Simply expressed, estate planning is the act of structuring and managing your assets during your lifetime so that your estate is distributed according to your preferences after you die. Effective estate planning can help you minimize estate duty, taxes, and other expenditures associated with death, as well as make it easier to pass on your legacy to future generations. Estate planning also aims to protect your estate’s beneficiaries, especially if there are specific needs involved.
Estate planning comprises considering the legacy you want to leave through your will, as well as the development of trusts and the needs of your beneficiaries, whether they are adults or minors. The drafting of your will is usually the first step in the estate planning process.
A will is a legal document that specifies how your estate will be distributed. Anyone over the age of 16 can write a will, and it’s critical to maintain your will up to date, especially if your living circumstances change. A change in your marital status, the birth or death of an heir, such as the birth of a child or grandchild, are examples of life stage occurrences. This can also be the result of a change in your asset base, such as the acquisition of a new home, a career change, or nearing retirement age.
Benefits of a Will
A Will offers complete control and the final say in what happens to your assets after you’ve gone, instead of the government deciding. There is no automatic inheritance for unmarried partners. A Will ensures they inherit only what they’re entitled to. You can appoint guardians for your children through a Will, should anything happen to you. You can exclude whoever you wish from inheriting your assets. A Will facilitates cheaper and quicker administration. Any pets you own can be given to the best new home that you can choose.
Benefits of a Protective Will Property Trust
A Protective Will Property Trust ensures that the people who you want to inherit your share of your property, actually do without any interference from outside sources. Should your surviving co-owner fall into difficulties or goes into care, your share of the property will still be protected for those who you want to inherit it. A Protective Will Property Trust makes sure that even if your surviving co-owner enters into a new relationship, they cannot give your share of the property to their new partner, your share is still protected for those who you want to inherit it.
You can choose who looks after your share of your property, making sure that others are not manipulated into giving your share away. A Protective Will Property Trust includes a Severance of Tenancy which means that as soon as the work is completed, your share of your property remains in your name, no other outside parties, other than those who are legally entitled to (such as your creditors), can touch your share.
A Protective Will Property Trust provides certainty as to where your share of the property will go, after you’ve gone, regardless of what happens. It ensures that your surviving co-owner can continue living in the property for the remainder of their lifetime. They are not confined to one property however, this is flexible enough to enable them to move to a new property, all whilst still protecting your share of the property.
Benefits of a Discretionary Will Trust
A Discretionary Will Trust provides a ring-fence for your assets so that third parties will not be able to take them whilst they are still in the trust. Former spouses and creditors of those closest to you, will not be able to touch your assets. It is invaluable for children and other loved ones who are disabled, incapacitated, or have difficulties such as financial worries, bankruptcy, or addictions. You appoint the people you trust most to manage this for them so they don’t lose their inheritance frivolously.
A Discretionary Will Trust ensures complete control of your assets and how your children and loved ones inherit, stays with the people you trust most to sort everything out. It ‘future-proofs’ your assets. Should a new government come into power and they bring in measures that either introduce better inheritance tax allowances, or they introduce worse policies that would usually put your assets at risk, the people you trust most will be able to act accordingly and ensure your assets stay with the people you wish them to go to.
Conditions and timelines can be added to the gifts you give in a Discretionary Will Trust. You can leave behind a detailed list of your wishes and the person you choose to carry them out, will have the power to do so. As long as your wishes are not excessive and unlawful, your wishes hold great weight to how your assets are handled after you’re gone.
A Discretionary Will Trust ‘future-proofs’ your loved ones’ circumstances, should anything happen after you’re gone. They could divorce, become bankrupt, become disabled or go into care. Life is uncertain, they may be grateful for the provisions you have left them and will have ensured their financial security, should they go through hard times.
Benefits of Lifetime Interest
Lifetime Interest ensures that the person who you live with, or anyone else you choose, can continue to live in your property for the remainder of their lives, or until they wish to move out. If your property is rented out after you’ve gone, your surviving co-owner or anyone you choose can benefit from the rental income from it. Without this, your surviving co-owner would only be entitled to a relative share of the rental income.
