INHERITANCE TAX PLANNING

Inheritance tax could cost your loved ones many thousands in the event of your death.

Yet with efficient tax planning in place it’s possible to legally reduce the amount of inheritance tax they will pay, if not avoid it altogether. There are a number of steps you can take to put an efficient strategy in place with regards Inheritance Tax, including ensuring that your Will is correctly written and planned, transferring assets through the use of lifetime gifts and creating a tax- efficient fund to enable the beneficiaries of your estate to meet any Inheritance Tax liability without impacting on the assets you’ve bequeathed them.

To find out more about how our business partners can potentially assist with your individual requirements, why not contact us for an initial informal discussion.