One thing is for sure, you can never start planning your estate early enough. There are significant benefits that come from forward planning, and these apply to estates both large and small.
Estate planning, also known as making a Will, has a number of areas for consideration. In order to ensure that your estate benefits from advanced planning, you should consider the following things:
- Who will inherit from your estate and what will they inherit?
- Are there any specific time scales for the receipt of these items?
- Who will be legal guardian of your children?
- Are there any stipulations or limitations that come with the inheritance?
Once you have made a decision regarding the above points, you will need to get your Will drafted. Your finalised Will is legally binding and should undergo a yearly review to ensure that it is continuously up to date. Make sure that any minor amendments that you make are correct or your Will could be invalid. Major changes require a completely new draft.
I’m Ready To Plan; What Should I Do Now?
We have complied a useful checklist to help you to review how far you have got in planning your estate already. Please answer the statements Yes or No.
- I have made a Will
- I have told my family or loved ones where my Will is so it is easily accessible after I die
- I have children, and I have named their legal guardian in my Will in the event my partner and I both die whilst they are still under the age of 18
- I have spoken to an advisor and completed tax planning on my estate for the purpose of Inheritance Tax
- All my records are filed and stored safely and my family know where to find these if I die
- I know how much my estate is worth
- I have financial plans in place, both for the short and long terms
- I have selected an Executor for my Will
- I have considered setting up Trusts and I am aware of accumulation and maintenance trusts to help with my tax liability
- I have selected Trustees to manage these Trusts where necessary
- I am aware of the NIL rate band and of inheritance tax exemptions and my Will has been structured with this in mind
- I have thought about making monetary gifts to my family whilst I am alive to reduce my Inheritance Tax bill and take advantage of the Capital Gains Tax exemptions and reliefs
- I own a business and know the implications of Inheritance Tax on it
- I have already addressed any partnership and shareholder issues that may occur in my business when I die
- I am aware of the fact that my business assets can be given away without Capital Gains Tax or Inheritance Tax
If you have answered NO to any of these statements, it is essential that you seek advice about your estate planning as soon as you can. This will ensure that you are financially ready to face whatever the future holds, and that your family and loved ones are well protected.
To find out more about how to best plan for your future, call Berley now on 020 7788 8261.