Lifetime Interest can be revoked if your spouse, civil partner, or partner remarries or enters into a new relationship. It holds your share of your property on trust, meaning third parties will not be able to touch your share whilst it is held in trust.
Benefits of Right to Reside
The Right to Reside provides the right to the person you choose, to remain living in your property for as long as they wish. The person you choose to remain living in the property, cannot be forced out unless they break conditions. It can be revoked if the person you choose moves out, remarries, or enters a new relationship.
Any income generated by the property (rent) will be given to whoever you choose it to.
Benefits of Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Financial Affairs
Your bank accounts and joint accounts will remain operational. Bills and other regular important payments can continue to be paid. The only legal way of someone else managing your affairs. You will still be able to receive pensions, dividends, and benefits.
Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Financial Affairs is the cheapest and quickest way of ensuring your assets aren’t frozen should you lose mental capacity. Guidance and advice for your loved ones from The Office of the Public Guardian (a specialist registration body to The Court of Protection) is available whenever they need it.
Benefits of Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare Decisions
Religion, beliefs, and allergies will be considered and followed in your healthcare. Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare Decisions provides the invaluable opportunity to inform your most trusted people, what types of healthcare you would consent to, and what you would not consent to. It can provide backup for a Do Not Resuscitate order
Should you need residential care, those who you trust most will be able to decide which home you go to, instead of it being up to Social Services, or indeed if it’s in your best interests to stay at home.
Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare Decisions provides for decisions relating to your health and welfare, whereas the old style Enduring Powers of Attorney does not. It is the cheapest and quickest way to ensure your preferences in what care you receive will be followed.
Guidance for your loved ones is available from The Office of the Public Guardian (a specialist registration body to The Court of Protection) whenever they need it.
Packages for Every Budget
1. Gold Package: Complete Piece of Mind Lifetime and Estate Protection
This is the ultimate level of protection that you can provide for your estate and to those closest to you. This package ensures that the people you choose can have the ultimate power to best protect your assets and also protect your closest family and friends. Once set up, you can rest easy knowing that you have ensured that your hard-earned life’s work will go to the people you choose.
Our Gold package includes a Will, Protective Will Property Trust/Lifetime Interest/Right to Reside, Discretionary Will Trust, Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Financial Affairs, and Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare Decisions, Legal Check, and Storage.
2. Silver Package: Lifetime, Property, Beneficiary, and Secondary Estate Protection
This package is the minimum level of protection that you should be looking for if you are a homeowner. There are a lot of interfering third parties, intent on taking your home and your assets away from you and your family. This will ensure that you protect your share of your largest asset within your estate from these third parties, after you’re gone whilst ensuring that those who you leave behind have certainty and stability in your absence, whilst still making sure those who you wish to inherit your hard-earned assets, will do.
Our Silver package includes a Will with Protective Will Property Trust/Lifetime Interest/Right to Reside or Discretionary Will Trust, Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Financial Affairs, and Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare Decisions, Legal Check, and Storage.
3. Bronze Package: Lifetime and Primary Estate Protection
The primary level of protection for you during your lifetime and your assets after you’ve gone, that everyone needs to have. This will ensure that whilst you’re alive, your assets are not frozen (Lasting Power of Attorney), your most trusted confidants can make health decisions for you, if you can not (Lasting Power of Attorney) and that the government can’t decide where your hard-earned life’s work is going to go after you’ve gone (Will). Without this very primary level of protection, you, your assets, and even your loved ones are left vulnerable.
The consequence of not having any form of protection is that your assets and personal health and wellbeing are in jeopardy, as are your assets after you’ve gone and the circumstances of your loved ones. Without any protection, the costs to sort your assets during your life and after you’ve gone can run into the thousands, on more than some occasions, the tens of thousands. Putting in place such protection is certainly an invaluable investment in your loved ones’ futures.
Our Bronze package includes a Will, Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Financial Affairs and Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare Decisions, Legal Check, and Storage.