Wills & trusts
Why do I need a Will?
- Everyone should have a Will, but 2 out of 3 people have not yet made a Will and those that have, may not have the correct Will in place.
- An estimated 70,000 people per year have to sell their homes to pay for care.
- A large proportion of any inheritance is lost in future divorce settlements, to creditors or bankruptcy and unnecessary taxation.
- If you own a business or a share of a business then your spouse / partner and children may not inherit your share of a business.
Protecting Your Wealth
The vast majority of people put off making a Will for a variety of reasons, either believing that the people they would wish to inherit will automatically do so, or because they don’t think it is relevant to them at this particular time. The reality is that you can put off making a Will until it is too late and this poses all sorts of problems for the people left behind and could mean that some, or all of your inheritance, either goes to the wrong person or to the state. Everyone needs to make a Will. In particular, anyone with dependant relatives must do so. Anyone who owns a property or has any type of asset which you would wish relatives, friends or charities to benefit from should also make a Will. Making a Will enables you to plan exactly what will happen to your property (estate) following your demise. This ensures that those you would like to benefit actually do so, in accordance with your wishes and at the same time avoiding any disputes between relatives.
What will I have to pay?
Most of us work very hard over the years to buy our own homes and build up our savings for our retirement and would like to leave a “little something” for our children and grandchildren after we are gone.
Unfortunately, the costs involved in moving into a Care Home can literally wipe out your entire savings and your home may have to be sold to pay for care fees. This could mean that your loved ones could receive very little, or even nothing at all of what you originally intended them to have.
What can happen?
- Your home may have to be sold to pay for your Long Term Care costs.
- Your savings and investments could be wiped out.
- Any income would be assessed and used towards the cost of your care.
- Your children and grandchildren could lose their entire inheritance.
When someone enters care they are automatically “means tested” and all of your estate, including your home are taken into account. Only those who have very few assets will escape the cost of care.
Whatever assets we have, many of us would want them passed down to our children and grandchildren, so losing a property to care costs is a severe blow.
If you are concerned about what you intend to leave your loved ones, no matter your circumstances we are able to advise on all aspects of Care planning.
Assets not protected by a trust face attack from…
- Distributing assets absolutely to beneficiaries exposes those assets to risk.
- Creditors or bankruptcy claims.
- The divorce or separation settlements of future generations.
- Further Inheritance Tax bills.
Without the correct “Bloodline Planning” some, or all of your children’s or grandchildren’s (bloodline’s) inheritance could be lost.
How can I protect my children’s inheritance?
Protecting your inheritance for future generations is commonly referred to as “Bloodline Planning”.
Bloodline Planning is ensuring that your assets reach your children, grandchildren and other relatives, rather than ending up in the wrong hands!
When assets are distributed to beneficiaries “absolutely”, (i.e. they receive cash, property or other assets as a direct lump sum payment) so much can be lost. These assets are then considered to be part of the beneficiary’s estate and would be at risk of attack from any future divorce settlements, creditors and taxation.
The strategic use of Trusts can ensure that your children and grandchildren are able to benefit completely from the inheritance you want them to receive and at the same time, protect the family home and other assets from being lost to the costs of Long Term Care.
Without the appropriate business succession strategies…
- Your spouse / partner and children may not inherit your share of a business.
- The business may have to be sold and the proceeds become liable to Inheritance Tax.
- The value of the business could depreciate owing to the inexperience of any beneficiary.
- Business partners may not be able to buy out the deceased’s share.
Our business estate planning is tailor made to suit you and your business, taking the standard planning options available on the High Street a significant step further.
How can I preserve my business assets for my family?
Hard work and dedication has meant that you have built up a sound business to benefit you and your family and naturally, you would want to ensure that your loved ones are provided for in the event of your death. So what if the worst should happen and either you, or a business partner were to die?
Who would actually be entitled to this share of the business?
Without a valid Will, the deceased’s share would be subject to the Laws of Intestacy and the person who inherits may not be the person you intended. Would you or your business partner be content to run your business with their surviving spouse or their beneficiaries? This could have a major impact on the running of the business, or the value of the business may now go down following the death of such a key person.
Lasting Powers of Attorney
Loss of mobility or illness can make it difficult to manage your affairs
- An elderly relative losing capacity is difficult enough for loved ones to deal with, without the added worry that finances are becoming muddled.
- The prospect of unpaid bills can cause unnecessary stress and anxiety, and delay someone’s recovery.
- Having someone you know and trust and more importantly understands you, to manage your affairs, is far preferable than a court official.
- Even the young can encounter problems due to accident or illness.
Growing older can mean problems for us and our loved ones
What If I Am Unable To Manage My Affairs?
There may come a time in your life when you are unable to manage your financial affairs or personal welfare, owing to some form of incapacity and you will need someone to act on your behalf.
Even when we are young, we can find ourselves incapacitated owing to illness or injury and it can be invaluable having a reliable person, who is able to manage your personal affairs and remove the anxiety of having unpaid bills, at a time when you most need peace of mind.
Similarly, as we get older, the need for an attorney increases as we are more prone to illness and injuries.
By creating a Power of Attorney in advance, ensures that if the worst were to happen, you can rest assured that both your financial affairs and personal welfare are in safe hands.