Our Legal Practices
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Ensuring that your assets are distributed to your chosen beneficiaries in the most tax efficient way after you pass away is now more important than ever, particularly as recent changes in Inheritance Tax legislation are proving to be complex to administer.
A new tax allowance was introduced in 2017 (the Residence Nil Rate Band) which could save up to £140,000 in Inheritance Tax for a couple with a property but the Wills need to be accurate in dealing with this new rule, if done incorrectly all the new allowance could be lost. Many old Wills do not deal with this allowance at all so they need to be reviewed urgently.
Another important concern is the issue of Care Fees and how they can be funded. A properly prepared Will can help to safeguard your assets against the risk of all your hard earned assets going to the Local Authority in care fees. We can prepare a Will for a couple where each half of a property is protected for your chosen beneficiaries and cannot be taken by the Local Authority.
A Will is also important in not only specifying who is to receive your assets but also who will administer your estate and if necessary who will look after your children.
You may think that Trusts would never be needed for your assets and that in any event they are expensive and complicated to administer, but you would in fact be very surprised as to how useful and cost effective they can be.
A Trust is simply a way of protecting assets and providing some control over the use or distribution of those assets. So for example you could place a property into trust for yourself or your family, thus potentially removing it from your personal assets whilst still allowing you full use of it.
Trusts are also very useful in protecting assets for a vulnerable person, for example someone who is not capable of dealing with their own finances or is going through a particularly bad time at the moment.
We also provide many Trusts in situations where parents are supplying cash deposits to allow their children to purchase property. In these cases it’s important to protect that cash to ensure that it is not lost in any future problems in the children’s lives. A Trust can protect that money and ensure that it is always retained for the benefit of your own children.
Lasting Powers of Attorney
It is a sad fact of life that some of us will in the future be unable to deal with our own affairs either due to accident or illness.
If that should happen we would wish our family or friends to be able to deal with our affairs quickly and with the minimum of problems. Bills would still need to be paid, direct debits may need to be dealt with and decisions may have to be made about both medical and financial matters.
Making a Lasting Power of Attorney now means that you have in place a procedure by which your chosen attorneys, your family, friends or professionals, can deal with your affairs immediately, without any cost to them and in accordance with your own wishes. You appoint your attorneys now and have the Lasting Power of Attorney in place just in case it is needed later on.
There are two types, one for Property & Finances and one for Health & Welfare. Talk to us today and we can guide you through the procedure, ensuring that you appoint the right people in the right way.
We all know that someone passing away can be a very difficult and stressful time for all concerned. You then may also have to deal with the administration of the estate, making sure that there is a valid Will, finding and valuing all the assets, ensuring that any Inheritance Tax is paid if necessary and then distributing all the assets in accordance with the Will. If there is no Will the process can be even more complicated.
If you are the executor in the Will you will be personally liable for completing Probate and may be held accountable if anything goes wrong, if for example assets are incorrectly valued, or insufficient tax is paid or the gifts are not distributed correctly.
We can provide a full range of services to assist in these circumstances. If you simply need some initial help and guidance we can provide that. Or if you want to hand over the whole process to us we can do that as well. In those circumstances we will undertake all the necessary work whilst keeping you fully appraised of the progress.