Check out our presentation on the 5 threats of not having a valid will.
Some basic facts:
- 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.
There are a number of ways in which your home, savings and business are vulnerable to attack. We’re here to safeguard these hard earned assets for you and your family, using simple but effective strategies.
Irrespective of your age or the value of your estate, making a Will and putting your affairs in order is one of the most important tasks that you are likely to undertake. We will arrange to visit you in the comfort of your own home, to assess your current situation, answer your questions and provide peace of mind for the future. Our estate planning solutions are tailor made to suit every set of personal circumstances and every pocket. Looking after you, your family, and the generations to follow.
Why do I need a Will?
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.
Without a Will...
- You cannot be sure those you would wish to benefit will actually do so.
- Your spouse / civil partner will not automatically inherit ALL of your estate.
- “Common Law” partners may not receive anything.
- Minor children could be taken into care whilst Guardians are appointed.
- There could be lengthy delays for your beneficiaries and disputes.
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.
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.
Without the appropriate Business Succession strategies...
- Your spouse / partner and children may not inherit your share of a business.
- Business partners may not be able to buy out the deceased’s share.
- The value of the business could depreciate owing to the inexperience of any beneficiary.
- The business may have to be sold and the proceeds become liable to Inheritance Tax.
COST OF CARE
How do I protect my home and assets from care costs?
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. When someone enters care they are automatically “means tested” and ALL of your assets, including your home are taken into account. Only those who have very few assets will escape the costs of care.
If you fail to act now...
- 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.
Firstly, it is important to safeguard your home. By simply changing the way you own your home, combined with the appropriate Trust planning, will effectively ensure that your property is protected should either of you enter care. Also, by simply changing the way any other assets are invested and held, can ensure that your cash or liquid assets are also protected from Care.
LASTING POWERS OF ATTORNEY
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.
Loss of mobility or illness can make
it difficult to manage your affairs.
- The prospect of unpaid bills can cause uneccessary stress and anxiety and delay someone’s recovery.
- Even the young can encounter problems due to accident or illness.
- An elderly relative losing capacity is difficlut enough for loved ones to deal with, without the added worry that finances are becoming muddled.
- Having someone you know and trust and more importantly understands you, to manage your affairs, is far preferable than a court official.
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”, (ie. 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.
Assets not protected by a Trust face attack from...
- The Divorce or separation settlements of future generations.
- Creditors or Bankruptcy claims.
- Further Inheritance Tax bills.
- Distributing assets absolutely to beneficiaries exposes those assets to risk.