Over 70% of the population do not have a will at all. Of the 30% that do have a will, it is thought that only a very small percentage of those are valid, and an even smaller percentage actually do what they intended. Are your assets in Trust to protect them from getting eaten away by tax and other charges?
Wills and trusts are an extremely useful tool to implement when thinking about leaving your assets to your loved ones and future generations. The problem is they are always under threat from the following:
Should you or your partner need nursing care, then the whole estate including the family home would be assessed to pay for the cost of that care. We conduct bespoke planning to help protect your home and assets from being assessed when it comes to Long Term care planning. You can't simply just give your home away to a child for example and live in it rent free. The local authority will challenge this and say you deliberately deprived yourself of an asset in order to avoid care home fees and you will have to pay for the care. We are able to legally and compliantly guide you to the best way for your assets to be protected and potentially save thousands of pounds.
If the surviving partner were to be subject to creditors / bankruptcy, then the inherited estate is fully at risk.
On first death, all the assets are then solely owned by the surviving partner. What if the surviving partner remarries? The inherited estate could be lost to the new partner, disinheriting your children.
On second death, there are further risks to the estate you wished your loved ones to benefit from.
IHT would be payable on any amount in the excess of the couple’s nil rate bands.
Their own future care costs
If the inheritance has been passed to your chosen beneficiaries absolutely, these assets could later be assessed for their own care costs.
If your children/ chosen beneficiaries are subject to divorce proceedings, then half of what you intended them to receive is at risk of divorce settlements
On second death, the remaining estate is likely to be directed by the will to the beneficiaries absolutely. This then adds to the beneficiaries’ estate and could impact on their own Inheritance Tax.
You can still have access to the trust funds but we can ensure that these assets do not enter their estates, so are protected from the above.
Please download the following fact sheets to help you understand this complex area better.
If you already have a will but would like a second opinion if its valid and correct, we offer a free service where we will check it for you and advise you if it’s correct or not.
If you are approaching your retirement date, obtaining independent financial advice on which option is best for you may not only save you a fortune in the long run, but will also give you peace of mind knowing you made the best decision based on every option available to you. Please get in touch for Honest Effective Life Planning.
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“We have been clients of Andrew Stuart and Company for a good many years and have always found them to be professional, helpful and good communicators. They have always kept their finger on the financial pulse. We have no reservations in recommending this Company.”
Mr & Mrs B Edwards