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Last updated: 15 Dec 2021
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Estate planning to secure your family’s financial future

You may have a bucket list of things to do in your lifetime and considering your demise and what happens to those left behind is probably not on it. However young and healthy you are, thinking about this now will spare your loved ones potential difficulties when the time comes.
Last Will and Testament

Below are the important things to consider to ensure your family’s future is taken care of.

Last Will and Testament 

It’s  vital to create your will  while you have full mental capacity to do so, so that you can establish your chosen executors, beneficiaries of your estate and preferences for your funeral. Once created, you need to review your will regularly to make sure it still reflects what you want as circumstances change. 

Many people don’t realise how important this can be; even if you’re not UK resident or domiciled, it’s important that any wishes for your UK assets are documented formally to avoid any delays.

About the author

Jessica Beere

+44 (0)20 7556 1282
beerej@buzzacott.co.uk
LinkedIn

Below are the important things to consider to ensure your family’s future is taken care of.

Last Will and Testament 

It’s  vital to create your will  while you have full mental capacity to do so, so that you can establish your chosen executors, beneficiaries of your estate and preferences for your funeral. Once created, you need to review your will regularly to make sure it still reflects what you want as circumstances change. 

Many people don’t realise how important this can be; even if you’re not UK resident or domiciled, it’s important that any wishes for your UK assets are documented formally to avoid any delays.

Living will

Living will

This allows your named representative to communicate your preferences for life-sustaining medical treatment should you become suddenly incapacitated and unable to make those decisions for yourself. 

Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs)

Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs)

LPAs are separately created to deal with either property and finance, or health and welfare. Putting both types of LPA in place now will give you peace of mind that you will be looked after in accordance with your stated wishes, should you become unable to make decisions for yourself in the future. This can be particularly important as dealing with the express wishes of the deceased can sometimes be a point of contention; don’t let this happen to you or your family.

Documentation

Documentation

Gather together and store safely any deeds, title documents, official certificates, details of important contacts, online accounts, and evidence of significant gifts made in recent years. Although this point it may seem trivial, you’d be amazed by the problems this lack of documentation could lead to. 

Ensuring that all the information is in one place will make it easier for the executors (who are often your loved ones) to quickly and accurately value your estate for the inheritance tax return that must be submitted to HMRC. 

Additionally, as more assets are now only accessible online, you should think about leaving details of your online accounts and passwords with a trusted person so that they will be accessible in the event of your death. 

Beneficiaries

Beneficiaries

Outside of your will, if you have assets like life insurance and pensions, you should review your beneficiaries as the transfer of such assets on your death is governed by your stated choices, not by your will. This can catch a lot of people out, so don’t be one of them. 

Personal tax affairs

Personal tax affairs

Help your executors by ensuring that your tax returns are up to date and your tax records are safely filed together when received.

Your spouse/partner

Your spouse/partner

No one wants to be the first to go, but remember, joint assets pass automatically upon death, not relying on the will or waiting for probate. Therefore, money or other day-to-day difficulties immediately following your death can be avoided by reviewing the ownership of important and liquid assets.

Share your plans

Finally, don’t keep your plans to yourself! Talk to your loved ones, chosen executors and attorneys about your wishes and where to find things when the time comes.

Get in touch

For professional advice tailored to your unique circumstances, please fill out the form below and one of our experts will be touch to give you peace of mind, help you review your affairs and ensure that you and your family are well looked after.

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