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Wills & Estate Planning

Allows you to decide who receives your money, property and possessions.  You get to decide who looks after your children if you are no longer around to nurture, protect and guide them.  It gives you the security that any Inheritance Tax allowances are used.  Which all lead to peace of mind for your family at a sensitive and emotional time.

Wills – Without a Will your money, property and possessions will pass in accordance to legal rules which may not reflect your own personal wishes and can be a lengthy process to sort out retrospectively.  Putting a Will in place will mean you choose who gets what and when.

It is essential to consider your Will through different life events including:

  • Marriage/Re-marriage means any existing Will becomes null and void – your current spouse will inherit your estate which means any children you have from your previous marriage/relationship will be disinherited.
  • Separation/Divorce means any existing Will remains valid – therefore if you are separated and have no will your spouse will receive your estate whilst still legally married.
  • Unmarried Partners can be left financially vulnerable without a Will in place, especially if you have children together.
  • Dependent Children need you to decide who has legal guardianship to raise them – alternatively with no Will they will be looked after by the state until a legal guardian has been appointed, which may not be who you want it to be.
  • Inheritance Tax Planning needs to be considered to minimise your tax liabilities.

Lasting Power of Attorney’s (LPA) – Without an LPA your loved ones will not be able to make any decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated to make any decisions yourself.  Gaining access to bank accounts, Utility companies, Pension providers and HMRC/Local Tax authorises will be denied, even for a spouse.  An LPA enables you to legally empower people you trust to manage your affairs when you are unable to do so.

There are three types of LPA to consider which allows your nominated people to make decisions on your behalf when you have lost mental capacity:

  • Health & Welfare on your general wellbeing including diet, holistic therapies and what to wear through to more vital Health decisions of seeing a doctor, taking medication and life-sustaining treatment.
  • Property & Finance including your bills, bank accounts, pensions, taxes and property
  • Business as your role as business owner, director or shareholder, you need someone to have access to bank accounts, HMRC, Pension Providers, Suppliers, Customers that form part of your business role.

Trusts – Without a Trust in place your estate is open to being passed onto the next generation with an Inheritance Tax liability if over the current threshold.  This can be more time consuming and stressful for your trustees and beneficiaries of your estate.  Putting your estate into Trust will ensure it goes to the right person at the right time.

There are a number of considerations to make for your beneficiaries:

  • Dependent Children/Grand Children’s age when you want them to receive their inheritance, allowing them access to their inheritance at different stages or events of their lives rather than all in one go.
  • Dependent Adult with a disability may have benefits stopped due to inheritance which is not in Trust or if the adult needs long term care a Trust will ensure the provision is there for their lifetime.
  • Divorce can create a beneficiary to have to give up a percentage of their inheritance if not in a Trust as it will form part of their partnership estate.  Placing this in Trust will ensure their spouse is not entitled to their inheritance.
  • Spouse Remarries can mean without a Trust your children or chosen beneficiary will no longer inherit as per your wishes in your Will as this is now null and void.
  • Long term Care such as care home costs are taken from your estate value if this is not secured in Trust, which means your children or chose beneficiaries will no longer receive their inheritance.
  • Inheritance Tax is calculated on your total estate valuation, anything in Trust is excluded from this, therefore reducing your Inheritance tax liability

Probate – Having a Will in place allows you to choose your executors of your estate who administer the Probate process.  Without a Will it can be a lengthy and expensive process when using a Bank or Legal Professional.  

Executors may not have the time or confidence to do the work, or feel emotionally able to cope with the legality of the process after losing a loved one.

Having an expert on your side working on behalf of the Executors for the following can be much more efficient:  

  • Establishing Assets including any collection or sale of assets and a securing property
  • Inheritance Tax due can be complex to work out the liability and submitting HMRC forms
  • Will Distribution to beneficiaries and setting up any additional Trusts
  • Complex Estate Structure including multiple properties, multiple trusts and Will disputes
  • Out of Hours Service can be just what you need and in the comfort of your own home.
  • Fixed Fee Quote for our services rather than an hourly rate which can escalate.

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