DOES THIS SOUND FAMILIAR?
You don’t have a Will but it’s been on your to do list for some time?
You have children but haven’t formally arranged guardianship?
You want to ensure your wishes are met and limit the possibility of inheritance tax
Most people believe that if you don’t have a Will, everything simply goes to their spouse. That is a mistake that could have serious implications.
You decide how you spend your money and where to invest, and it should be the same after death. Wills are an essential first step in that planning process. Estate planning helps minimise tax payable when passing assets on to family and others. Planning means you’ll pass on more of your assets by paying less tax.
LASTING POWER OF ATTORNEY
A Lasting Power of Attorney, which enables a person to appoint another to manage their financial affairs when they may be unable to act for themselves.
DID YOU KNOW
- It can take up to 6 months for someone’s finances to settle without a valid Will.
- Your spouse is only entitled to £250,000 and half the remainder if there are children plus chattels. If you have not made a will, this could cause serious implications. For instance, assuming there are no children and relatives to inherit your property, the estate will go straight to the Crown.
- In the UK, approximately 2 million families are accountable to Inheritance Tax on their estates. A valid will can help reduce these costs. Over 100,000 homes are sold each year to pay for the cost of long-term care, a valid will or a property trust in place can therefore help prevent this to ensure your loved ones retain ownership and control.
REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD MAKE A WILL
- You have a purpose of leaving something behind to close friends, distant relatives and colleagues. This can only happen under the provision of a completed will at present.
- Protecting inheritance for those receiving it i.e., children, stepchildren and grandchildren.
- Appoints guardians for children and therefore passes on parental responsibility.
- Making funeral requests known.
- Creating a will is imperative if you are planning to ensure that your wealth benefits those of your loved ones, and not taken by taxation, unnecessary legal costs and beneficiaries chosen by the law.
Will Writing and Lasting Power of Attorney are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
"I was recommended to Mark by a good friend of mine, and I have to say that it one of the best financial decisions that I have made. Mark has made the world of pensions a lot clearer and more friendly for me. I would not hesitate in recommending Mark to anyone looking for financial help."
"I contacted Mark so that I could sort out life cover for both me and my wife. He was very professional and also down to earth. The process was quick and painless (on my behalf) and Mark talked me through every aspect as well as chasing up any questions I had. Would highly recommend to others."
"Mark reviewed my current situation and discussed my attitude to risk and my expectations for the future. Mark took it all on board, assessed my situation with close regard to the current Pension changes (explaining each in detail) and this allowed me to make an informed decision. With his frequent meetings and support, all the way it was a very painless process and I have confidence in his professional expertise and commitment to the right decision being taken by me."
"Mark has taken charge of altering the mix of investments I inherited, to better match my attitude to risk and thereby optimise my gains, in line with that attitude to risk. He has, what seems to me to be, a good – scientific – method of assessing my attitude to risk as well as a clear view of how that needs to translate into a mix of investments, so I feel confident that investments will be pitched correctly for me. Mark is now assessing my options for my pensions and appears to be doing a very thorough job – asking questions that I didn’t know needed asking!"
We can help and assist you with your estate planning needs, from Wills and Trust’s, Lasting Powers of Attorney through to prepaid funeral plans
If a couple wish to make almost identical wills so that the assets go to each other and then to the children or to a named beneficiary then a Mirrored Will can be used to help document your wishes.
The wills must be individual and are classed as separate legal documents, with the content being similar. Respectively the partners usually become sole executors and sole beneficiaries.
If a mirrored will is to be written in this way then it is imperative to add at least one executor extra as well as beneficiary so that the estate is safeguarded in the event that both die together. The extra executor and beneficiary can be the same person in both of the wills or you can elect to have alternative executors.
The job of an executor is to administer the estate of the testator. This means they should be trusted to deliver on your instructions. A spouse may be an executor and they can act either solely or jointly depending on your wishes as can anyone else you nominate. You may also have a beneficiary as an executor. It is normal for an executor to also be a trustee.
Power Of Attorney
Nobody likes to think of themselves growing old (but then nobody want to die young either) The fact remains that as we grow older then there is the possibility of losing control of our affairs as our mental health deteriorates. In reality this means that we leave ourselves open financially as well as our overall health and welfare. Everybody needs a help in hand from time to time and asking a trusted person to do this in advance is a logical step in looking after your future needs. We call this trusted person an attorney.
A legal document called a Lasting power of attorney (LPA) can be drawn up in advance which will give a person that cares about you the authority to act on your behalf in regards financial and health and welfare at a time that it matters should you be unable to do so.
There are two different types of Lasting Powers of Attorney:
- Personal Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney
- Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney
You can elect to have both or just one depending on your circumstances. It is important to note that the LPA’s do not come into force until they have been registered with the Office of public guardian. This can be done when drawing the LPA’s up or at any time in the future and they will charge a fee for registration.
I can assist with the setting up of LPA’s as well as registration. We would ask that you give some thought into who you would wish to act on your behalf. So it should be somebody that you trust, ideally younger than yourself if you are in the autumn of your years. Somebody who is relatively local. I would advise that you also nominate two persons to act as attorney if possible in the unfortunate event the first attorney could not fulfil their duties to you through death or illness.
Pre-paid Funeral Plans
Unfortunately death and taxes are the two constant guarantees in life. We can either plan for the event of death or leave the planning to the ones we leave behind. However it’s not always about whether you can afford to pay for your funeral but about taking the stress and worry away from the ones you leave behind. It helps answer questions like “is this what dad would have wanted?” “What piece of music would mum of liked played”. Planning a funeral in advance helps give them guidance into what your wishes are when you meet your resting place.
It is possible to pre-fund the majority of your funeral fully in advance and you can choose the type of service, music, coffin, transportation for the funeral party.
You may have a preferred funeral director that you wish to use and in the majority of cases this would still be possible.
I can advise on the setting up of plans that you can pre fund in its entirely or by a monthly pay plan.