When people think of estate planning, they often think of inheritance tax (IHT) mitigation, and while this can play a part of a legacy plan, it’s far from the whole picture. Ask any accountant, financial planner or tax adviser and they could all come up with a range of ways to shelter wealth from inheritance tax. However, not every possible solution would be aligned with your lifestyle, personal preferences or the needs of your beneficiaries.
More important, of course, is to ensure you can live the life you want – having access to income and capital when you need it – for the rest of your life. Once this is secure, you can consider structuring your assets to align with your wishes as to who else can access your wealth, when and how.
The start of any conversation about Estate Planning is – Have you made a Will?
The point of a Will
If you do not have a Will, you will die “intestate”. There are specific rules about how you’re your estate is divided, if you have not made a Will and the process of settling your financial affairs can take a lot longer to settle and be more costly. Please see the following website for more information. The full laws of Intestacy depend on which part of the UK you live in and can be found on the government website here https://www.gov.uk/inherits-someone-dies-without-will/y
People have reservations when it comes to discussing this delicate matter, but the process need not turn out to be as upsetting or difficult as you might think. In fact, having a Will in place provides the re-assurance that only comes with the knowledge that you have tied up all those loose ends.
It is important to have the correct type of Will – one that is professionally drafted to take into account your wishes, and your personal and financial circumstances. Furthermore, you may also want to consider establishing a Lasting Power Of Attorney (LPA) at the same time.
PWS Ltd work with a number of highly reputable private client lawyers who can provide a review of your Will and LPA’s or establish one for you.
If you run your own business, reviewing your Articles of Association and your Business Will is also highly recommended to clients to do periodically.