How to prepare your estate for your loved ones
Of all financial planning, getting your estate in order is perhaps the area most procrastinate on. It’s a widespread mistake and in many ways is understandable.
“I’ll deal with it when I retire” often becomes I’ll sort it when I’m 70, 70 becomes 80 and so forth.
Putting the fundamentals in place will give you peace of mind and spare loved ones unnecessary stress when you pass away. You’ll also be in a better position to start thinking about any life admin you might need to put in place.
Read on for some practical steps you can take to prepare your estate.
Making a will
Two-thirds of the UK’s adult population have not made a will, which means that when they die their money could end up going to the Crown.
The only way to ensure that your money goes instead to the people you want to receive it is to make a will. Then you’ll want to review it regularly, or at least following any major changes in your life, such as divorce, death of a family member, having grandchildren or moving to a new house.
While there’s nothing stopping you writing a will yourself, it’s a good idea to get advice. We work with some fantastic professional connections and Solicitors after conducting Due Diligence and would always recommend clients with confidence. Amongst many benefits, you can also make sure it is designed to maximise the benefits of any reliefs that your estate might be entitled to, and start to think about broader estate planning that can maximise the value of assets that you can leave behind.
Some more information on wills is available on the HMRC website. Here’s a link.
Involving your executors and family
When making your will you need to appoint at least one executor who will be responsible for the important task of dealing with your estate on your death. Deciding who to appoint is one of the most important decisions you will ever have to make so you need to consider your options carefully
It’s an executor’s responsibility to carry out your wishes after your death. This is an important role so you’ll also want your will to clearly state what happens if the people you want to administer and benefit from your estate die before you do. Select someone you know well and who is prudent and financially trustworthy. You need to have confidence that anyone you appoint will be able to deal with your property and assets and will distribute your estate according to your wishes
You’ll also want to ensure that your executors understand their legal responsibilities and are well prepared to follow your wishes.
In many cases, it can be a good idea to introduce our financial advisers to your executors. This way your executors can fully understand any planning or investments you have in place. It also ensures that they won’t be meeting your adviser for the first time when bereaved. You also need to consider the practicalities of appointing someone who lives far away, particularly if they will need to make frequent visits to the area you lived in prior to your death in order to deal with your affairs effectively.
Preparing your executors
So how can you prepare your estate for your executors and loved ones today?
You are handing your executor a lot of work. Wrapping up an estate is a time-consuming process that requires a lot of attention to detail. The best present you can give your executor is a set of documents that reflects your wishes.
Plan in advance by keeping your records organized and making sure the appropriate people know how to find and access them.
Remember – the key is to make life easy for your survivors.
Our financial advisers can help you prepare a ‘What I own and where I keep it’ document – it makes remembering what information to include easy. Completing this document makes sure that nothing important is missed and will help you get to grips with your current circumstances.
Take action today
Although it’s not an easy thing to talk about, preparing for your estate will enable you to leave more wealth behind to your loved ones and remove the additional difficulty during bereavement.
The most important thing to do is to start the conversation. This way your loved ones will feel the difference when they need it most.
To learn about inheritance tax and how to plan for it, have a read of our Inheritance Tax Guide and contact us to arrange a meeting with one of the team. We believe a conversation is the best place to start to simplify what can seem like a daunting prospect.
If you would like to know more about how we as Financial Advisers can help you with Inheritance Tax visit the Estate Planning section of our website: Estate Planning or send us email at: email@example.com
The information contained in our website is for guidance only and does not constitute advice which should be sought before taking any action. The information is based on our understanding of legislation, whether proposed or in force, and market practice at the time of writing. Levels, bases and reliefs from taxation may be subject to change. Accordingly, no responsibility can be assumed by Fiducia Wealth Management Limited, or any associated companies or persons, its officers or its employees, for any loss occurred in connection with the content hereof and any such action. Professional financial advice is recommended for every case.
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